Case Studies

Case Study, Silicone Arrestor Cover:
A large manufacturer in the power transmission industry was interested in developing a polymer arrestor housing to enter this rapidly growing market. To date all of their housings had been made from ceramic. Their efforts were targeted at finding a source for EPDM insulator products. We strongly suggested they try silicone because it is inorganic and naturally hydrophobic. At that time most of the polymer arrestor housings in the world were EPDM. Silicone, a more expensive material which was not yet used for arrestor housings in North America, was beginning to enter the market in Europe for power transmission applications. There were advantages to using silicone. Extensive testing gave evidence that Silicone performed better in extreme outdoor applications. Once they evaluated the data, the customer committed to developing arrestors with silicone housings despite the higher price. This power transmission manufacturer had a jump on all of their domestic competitors when they introduced the product. My vendor enjoyed many years of multimillion dollar sales to this company and earned the reputation of being one of the pioneers in manufacturing silicone products for outdoor power transmission applications.

Case Study, Growth of a Business:
I started selling for a small, CNC machine shop with four employees and less than $200,000 in sales. This company had talented people despite its small size. I had relationships at two local aerospace component manufacturers; they agreed to give them a try. It was hard at first, there were paperwork issues related to selling to the defense/aerospace industry. My company and I had a lot to learn. But we worked through it. We started small with small jobs. I worked very closely with the customers and my vendor to form a strong platform of communication. We were fortunate to have customers who were willing to partner with and educate this vendor. Purchasing, Management and Engineering were all involved. The growth followed. Within five years this vendor enjoyed sales in excess of 2.5 million and grew to more than 20 employees. The customers enjoyed a strong dependable vendor who was trained to do business “their way”.

Case Study, Find Your Advantage and Do What It Takes:
A large screw machine customer was bought out by its competitor, a Canadian firm. The new company said to us “you will not likely keep this business because you are too far away for daily deliveries and your American dollar gives you a disadvantage over our Canadian supplier.” At the time the American dollar was running about 25 cents over the Canadian Dollar. We had one advantage; my principal was running Aluminum grade 6262 for these fluid fittings while our competitor ran Aluminum grade 6161. Both grades are similar in cost, but 6262 machines much easier than 6161 resulting in lower cost parts. We were able to overcome our cost disadvantage. The issue of our distance was still out there. My principal said “do what it takes to get this business.” He was prepared to quote it in Canadian Dollars, if necessary. I found a logistics company in Canada which would take care of shipments to their warehouse and daily deliveries to their customer. This was very useful to both principal and vendor because the principal could manufacture product in volumes which were economical manufacturing volumes while the customer could release the parts daily. We gave the customer an additional benefit by invoicing each part once a month instead of every day; one invoice vs. twenty. As a result, the distance issue was overcome. My principal was able to double their business with this new Canadian customer.