In 1973, our first major project was a Regional Market Analysis for a major Agricultural Equipment Manufacturer. Follow-on projects with this client were focused on distribution development and operational excellence, which included department workbooks and educational seminars. We have continued to work in this industry with Manufacturers and Individual Dealers for the past 35+ years. Projects in this industry have been domestic and international.
In the mid to late 70s, we began our work in Construction Machinery with a focus on mining and large off-highway trucks. This entry allowed us to expand quickly into more typical Construction Machinery from large excavators to skid steers. Our projects have been Manufacturer focused and Dealer focused. Much of our international work in Construction Machinery has been an even split between Dealerization and work with specific, large Machinery dealers.
In the early 1990s we began working in the Power Generation industry. Our initial focus was with dealers who were providing prime power solutions such as cogeneration, load management, and peak shaving. This entry brought us into the stand-by power market for Commercial operations. Quickly this lead to the stand-by residential market. Our consulting practice here is more dealer focused than manufacturer focused, although we have completed a number of Manufacturer projects.
Pumps & Compressors
In the late 70s, we began working in the Pump business with a focus on large centrifugal and custom pumps for water and waste water solutions. The diversity of the pump industry, the second largest industrial product in the world, gave us quick access to a number of specialty manufacturers. Our work ranged from simple boiler feed pumps to food grade pumps and specialized products and accompanied seal technology.
Since a number of pump distributors are also compressor distributors, the air market was a natural for our work. In the early 80s, we pioneered a number of processes with compressor distributors such as air audits, total maintenance and repair contracts, long term rental/leasing and other customer focused innovations.
Heavy Trucks is another one of our core industries. In the early to mid-70s when we began our work in this industry, the end user base was quite fragmented. With the onset of deregulation in the late 70s the industry underwent major changes. At the same time there was significant acquisition of U.S. Manufacturers by International Companies. These two events; deregulation and manufacturer consolidation, drove a lot of work in Dealerization, Distribution Development, and Sales and Service Operational Excellence. As this example demonstrated, major changes such as deregulation or significant product breakthrough can transform an industry in a very short period of time. Manufacturers and dealers must anticipate those significant changes and prepare those organizations to manage them.
Commercial & Retread Tires
Our work in Commercial Tires developed as a result of our work in Heavy Truck distribution. With deregulation and the consolidation of trucking firms the natural evolution of distribution consolidation in Commercial Tires became apparent. Further, the customer needs evolved from tire features and benefits purchasing to total solutions and tire management contracts. This evolution of the market became one of our key initiatives with Manufacturers and Dealers. Our Tire Industry work has actually been global. We have executed projects in North and South America, all of Europe, Africa and Asia.
One of our core industries is Material Handling; our work began in the early 70s. Initially, our efforts were forklift truck focused. However, as our depth and breadth of industry experience increased we developed relationships and projects in Systems and Handling and Allied Products. This is another Industry where our endeavors have been global. We have significant experience in the Forklift Truck Market at the manufacturer and dealer levels in North America, Europe, and South America. We find this industry one of the most competitive. As a result, Manufacturers and Dealers with our input have developed innovative service and product solutions that often lead other Industrial Products in their timing of implementation.
The Marine Industry, while not as large as others mentioned here, is nonetheless one of our favorites. We have worked extensively with manufacturers and dealers of power boats, large yachts and sport boats, sail boats, both cruising and racing, and, engine manufacturers, inboard and outboard. This consumer product industry faces different challenges from industrial products in that consumer industries have a higher “fashion” element to them, as opposed to industrial products where the purchase decision is more rationalized. We also have experience in commercial marine applications at the manufacturer level, distribution level, and in large ship chandleries.
Transport Refrigeration/Temperature Control
This is another industry that we entered as a result of our work in Heavy Trucks. Like Heavy truck deregulation and the consolidation of end users has created significant challenges and opportunities for both manufactures and dealers. National service for major accounts, onboard diagnostics, extended service intervals and other such innovations have been critical components to understanding the industry and managing end user relationships. We have global experience with this Industry in that we have completed projects in North America and all of Europe.
Maintenance & Repair Organizations (MRO)
While most of our work focuses on capital goods and the aftermarket service and parts provided by brand specific distribution, we also have extensive experience in supply chain management for catalog, repair parts and other consumable transactions. Much of the operational excellence work in this market now focuses on e-commerce and how a client can maximize account relationships through sophisticated account segmentation and consistent focused application specific communications.
Consumer Products Although the bulk of our work is in industrial markets, we have also worked extensively with consumer products. Here, we have worked in markets such as: marine, automobile, lawn and garden, sport vehicles, gas stoves, fireplaces, and other gas fired products.
We have worked significantly in other industries that are integrated or work in support of the major industries mentioned above. For example, large storage Batteries are extensively used in electric forklift trucks. Utility Vehicles are found in many industrial applications as well as specialty markets such as golf carts, and farming applications. In the Standby Power Market we are involved with battery storage and temperature control and switch gear applications as they support critical stand by power needs. Some of our work in Agricultural Equipment has found applicability to lawn and garden products as well as golf and turf.