NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- What has been the one constant in the post-recession U.S. economy? Yes, silly goose, beyond a government agency with no real checks and balances system pumping zillions of digital dollars into digital bank vaults, the one constant is restructurings. The voracious appetite of companies to extract efficiencies in their business, whether through layoffs (which frighten those remaining employees into working harder) or fine-tuning a production process, to more than compensate for sluggish sales has continued virtually unabated. Sure, there are mass layoff announcements, recently from Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) (seeking to slash 16,000 more employees on top of 34,000 previously announced), Siemens (SI) (analyzing a possible 12,000 mass layoff plan), and Caterpillar (CAT) that garner significant attention as human lives are prepared to be upended even as the stock market surges and employment reports leap over 200,000 on the headline. General Electric (GE), too, could be viewed as a company in perpetual restructuring mode.
However, at the core, I feel that many large companies are beyond mass layoffs and have their thinking caps on as to how to shave costs further among their remaining operations. It's your job as an investor not to be necessarily panicked by ongoing corporate restructurings as in the near-term they could bolster earnings, but rather to develop an attack plan to profit from this embedded theme inside of companies.
As an exampleon what to be searching for, enter the industrial vending machine, which is increasingly being installed on the work floors of major manufacturers. Here is what these machines are designed to do: