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Supplier Forecast 2011

Manufacturers & Suppliers
On The Year Ahead

Attendees at this year’s ProMat 2011 at McCormick Place South in Chicago, Illinois, have much to look forward to. They can count on new products and new technologies, all promising to enhance the end-user’s ability to do more with less.

One common theme emerged as we spoke to exhibitors regarding their plans for 2011: As technologies and products grow more sophisticated, the end-user is growing more and more dependent on the partnership between the supplier and his distributor. Like Batman and Robin, the two are a powerful combination when it comes to providing the solutions that will increase productivity in 2011 and beyond.


Aigner Index
Albion Industries
AmbaFlex
Ametek Prestolite Power
Autoquip
Battery Filling Systems
Berner International
Bilt Industries
Borroughs
Clark Material Handling
Cogan USA
Continental Tire The Americas
Cornerstone Specialty Wood Products
Cubic Designs, Inc.
DACS
Douglas Battery
Dyna Rack
East Penn Mfg.
EnerSys
Engineered Products
Flight Systems Industrial Products
Gorbel
Hamilton Caster & Mfg.
Hawker
InCord
Industrial Netting
Intella Lift Parts
Intralox
ISOPHI
Keytroller
Lauyans & Company
LTW Intralogistics
Lyon Workspace Products
Morse Manufacturing
NACCO Materials Handling Group
Narrow Aisle
Nashville Wire Products
Pflow Industries
Powered Aire
Presto Lifts
ProLine
Ralphs-Pugh Co.
Ridg-U-Rak
Sackett Systems
Save-Ty Yellow Products
Sentry Protection Products
Steel King
Superior Tire & Rubber
Systems Material Handling
Tennsco
TGW Systems
Thombert
Trelleborg Wheel Systems Americas
UNEX Manufacturing
Wildeck
WireCrafters

Advance Storage Products
Garden Grove, CA — Advance Storage Products, a manufacturer of warehouse racking solutions, provides every type of rack system, including high-density, pushback, selective, drive-in, pallet flow, carton flow and pick modules. President John Krummell indicates that his company’s ability to maintain service levels during the downturn helped him to not only to maintain his customer relationships, but also to increase market share as others in the industry reduced their headcount. Expecting a 10-20% increase, Krummell will emphasize his company’s pushback and structural rack offerings. He says, “Our best distributors have maintained very, very tight relationships with their customers. Those relationships make it possible for them and for us to provide the end-user with significant added value.”

Aigner Index
New Windsor, NY — One of the first to provide our industry with insertable label holders for storage & handling use, the company is reintroducing products that allow for barcode compatibility. Mark Aigner, president, says, “The lessons of the last few years have taught us the importance of being committed for the long term. We will have good months as well as bad, but we must still remain positive in our support to our partners and customers.” Aigner Index continues to supply labeling products for shelves, bins, drawers and shelving, wire shelving and pallet racks.

Albion Industries
Albion, MI — Mike Thorne, vice president of sales and marketing, is upbeat when it comes to his product lineup of industrial and institutional casters and wheels. The company will continue its practice of monthly new product introductions and will showcase products designed for various niche markets. Albion designs casters and wheels to meet every load requirement and application environment from furniture casters to industrial wheels, including light, medium and heavy duty. More than 1,000 products are ready to ship within 24 hours. Attendees are invited to discuss custom solutions that are built to the end-user’s exact specifications.

AmbaFlex
Grand Prairie, TX — Visitors to AmbaFlex’s booth at ProMat can learn about the latest innovations in spiral elevators, flexible conveyors and dynamic accumulators. R&D efforts have continued to drive advances in spiral applications and the use of spiral conveyors. The company will launch an accumulation conveyor alternative in the 2nd Quarter. With a new 30,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility located in Canton, Ohio, the company now manufactures its standard stock spiral domestically. Expecting sales growth of 15%, Phil Miller, president, says, “One of the keys to growth is to understand what it is that we do well and then communicate those strengths to our customers.”

Ametek Prestolite Power
Troy, OH — To create more mindshare, Jim Keyser, business manager, is providing distributor salespeople and their management with more training. He says, “It’s all about value and underscoring that value as a part of the relationship. The technology is changing constantly. We must enable our selling partners to educate their customers with regards to various charging styles.” To that end, the company plans to put upwards of 200-300 people through its training program this year. The company will showcase its line of ferroresonant, Silicon Controlled Rectifier (SCR) and high-frequency battery chargers, industrial charger connectors and cables and industrial charger controls.

Autoquip
Guthrie, OK — Autoquip will showcase its line of scissor lift tables, vertical lifts and dock lifts. “Whether the distributor’s customer is in the aerospace, automotive, food and drug, warehouse distribution, entertainment, retail or hospitality sectors, that leaner end-user customer has an even greater need for a high-level relationship with a distributor partner, particularly in the custom products that we emphasize,” says Joe Robillard, president. Autoquip will focus more on training distributor personnel and training their customers. With plans to participate with his distributors in more teleconferences and visits with end-users, Robillard plans to achieve a sales growth of 10-15%.

Battery Filling Systems
Clemmons, NC — President Scott Elliott and his entire team will be on hand to discuss the latest developments in watering systems and how to eliminate under- and over-filling batteries. Battery Filling Systems offers single-point watering systems that help reduce labor costs by decreasing the amount of time spent watering batteries. Water delivery systems are customizable to the end-user’s maintenance requirements, making the system safe and easy to use. Excellence in engineering and a passion for quality support the company’s brand.

Berner International
New Castle, PA — The more customer touches, the stronger the relationship. Michael Coscarelli, national sales manager, is focusing on a stronger sales message communicated to distributors with a greater frequency. Expecting a 1-2% sales increase, he says, “There is nothing stronger than a telephone call. We want to build those relationships with distributors that result in a true partnership. Our job is to help the distributors’ customer to save energy and, of course, dollars.” The product lineup at ProMat will include strip curtains, bulk rolls, flexible swinging doors, industrial curtains, weld screens and door heaters designed to promote safety, comfort and energy efficiency.

Bilt Industries
Belton, MO — Modular drawers that allow the end-user to sort more products in a more condensed space will be launched during the 1st Quarter and will help drive a 15% sales growth, according to Mike Langdon, general manager. Also on tap for the 2nd Quarter is an AS/RS pallet rack that provides for more precise manufacturing than a standard pallet rack. The company is placing emphasis on providing more design layouts, more engineering services and stocking more inventory in order to shorten delivery cycles. Langdon adds, “We are also targeting new niche markets that may have a greater need for customized solutions.”

Borroughs
Kalamazoo, MI — New products to be launched during the 1st Quarter will help to maximize end-user storage efforts. ProMat attendees will see new shop equipment and museum cabinetry designs. Tim Tyler, president and CEO, expects new enterprise software and a more interactive website to better facilitate communications between the distributor, the Borroughs team and the end-user. No one stands still at Borroughs Corporation. Having a wide spectrum of products, together with the people and resources to ensure a project’s success, will generate a 15% sales increase.

More From Engineered Systems

An aggressive redesign of his product offering (including his pricing structure) has helped Tom Inderhees, president, Alba Manufacturing (Fairfield, OH), to grow his 2010 sales by over 45%. He anticipates growing his 2011 sales by an additional 30%. He explains, “We redesigned our product line and our manufacturing processes. We’re now a leaner, meaner company.” Inderhees plans to explore the hiring of additional sales support personnel during the latter part of the 1st Quarter. He adds, “My main objective is to further develop a distributor network beyond our historical five-state region and, in the process, create more name awareness of our company as a key supplier of conveying equipment.”

Incoming orders are up 32%, says Gregg Goodner, president, Hytrol Conveyor (Jonesboro, AR). Anticipating an overall sales increase of 12-15%, he says, “We have become very aggressive and are interacting more with the end-user.” An internal business development team is supporting Hytrol’s integrator network’s sales efforts by participating in sales presentations and assisting in the design and layout of a system. Goodner says, “Our goal is for the end-user to view us and our integrator as one.” Hytrol also is pursuing new markets and new industry niches, including the food and beverage and pharmaceutical sectors. The integrator of the future with an expertise in specific niche markets could open up new doors for the company. That integrator will partner with his end-user customer and rely on the knowledge he has about his customer’s business to deliver more solutions and more ROI. Goodner adds, “Maintenance and service agreements are a big opportunity for the integrator to leverage his knowledge about his customer’s business, while creating a new profit center for his company.”

Clark Material Handling
Lexington, KY — Pointing to an improving economic climate and market share, Dennis Lawrence, president and CEO, expects sales to increase by 15-18%. New Class II AC products, a new electric tugger and a redesigned pneumatic truck will help to expand and strengthen the company’s product offerings. Plans call for Clark to sign on five new additional dealers to represent underserved markets in 2011. The company also is adding to its sales firepower with additional national accounts, marketing and sales personnel.

Cogan USA
Montreal, QC, Canada — Instead of resting on its previous successes during the recent downturn in the economy, John Lambert, vice president of sales, says his company has invested in the development of a new cantilever rack line to be introduced mid-year. Expecting sales growth of at least 10%, Cogan is introducing other new products during the 1st Quarter. The expanded product line meets one very important objective: to become a one-stop resource for everything having to do with the warehouse. The company plans on completing an addition to its warehouse during the 1st Quarter.

Continental Tire The Americas
Fort Mill, SC — Martin Burdorf, sales manager, has enjoyed double-digit growth every year since 2008 and expects this pattern to continue in 2011. He says, “The end-user is beginning to recognize that it is better to invest in the benefits of product that bears a longer life and provides lower fuel consumption.” To be launched this month: a recycled press-on band line to be sold under the Ameri*Steel brand name and a new traction tire. Burdorf says, “During the last few years, we have invested in people and continually communicated the value associated with our product. The more-focused marketing approach is allowing us to better speak the language of the customers and understand their specific problems, which is resulting in sales growth for us and for the distribution channel.”

Cornerstone Specialty Wood Products
Cincinnati, OH — Greg Doppler, president, indicates that 2010 was a very strong year and that he would be happy if he was able to grow his sales numbers by 10%. “A combination of product innovation, stronger relationships and an emphasis on dealer education is supporting overall growth.” The company will be utilizing several case studies that illustrate creative solutions incorporating the use of his Resin-Dek mezzanine product versus the more traditional concrete and steel mezzanine. He says, “Knowledge is a powerful weapon and will help the distributor to provide customers with new solutions to old challenges.”

Cubic Designs, Inc.
Milwaukee, WI — Cubic Designs manufactures custom, pre-engineered mezzanine systems for a wide variety of industrial and warehouse applications. The combination of on-staff engineers with warehouse equipment best practices provides a complete solution for industrial and commercial customers. “The economy is healthier in 2011 than it was in 2010,” says Mike Giffhorn, president. With greater capital investments on the part of larger corporations, Giffhorn believes sales numbers will grow by 10% in 2011.

DACS
Williamsburg, VA — DACS provides solid steel decking solutions for a variety of storage applications, including records/archives, carpet rolls, furniture, palletized loads, mezzanines and catwalk flooring. With an emphasis on his Punch Deck product line, David Swanson, national sales manager, expects sales to increase by 8%. Swanson will be on hand to discuss common and customized engineered sizes.

Douglas Battery
Reading, PA — A continued upturn in the economy will generate a 10% sales growth in 2011, believes Brian Faust, director of sales. New chargers to be launched during the 2nd Quarter will also contribute to sales growth. He says, “We are all going after the same slice of the pie. To win additional market share in an increasingly competitive environment, everyone is attempting to hold pricing while maintaining increasingly narrow margins.” Faust’s team is going the extra mile for their customers in order to be more than a number on a quote sheet. Douglas Battery’s parent company, he says, has given them a green light to go out and do what they have to do in order to continue to grow their market share.

Increased sales in 2011 will be the resultof many factors, including:

New product additions

More efficient manufacturing processes

Highly trained distributors

New sales territories

Better and more marketing materials

Partnership with distributor to reach end-user.

Dyna Rack
St. Louis, MO — Joyce Unruh, sales manager, will be on hand to discuss Dyna Rack’s family of portable stacking racks. “While we offer standard rack designs, we continue to see demand for customized designs that fit unique applications,” she says. At ProMat, Unruh hopes to connect with distributors to discuss rack designs that not only stack but nest while in use. She adds, “Faster delivery is available on selective sizes in 2,000 and 4,000 lb. capacities.

East Penn Mfg.
Lyon Station, PA — When it comes to expansion plans, Doug Bouquard, vice president and general manager, remains cautious. Still anticipating growth along the lines of what his company has experienced in the past, Bouquard describes an ongoing program of talent development within the company. He says, “We continue to invest in training efforts to prepare our folks for the future. We’re capturing the energy of our newer employees and combining that energy with a curriculum for both sales and service, which is really important.”

EnerSys
Reading, PA — The industry itself is projected to grow by 10%, says Jeff Long, vice president of sales and service. “Conservatively, we think we’ll be just at or slightly above the market.” His team will be on hand to discuss new technologies and the greater sophisticated technologies associated with the latest chargers and data devices. Long’s team will provide a complete solution with battery handling equipment and accessories, a recycling program and a nationwide service network.

Engineered Products
Greenville, SC — Pointing to a greater-than-50-year history of providing storage & handling solutions, Tommy Sinclair, sales and marketing manager, indicates that his team will be on site at ProMat connecting with rack distributors and their end-user customers. Whether the end-user’s needs include a new storage or manufacturing facility, increased utilization of existing space, or repairing or reconfiguring an existing space, Sinclair’s team will provide information regarding storage rack, pallet rack, flow rack, AS/RS, rack-supported buildings and material handling systems.

Flight Systems Industrial Products
Carlisle, PA — Some of FSIP’s projected 20% sales growth will be generated by a newly acquired GE motion control product line. To support the new line, Barry Bowman, president, expects to add an additional 15 people, including sales and marketing and customer service personnel. The company’s remanufactured controls are utilized on electric and gas-powered vehicles, primarily forklifts, golf carts and aerial lifts. FSIP is an authorized GE and Curtis Service Center and is ISO certified.

Gorbel
Fishers, NY — Against the backdrop of an improving economy, Jeff McNeil, marketing manager, indicates that companies are starting to pay attention to productivity gains. McNeil believes that his sales will increase by 10%. He says, “We have continued to provide a high number of quotes. Now those customers are starting to pull the trigger on quotes provided a year ago.” At this year’s ProMat, the company will launch the latest extension of its line: a lighter, more cost-friendly, aluminum gantry crane. The company is putting more focus on training inside salespeople and putting more product and application information at their fingertips, enabling them to provide more immediate responses to distributors’ requests for information.

Hamilton Caster & Mfg.
Hamilton, OH — A strengthened industrial marketplace (including automotive) will lend itself to an 8-10% upswing in sales numbers, believes Steve Lippert, executive vice president. New truck and caster products to be launched during the first half of the year will strengthen existing lines and help support the need to expand the company’s second shift during the 2nd Quarter. To better communicate with his customers, Lippert is relying in part on a new e-mailed newsletter and product training webinars.

Hawker
Ooltewah, TN — Pointing to a slow recovery, but nonetheless a recovery, Jim Meikrantz, vice president of sales and marketing, is expecting a sales increase of 10%. He says, “Truck sales are good, conversion to electric is good, and customers are watching their cost structures, which will further support an interest in new charging products.” The company is underscoring the importance of training both employees and customers in 2011. To provide better access to training, the company will take advantage of electronic training offerings while still providing access to face-to-face and hands-on training. Count on the Hawker team to be on hand to discuss smart charging, as well as a variety of systems and financial solutions.

InCord
Colchester, CT — With increased annual sales every year the company has been in business, Bob Martin, president, says that his team of good people is in the business of proactively seeking out customers in order to provide them with solutions. ProMat visitors will see core products that include precise custom netting to catch or contain falling product on overhead conveyor systems and horizontal pallet rack.

Industrial Netting
Minneapolis, MN — With an increased commitment to online communications, David Brentz, vice president of sales and marketing, expects material handling sales to increase by 5-9%. The company also will make use of instructional video and various social media. Brentz says, “The toughest part of my job is resource allocation.” The new ThreeAxis RackGuard product, available at ProMat, creates hexagonal geometry that affords a three-directional load distribution.

More From Aftermarket

“Service to the dealer and to the OEM customer is always our focus,” says Andy Anderson, COO, Cascade Corporation (Portland, OR). “By remaining focused, our sales will increase 5-10%.” Unlike others in the industry, Cascade kept its after-sales care, technical service and field salespeople entirely intact, maintaining each department and associated support personnel to the person and did not alter the service levels that were common prior to the downturn. Anderson expects to introduce new products that will focus on specialized applications and very small industry segments or individual customers.“The larger company is still putting product into its logistics efforts and into its warehouses,” says Ronnie Keene, vice president of sales and marketing, Bolzoni Auramo (Homewood, IL). Planning on a 10% sales growth, he plans to introduce, during the second half of 2011, a single-double pallet hammer that will improve visibility when handling pallets and enhance both safety and productivity. Given the inherent quality of his competitors’ products, Keene says, “There is no silver bullet. We have to provide a good product, but we will win market share by employing outstanding aftermarket support.”

Based on his current pipeline of new sales activity, George Schmid, president & CEO, Calco Lift Guard/The Schmid Group (Laguna Niguel, CA), is expecting a 30-35% increase in sales. Schmid notes, “Manufacturers are utilizing our warranty product as their own.” Schmid also is planning to launch an insurance program specifically written for distributors and suppliers, providing coverage for general liability, property and casualty, fleet, Workers’ Compensation and employee benefits. The greatest challenge remains dealer training, and Schmid would like to hire six new people to do dealer training during the first half of the year.

When launching a start-up, growth is expected, says Geoff Davies, general manager, Froetek Plastic Technology (Winston-Salem, NC). Given the conversion numbers, Davies would like to see 10% sales growth in 2011. He also plans to launch new single-point watering systems for industrial batteries during the 2nd and 3rd Quarters. With the goal of more feet on the street, Davies hopes to add two new salespeople by mid-year.

Anticipating no more than a 5% sales increase, Troy Kline, president, Maine Industrial Tire (Wakefield, MA), will focus on making his company a more customer-friendly entity with website enhancements, e-commerce support and participation in the field with visits to OEMs and mid-sized customers. The company anticipates increased market penetration as a result of new product introductions, which include the launches of a new family of products in the 2nd and 3rd Quarters.

Intella Lift Parts
Holland, MI — With plans to expand his product line by 20%, Marcel Vandentop, general manager, anticipates increasing his sales as well. He says, “Our biggest challenge is communicating our message of how important it is for the dealer to shop prices. I don’t necessarily believe that parts people working for various dealers across the United States and Canada are aware of how much they can save by shopping their parts requirements.”

Intralox
Harahan, LA — Intralox, a manufacturer of modular plastic conveyor belting, will exhibit a new Activated Roller Belt (ARB) technology that increases throughput and reduces line jams while reducing maintenance efforts and downtime. The company will also exhibit a dual-angled roller belt sorter that provides 90-degree sorting at rates of more than 200 cases per minute, a new high-speed Series 7000 sorter and a pallet layer descrambler for handling up to six layers per minute.

ISOPHI
Monroe, NC — According to Bart Verhoeven, president, current sales activity is indicative of at least a 20% sales growth. He says, “We are visiting more prospective customers while remaining focused on our existing customers, placing an emphasis on faster ROI. At ProMat, the company will focus on how the Internet can be utilized to monitor life expectancy of the battery. In the 2nd Quarter, the company will move its offices to a new 3,000 sq. ft. facility. Four new salespeople will be added during the 2nd and 3rd Quarters.

Keytroller
Tampa, FL — New products to be introduced during the 1st Quarter, including the Cyberwatch LAN, will help to support a 50% sales increase, according to Terry Wickman, president. The Local Area Network (LAN) Wireless Hour Meter provides an inexpensive, seamless way to access usage data on various pieces of equipment. Wickman plans to add four or five new employees dedicated to sales and customer support during the first half of the year. He says, “We are a one-stop shop for all kinds of data access and usage monitoring equipment. My goal is to show the MHEDA member the range of my product.”

Lauyans & Company
Louisville, KY — A 20% sales increase is possible, believes Frank Lauyans, president. Lauyans indicates that there are a fair amount of end-users who have delayed or postponed investments in material handling equipment for unit load handling or storage functions. That pent-up demand will contribute to Lauyans’ sales increase. To support this anticipated growth, Lauyans is looking into the acquisition of additional square footage. Visitors to ProMat will see the company’s Chainveyor Series 200 and Series 300 for handling cartons and small parts and the SPSS for small parts storage and retrieval.

LTW Intralogistics
Emigsville, PA — As relative newcomers to the industry, Daryl Hull, president, says that his company’s technology is just becoming recognized and accepted in the U.S. warehousing industry. That newcomer status supports his expectations for sales growth in 2011. A planned 20-25% increase in head count will go a long way toward educating the material handling industry about his company’s aisle-changing technology. Hull explains, “The advantage of reducing the capital investment expenditure made by a customer when expanding his warehouse operations is particularly important given our current economy.”

Lyon Workspace Products
Aurora, IL — By outservicing his competition, Doug Harrison, COO, believes that he can capture increased market share, resulting in an overall sales growth of 5-10%. He says, “Our ability to maintain the largest sales force in the industry is a major competitive advantage. Our goal is to complement the distributors’ sales force with a Lyon sales representative in each zip code.” His team will focus on more sales training, making better use of webinars, team conference calls and a strategic intranet site. At ProMat, Lyon will highlight just some of its 6,000+ storage, locker and workspace solutions.

Morse Manufacturing
East Syracuse, NY — “We have to stay innovative. We have to remain ahead of the curve,” says Nate Andrews, vice president. To that end, Andrews mentions that his company plans to launch several new products in 2011, one during the 1st Quarter and a second one during the 4th Quarter, as a result of several patent-pending innovations. Expecting a sales increase of 5-7%, he explains, “We are not in a low-cost, bargain-basement industry. To succeed, we must constantly come up with new products that provide new solutions, while removing costs from our manufacturing processes.”

NACCO Materials Handling Group
Greenville, NC — Citing a cautious recovery, Don Chance, president, indicates that 2011 will bring improved numbers, but the real spike in sales will not be seen until 2012 or 2013. Expecting a sales increase of 15%, Chance says that the majority of his company’s growth will be realized in the 4th Quarter. Fleet management remains a major driver of growth. He says, “The competitive advantage for any manufacturer remains in the hands of their distribution network.” To that end, NACCO has intensified the quality of their training programs for new truck sales, aftermarket sales and service. They will emphasize the convenience of online training, as well as training conducted on the local level, minimizing the dealer’s travel expense. At ProMat, the company will place larger emphasis on warehouse products and their new electric product offerings, mirroring the company’s strategic direction for 2011.

More from Storage & Handling

The economic downturn claimed casualties, which has resulted in fewer companies marketing rack products. Pete Foley, vice president, Storage Masters (Binghamton, NY), says that his teardrop rack business has gone through the roof. “We have increased our inventory levels and are able to provide shipments within 48 hours.” Foley believes that his market share will increase. He explains, “We are increasing our inventory from 250,000 pounds of rack in inventory to 350,000 pounds of rack in inventory. It is a matter of having the product on hand in order to meet the needs of distributor partners.”

Customers are still reacting inconsistently, according to Bonnie DesJardin, president, Jesco Industries (Litchfield, MI). Still, expecting a 5-10% sales increase, DesJardin points to changing buying habilts. She says, “There does not seem to be the impulsiveness of yesterday. It takes the customer longer to make a purchasing decision.”

Products for Industry (Milwaukee, WI) has developed several new markets that will help Mike Smith, general manager, deliver a sales increase of 12-15%. With plans to add an additional salesperson during the 1st Quarter, Smith plans to provide material handling distributors with more one-stop sourcing advantages in 2011.

By stressing the customer service side of his business, Terry Sroka, president, West Point Rack (Omaha, NE), can expect to grow his sales by 8-15%. He says, “We are trying to eliminate the obstacles to the sale. For us, that means satisfying the customer in terms of the delivery and being able to turn on a dime in order to meet special requirements.”

While Clark Smith, president, Bluff Manufacturing (Fort Worth, TX), expects sales of his traditional product line to increase by 10%, he can point to a recent acquisition of B&L Structures, based in Dallas, Texas, as the driver of a 20% increase in sales. He says, “The product lines that we acquired will provide us with a broader product offering in the future.”

Narrow Aisle
Dallas, TX — Pointing to a 50% sales increase, Warren Cornil, president, believes that his company’s growth will be far greater than the more typical, moderate growth expected by the overall industry. The company will introduce an AC-powered Flexi product during the 4th Quarter. The ever-growing niche market continues to demonstrate a growing acceptance for articulating very narrow aisle trucks and will support 2011 sales growth.

Nashville Wire Products
Nashville, TN — Steve Johnson, vice president of sales, has actually increased his sales force in preparation for when sales do begin to climb upward. Anticipating a 12-15% sales increase, his customer service team is ready to hit the ground running. Noting that his challenge is to stay ahead of demand from a lead time standpoint, he says, “We are structured to be able to meet increased demand within a narrow time frame without having to open new brick and mortar facilities.”

Pflow Industries
Milwaukee, WI — All work is custom at Pflow Industries. Every Pflow lift is built to custom-engineered specifications, tailored to the customer’s application. Pflow, one of the largest vertical reciprocating conveyor manufacturers, is seeing more custom-engineered projects incorporating vertical conveyors to lift materials from 100 lbs. to 100 T for a diverse group of applications. President Ted Ruehl and his team will be on hand to address distributors and end-users from manufacturing, warehousing, distribution and retail. With over 14,000 global installations, the company is able to guarantee code approval in all 50 states.

Powered Aire
Greenville, PA — Increased efficiencies are allowing Ken Lapinski, vice president of sales, to lower his pricing, providing him with a more competitive stance in the marketplace. Lapinski expects that competitive position to reap sales growth of 15%. He says, “A 10,000 sq. ft. addition to our manufacturing facility will provide us with increased warehouse space and will be fully operational during the 1st Quarter.”

Presto Lifts
Attleboro, MA — It’s all based on the economy, according to Steve Albert, general manager. To achieve a sales increase of 8-9%, look for Presto Lifts to arm distributors with materials promising increased productivity and safety. During the 1st Quarter, the company will introduce a powered stacker product, providing a higher capacity. Albert says, “Customer satisfaction is a focus for us. Our focus will be to increase the flow of communications between end-users, distributors and ourselves by spending more time working with the distributor network in the field to underscore our capabilities and how we can help them.”

Most Manufacturers expect sales to increase in 2011, anywhere from 1% to 50%. The average expected sales increase 15.4%.

ProLine
Haverhill, MA — According to Bob Simmons, senior vice president, projects that were previously put on hold are now coming alive. The company’s first new catalog since 2008 was mailed out last month. Plans for the 1st Quarter include the launch of expanded laboratory and industrial work bench lines. An additional salesperson to service the East Coast and the Southwest will be hired in each of the first two Quarters. Simmons says, “I will be focusing on new product training. Salespeople tend to sell the products that they know best. It can be a struggle at times to consider other less familiar markets and products. Yet those new products and markets can generate the growth that can make the difference in a salesperson’s success.”

More From Industrial Trucks

Mel Griffin, president, Lift-Rite (Brampton, ON, Canada), believes that noteworthy marketplace improvements will remain stalled until 2012 or 2013. In the meantime, his company’s manufacturing operations moved closer to his customer base with a relocation to Muscatine, Iowa, earlier this month. He says, “We can take advantage of the shared synergies associated with manufacturing in a space also utilized by Toyota and Raymond. It’s a fabulous move. We have reduced logistics costs while still maintaining North American quality.”

Dennis Rober, president, Tilt or Lift (Maumee, OH), is relying to some extent on his new website to maintain 2010 sales. He sees government sales, and his sales to distribution centers and manufacturing facilities, keeping pace with last year’s spending levels. Rober adds, “Companies are still holding back on their spending. There continues to be a hesitance when it comes to releasing money that is allocated for projects that have already been approved.”

Market share gains will support sales growth in what Peter Kruse, president, Nissan Forklift Corporation North America (Marengo, IL), says will be a relatively flat sales environment. To support growth, the company is placing a huge emphasis on lead management, customer service training programs for dealers’ employees and increasing the engagement between the factory, the dealer and that dealer’s customer. Kruse explains, “The goal is to create a much better experience for our end-users by identifying preference trends and understanding and getting into the mind of our customer to make sure that we can focus on what’s important to that customer.” Also high on Nissan management’s “to-do list” is an accelerated participation in social media during the first half of the year.

“The addition of new dealer partners in 2010 made for a very positive year,” says Chuck Leone, corporate vice president, Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas, Forklift Division (Elk Grove Village, IL). Leone’s plans to increase sales dictate repeating what worked in 2010 and that means adding an additional 10 dealer partners in 2011. He says, “We’ve been able to show dealers in the marketplace that the Hyundai forklift presents an excellent value proposition. And those dealers are driving our growth.” The company will launch a new order picker during the 1st Quarter. If sales grow, it goes without saying that inventories must grow. Leone indicates that the company will increase the number of products on the ground in Chicago by 50%.

The launch of more electric trucks, the participation of the Jungheinrich side of his business, and a rebound in IC business will support a 15-20% increase in sales, believes Kent Eudy, vice president of sales, MCFA (Houston, TX). Eudy adds, “If you examine Class I-V sales, the fastest growing as a percentage is Class IV and Class V trucks, which happen to be our strong suit.” New electric products that will consume far less energy than those currently on the market will be phased in during the 4th Quarter and throughout 2012. Eudy says, “I think we’ve got a potential for a huge upside to our business. I’m not convinced that the dealers in general are as optimistic about the market expansion opportunity that’s coming at all of us. As a result, they may delay hiring enough sales and support people and technicians to handle the demand as it comes, which means that we could get behind the curve.”

Pointing to a new program in which Mobile Industries (Mississauga, ON, Canada) will locate regional warehouses to enhance delivery capabilities, an e-commerce site and an expanded Class III line of products, Steve Guagliano, president, expects sales to increase by 20%. He says, “We will double our production of manual hydraulic stackers.” Sympathetic to dealers’ concerns regarding the maintenance of inventory, the company will provide six strategically located warehouses at the doorsteps of 90% of its distributors throughout the U.S.

General marketplace improvements and dealer inventory adjustment will help to spur sales growth of 20-30%, believes Akira Yamakawa, president and CEO, Komatsu Forklift U.S.A. (Rolling Meadows, IL). The company plans to introduce a new Class II narrow aisle reach truck either this month or next. Yamakawa says, “The challenge of moving from a commodity-focused sale to one based on the added value that our dealers offer continues to be an issue when competing with manufacturers from China and Korea.”

“When dealers cut their budgets, one of the first cuts to take place is sometimes advertising,” says Art Arellano, president, elifttruck.com (Tinley Park, IL). Arellano’s silver lining is the fact that he continues to build new relationships while maintaining current relationships. Because the new business offsets any losses, he is able to continue to grow sales each year. Projecting a 2-5% growth, he says, “We continue to focus on search engine optimization (SEO), which allows more people to find us. We’re also planning on launching a new iPhone application that will allow the dealer to more easily post photographs of their used equipment to our website. This will help to drive the dealer from print advertising to advertising online.”

Ralphs-Pugh Co.
Benicia, CA — As OEMs recover and realize an increase in sales, Bill Pugh, president, anticipates a 5-10% sales growth. ProMat visitors will benefit from the company’s plan to manufacture, during the 1st Quarter, new belt-driven pallet conveying rollers that will replace chain-driven rollers. The major benefit: a maintenance-free product that is more efficient and more cost-competitive. The company will also feature PolyV belt rollers.

Ridg-U-Rak
North East, PA — Dave Olson, national sales manager, notes that his relationship with a strong distributor network will generate a 5-7% growth in sales. He says, “Everything starts with the consumer.” Olson sees the industrial and retail markets making incremental gains, while the abundance of used product that flooded the marketplace in 2009-2010 dries up. Ridg-U-Rak’s two plants produce selective pallet and high-density storage racks, multi-level pick modules and specialized racks.

Sackett Systems
Bensonville, IL — Dan Dwyer, vice president and general manager, indicates that closer relationships with end-users will drive a sales increase of 5-10%. He explains, “We’re going to leverage our relationships with our dealer partners in an effort to better understand the needs of their customers. We can then design the products and the solutions that meet those needs.” The company also plans to target specific vertical niche markets, including the grocery distribution, healthcare and high-tech sectors. Dwyer plans to add at least one new person to his national accounts sales team during the 1st Quarter.

Save-Ty Yellow Products
West Chicago, IL — Save-Ty Yellow Products sales grew by 45% in 2010 and Dan Gentile, president, expects 2011 sales to grow by still another 50%. An expanded distributor network that spans more of the U.S. will also drive market share increases. He says, “Up until about three years ago, we were focused on the East Coast. Since then, we have added representation on the West Coast and will add to our representation in the South in 2011.” As a first-time ProMat exhibitor, Gentile’s team will showcase two new overhead door collision awareness models being launched during the 1st Quarter.

Sentry Protection Products
Lakewood, OH — Stating that new product development almost never progresses in a straight line, Jim Ryan, president, hopes to introduce during the 1st Quarter new user-friendly enhancements to his existing product line, all at lower price points. In an effort to drive a sales increase of 10-15%, he says, “My job is to recruit qualified, talented individuals to join our team and to direct the focus of our efforts as a company. Management teams from smaller companies tend to juggle lots of balls at the same time. We can’t afford to let any of those balls drop.”

Steel King
Stevens Point, WI — Jay Anderson, president, and his team will be meeting with a cross-section of distributors and their end-user customers to provide unique material handling solutions. Products include the 100% tubular SK2000 pallet rack, the powder-coated SK3000 structural rack, pushback rack, flow systems, guard rail, containers, shipping racks, systems, integration, I-beam cantilever rack and more.

Superior Tire & Rubber
Warren, PA — Superior Tire & Rubber’s annual stretch goal is over 20% in 2011. Bill LeMeur, vice president, says that his company’s market share is stronger, due in part to new product introductions. An XL AC line of polyurethane tires, to be launched during the 1st Quarter, is utilized on faster moving trucks while still maintaining cooler temperatures. The company is in the midst of remodeling an existing 15,000 sq. ft. building, which will house the sales and engineering teams. The new offices will be ready for occupancy during the 1st Quarter. The company will also begin phase one of a multi-phase project, breaking ground on 50,000 sq. ft. of factory space to be located in a 100,000 sq. ft. facility. Plans call for the space to be dedicated to polyurethane production and assembly functions. LeMeur is planning on several new sales hires, in addition to a director of engineering.

Systems Material Handling
Olathe, KS — In an effort to grow sales by an anticipated 8-12%, Dirk von Holt, vice president of sales and marketing, continues to expand his product offering. He says, “We are focusing heavily on a line of press-on and solid pneumatic tires.” The tires complete SMH’s product offering and helps the company to truly be a one-stop shop. New product additions to the company’s scrubber line will also be represented. The company, in an effort to improve the customer experience, has implemented a customer experience management focus that analyzes various specific touch points. The SMH team will continue to refine the touch points to create more consistency and clear corporate-wide guidelines, ensuring continual improvements to the customer experience.

Tennsco
Dixon, TN — Pete Webb, director of industrial sales, expects to connect with more of his customers on a more regular basis, which will result in a sales increase of 5-10%. Offering a wide variety of filing and storage systems, steel office furniture, industrial and institutional shelving, lockers and shop equipment, Tennsco’s man-
ufacturing capabilities are supported by six plants utilizing state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment.

TGW Systems
Spring Lake, MI — “Certain market niches, like food and beverage, seem to be picking up faster than others,” says Gordon Hellberg, vice president of sales. Hellberg is looking forward to a sales growth of 30%, as his distributor business partners begin to see a light at the end of the tunnel. At ProMat, TGW Systems will introduce a new EVO Automatic Storage Retrieval product and a motorized roller conveyor, the Intella Roll 2. A more efficient use of real estate will result in a brand new demonstration area to demonstrate the new ASR product and allow for a more efficient assembly and testing space. The space will be ready for occupancy during the 2nd Quarter.

Thombert
Newton, IA — Thombert designs and manufactures polyurethane wheels and tires for a broad range of applications. As the only wheel and tire manufacturer that offers limited distribution to dealers, Reggie Collette, sales & marketing manager, is focused on the long-term partnerships between the dealer, end-users and his company in order to assure growth. Select dealership opportunities are available in some areas.

Trelleborg Wheel Systems Americas
Fairlawn, OH — Managing Director Ydo Doornbos is expecting a double-digit increase as a result of his team’s growth strategy, which includes a plan to add new products that meet unsatisfied marketplace needs. Trelleborg plans to launch new Ground Support Equipment (GSE) during the 1st and 2nd Quarters. The company moved into new, more efficient quarters just last month. With multiple manufacturing locations and sales offices covering the globe, Trelleborg’s complete line of resilient, press-on, pneumatic industrial tires and wheels are a one-stop solution for the material handling industry.

UNEX Manufacturing
Jackson, NJ — Brian Neuwirth, president, is cautiously optimistic when he anticipates a growth in sales of high single digits, supported by increased consumer confidence. Planning to add one or two people to the company’s marketing and engineering departments, he notes that one of his challenges in 2011 is to develop increased awareness of UNEX’s order picking products. Neuwirth will first focus on order picking product sales training with his salespeople. He and his salespeople will emphasize order picking sales training with distributor partners during the 4th Quarter.

Wildeck
Waukesha, WI — Keith Pignolet, president, is anticipating a significant sales growth in 2011. New product launches are scheduled for each of the four quarters. Pignolet says, “We have listened to our dealers tell us which new products would have a positive impact on their sales. And we reacted.” One such new product is an economical K/D Stairway that meets the needs of nearly everyone.

WireCrafters
Lousville, KY — Two new manufacturer’s representatives contracted to represent WireCrafters in the Midwest and on the West Coast along with a new salesperson will help drive a 10% sales growth, according to Milt Tandy, director of sales and marketing. RapidGuard, a new lift-out system, is to be launched at ProMat and will be utilized for machine guarding and robotic work cells.

More From Information Management

The focus for Ron Rogers, president, EBS (Houston, TX), is to make business intelligence more deliverable. Expecting 2011 sales numbers to equal 2010 numbers, his team will help the dealer make better business decisions based on data he is able to capture regarding various business metrics. Rogers explains, “Dealers are being more strategic than they’ve been in the past. We have customers who employ an IT staff to analyze the reports generated by our software. We will offer smaller dealers that same data in a format as simple as an e-mail beginning in the 1st Quarter, acting as the smaller dealer’s in-house IT department.”

Not expecting a major growth year, Grant Skinner, vice president, Industry Built Software (Mississauga, ON, Canada), anticipates a 5-6% growth in sales. To prepare for the future, Skinner is adding personnel and capabilities and looking for opportunities to add to his company’s capabilities. He says, “We are able to drive the value of our EquipSoft base, further supporting the dealers’ rental and service departments. Those are two key areas for us. It’s important not only to meet the dealers’ current objectives, but also to learn what it is they need two or three years from now.”

Saying that 2010 was very good, Terry Eutsler, president, Softbase Development (Conroe, TX), says, “Dealers have done their research. They’ve been evaluating software investments but have been waiting to see some sort of uptick in the economy before making a decision.” The uptick is here! Eutsler believes that a combination of his company’s reputation and confidence in improvements to the overall economy will drive further sales growth in 2011.

Experiencing sales growth of 30% in 2010, Randy McIntyre, president, DIS (Bellingham, WA), says, “There is a significant amount of demand on the part of the dealer to make business systems changes. They realize the need to make that investment in light of near-term business improvement. The dealer is positioning himself to take best advantage of marketplace improvements.” During the 1st Quarter, the company will begin distributing a new Prism dashboard that displays all key business metrics.

If the 4th Quarter 2010 is an indicator of things to come, Bob Walters, president, Edgerton Corporation (Strongsville, OH), believes sales will be up by 30-40%. The company plans to introduce a mobile solution for smart phones which will provide mechanics with the ability to write work orders while on the road, as well as a new CRM software for the 1st Quarter. Walters says, “By staying in touch, by communicating with the dealer and by listening to the feedback they provide us, we are able to launch programs which will best meet their needs.”

Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association

One comment

  1. 2011 is more than half over….. I’m curious how things have worked out in achieving growth this year so far?

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