MoldMaking Technology's readers share their opinions on how a small moldmaker should handle sales.
Whether promoting your company from within, using a manufacturer's representative or working with an advertising agency, readers agree that small moldmakers can increase sales by incorporating a little bit of all three.
Walt Bishop, executive director of the Society of the Plastics Industry, MoldMakers' Division (Washington, D.C.). The way a small moldmaker handles sales depends a lot on his niche market and his place in the market - well established vs. new entry. In most cases, a manufacturer's representative who has experience and established credentials typically best serves a small moldmaker. An in-house sales coordinator/ manager to oversee sales efforts can supplement the sales rep by keeping him/her updated on product development.
Jack Brainard, manufacturing engineer manager of 3M Robinson Nugent (New Albany, IN), a premier design and manufacturer of high-quality, electronic devices. I have wondered for years why more small shops do not form a co-operative or 'group' and market themselves. This is hard to do and takes involvement and constant communication with the members, but makes perfect sense. As a group several moldmakers can specialize and afford a sales representative, design services, secretarial and similar services that only larger tool shops can afford. Most large tool shops will outsource work to smaller shops anyway, to take advantage of scheduling and delivery problems. The inability of small tool shop owners to organize and trust partners has kept this from happening. To downsize, specialize and work independently under a marketing group would better use the resources of the small tool shop owner and allow them to remain autonomous.
Richard Carter, media relations manager for Husky Injection Molding Systems (Bolton, ON), a supplier of hot runner technology. Ten cost-effective steps that the small moldmaker can take to increase sales are:
1. Make sure that you are listed in the applicable industry directories - most are free.
2. Promote yourself through trade associations.
3. Highlight your area of expertise/ specialization wherever possible.
4. Issue an interesting news release regularly.
5. Contact the trade press about note-worthy stories or participating in features.
6. Attend industry events.
7. Publish an article on your technology to build awareness.
8. Patent ideas and license the technology.
9. Involve your suppliers who might know of others needing your services.
10. Partner with a larger moldmaker to increase your sales opportunity.
Jim Meinert, director of international marketing for Snider Mold (Mequon, WI), which builds large compression, injection, RIM and structural foam molds. We do some of the sales and marketing work from our office here. We have an office in Detroit for automotive and manufacturing representatives in Mexico City, Monterray and Guadalajara, Mexico as well as in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Guaungzhou, China. Also, Clare Goldsberry does a great job of writing books on the subject and a recent one that comes to mind is Successful Sales Strategies for molders and moldmakers: Arriving at Growth and Profits. Plus, she has done several others focused on moldmakers.