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November 2015 • Vol. 36 No. 11
Top line does not matter
Alva Coffman Account Executive
Kathy Regan Editor
Stabilize your employee investment through good leadership communication
Sales lessons from a Billy Joel and Elton John concert
Photo courtesy iStock Photo
3-D Printing: Creating Opportunities
Towlift celebrates 50 years
Industry News 20 Nuts & Bolts
28 Industry Insights
How serious do you consider your aftermarket competition?
dmillius@MHWmag.com acoffman@MHWmag.com editorial@MHWmag.com
Valerie Vorwald Graphic Designer
Material Handling Wholesaler: (ISSN # 2155-3467) is published monthly for new and used equipment dealers, equipment manufacturers, manufacturer’s reps, parts suppliers, and service facilities serving the material handling industry. Editorial opinions expressed herein are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Material Handling Wholesaler. All material contained herein is protected by copyright laws and owned by Specialty Publications International Inc.
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3-D printing of high importance
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Cover Story Mary Glindinning
Creating Opportunities A cardinal rule at newspapers is just because you can print something doesn’t mean you should. You have to choose the best use of space. It’s the same with 3D printers: they can’t print everything, and you have to choose to use them in the ways that make the most sense. But 3D printers do have the potential to change how material handling works in the next decade. “It’s just technology. It’s not scary. It’s good to be aware of it,” said Steve Medwin, director of systems and advanced engineering at the Raymond Corporation. At Raymond, 3D printers make scale or full-size prototypes. “It’s easy to take it to a meeting. People can handle it” and see how it might work, Medwin said. “It’s a little more complicated to actually print a 3D part that is actually part of a truck. The issues lie in the designing of a part. For a 3D printed printer to successfully print a truck part, you have to consider material properties, cost and much more. Depending on the application, it may or may not be cost
effective to print in metal. It’s not quite cost effective to do 3D printing in metal yet,” Medwin said. The technology to 3D print has been around for 20 years, he said. Prices on hobbyist printers fell and people took note. The media paid attention, especially when astronauts used a 3D printer on the International Space Station. “It will have an impact, but I think it will be more subtle,” Medwin said. It takes time to print in 3D and the product needs finishing. “I think it’s something to watch. It’s prudent to be actively engaged in the technology today,” and it leads to consideration of how to design forklift trucks that could use 3D parts, he said. But the prospect of eliminating a spare parts warehouse because parts can be printed in the back of a truck on their way to being delivered is far away. “It’s taken off in the last five years or so. Traditionally, additive manufacturing has been used largely as a prototype tool, but use cases are shifting more and more toward final parts. That said, it is important to note that additive
Cover Story manufacturing is not going to replace all manufacturing,” said Zach Simkin, co-president of Senvol, which conducts analytics and consulting exclusively for the additive manufacturing industry. It can, though, reduce time to market through prototypes that can be made in an hour or two. Simkin has a manufacturing background, and started to see how additive manufacturing could solve supply chain problems. “I think it’s hype that lead folks to believe that you push a button” and produce what you need. “It’s not like a microwave. The technology isn’t that good yet,” and Simkin does not foresee that being the case in the near term. Just because a part can be produced using additive manufacturing doesn’t mean it should be. A cost-benefit analysis must determine which manufacturing method is most cost effective. The Senvol Database has 1,000 industrial additive manufacturing machine and material entries. It helps people trying to understand the landscape, or helps engineers look for a machine or material for a specific application. “3D printing has the potential to change both the timing and location of the manufacture of selected products. The manufacturing and distribution model would move to become not only just-in-time, but also at-the-point-of-use. We could see a dramatic reduction of inventory in high-value, unpredictabledemand 3D-printable products,” said Yves Leclerc, managing director at business and technology consulting firm West Monroe Partners, and Aaron Bresinger, experienced consultant. But they don’t envision delivery trucks with 3D printers on board, creating the item ordered on the way to delivering
it. “3D printing is a delicate, high-precision manufacturing technique. Temperature control and stability of the platform on which to print each layer of ink are two typical requirements. The environment of a delivery truck is not conducive to that type of production. I just don’t see any cost-benefit at this time to developing the sort of delivery trucks that could make this a viable option.” “The greatest potential of 3D printing lies in the evolution of new inking materials and the ability of the printer to lay multiple inks when and where needed for a given product. Delivery trucks are not an optimal production environment unless one is able to maintain all of the necessary inks on-board and with the necessary environmental controls. “Legal considerations may also play a factor here. Copyright protection is an unresolved issue. Also, we have to consider the need for quality control. There may be stringent controls on where 3D printing can occur,” Leclerc and Bresinger said. That said, the role of warehouses may change. “Many production facilities and warehouses would relocate closer to the point of use. Warehouses could become smaller,” they said. “We could also see a change in the purpose of warehouses. Normal warehouses have overstock and picking. In a 3D printing world, future warehouses will not have a need to overstock, replenishment will become minimal, and picking will be limited from workers. Long-distance trucking may be reduced.” 3D printing could change the raw material used to build some products, and reduce the number of components needed to build a product. “In the US, new domestic-lab-produced 3D inks could replace many raw materials that are sourced offshore.
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Cover Story We could see a significant move from global production to worldwide domestic production,” they said. And it could increase customization. “Customization would occur immediately prior to the load of the product design into the 3D printer(s). This could occur with each individual product, or could be done as needed in oneoff scenarios,” they said. “If viable, mass customization benefits will include improvement in holding costs, working capital and space utilization. For expensive printable products with a customer base that desires customization, 3D printing would alleviate the need to carry the same “safety stock” as today. The ability to customize at the point of build will enable a decrease in inventory. “3D printing breaks down the barriers between design and build. Customizable computer-aided design (CAD) programs generate the design for each product, which is then loaded into the 3D printer(s). The design then tells the printer exactly how to print the product, a purely digital process. The buyer will have more opportunity to customize the product to suit individual tastes or needs, since the cost to do so will be lower with 3D printing. This will be especially true for products that are built by the buyer using a local (at home or business) 3D printer.” Here is their best advice for companies: “It is too early to make any significant changes. At this time, we advise the industry to: monitor the progress of 3D printing in technology-savvy industries (bio-tech, aviation and defense); identify products (e.g., after-market automotive spare parts) that best fit the optimal 3D printing product profile (high-value, random-demand); participate in R&D activities that involve new inking materials (This will provide expertise in special handling and storage that could be required for these materials.); and gain legal expertise in intellectual property and other issues relevant to the use and distribution of 3D printing materials and products.” At the Matter Creative Center in Dubuque, Iowa, people use 3D printers at summer camp and workshops. “It’s not a manufacturing tool for us,” but a way to create, said Jordan DeGree, executive director. Just as a dot matrix printer puts a layer of ink on paper, a 3D printer lays one layer, but then a second, third, fourth and so on. Instead of ink, it uses filament. “Anything you can design” can be printed, DeGree said. It can take a long time to make a large quantity, but prototypes can be produced rapidly. While the first filaments were plastic, now some can conduct electricity and glow in the dark. More options are emerging. As with any technology, the price of 3D printers will keep dropping. Right now, desktop 3D printers cost a few hundred dollars, although commercial models cost more. The day could come when most households have a 3D printer, just as most homes have a dot matrix printer. But that could be years away, and it will need to be more user friendly. “A 3D printer is never going to be able to produce everything. I would imagine it would be hard to print wood products,” DeGree said. Mary Glindinning is a freelance writer who has worked at daily and weekly newspapers for more than 20 years. She lives in rural Shullsburg, Wis. E-mail email@example.com to contact Mary.
When trying to determine whether a particular part can be cost-effectively manufactured by AM, it is critical to analyze the entire supply chain. Initially, the supply chain should be examined from a qualitative standpoint. Courtesy of Senvol, below are the seven supply chain scenarios that tend to lend themselves well to AM. If a part falls into one or more of these scenarios, it may be cost-effective to produce via AM and is a candidate for further evaluation. If a part does not fall into any of these scenarios, the part almost certainly will not be cost-effective for AM, given the current state of AM technology. Scenario
Expensive to Manufacture
Do you have parts that are high cost because they have complex geometries, high fixed costs) e.g. tooling), or are produced in low volumes? AM may be more cost-efficient.
Long lead times
Does it take too long to obtain certain parts? Are your downtime costs extremely high? Do you want to increase speed-tomarket? Through AM, you can often get parts more quickly.
High inventory costs
Do you overstock or understock? Do you struggle with long-tail or obsolete parts? AM can allow for on-demand production, thus reducing the need for inventory.
Sole-sourced from suppliers
re any of your critical parts soleA sourced? This poses a supply chain risk. By qualifying a part for AM, you will no longer be completely reliant on your current supplier.
Do you operate in remote locations where it is difficult, time consuming or expensive to ship parts to? AM may allow you to manufacture certain parts on-site.
High import/ export costs
Do you pay substantial import/export costs on parts simply because of the location of your business unit and/or your supplier? On-site production via AM can eliminate these costs.
AM can enable a part to be redesigned such that its performance is improved beyond what was previously possible.
Courtesy of Senvol, LLC
3-D printing of high importance Additive manufacturing (AM) is opening up new business opportunities by freeing design from the restrictions of traditional manufacturing processes, enabling customization, and speeding up product time-to-market. Together, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd and Nurmi Cylinders Oy have developed a cost-efficient, 3D-printed, reliable hydraulic valve block that is 66% lighter than the original part. 3D printing, also called additive manufacturing or AM technology, enables the production of objects of nearly any shape without the limitations associated with traditional manufacturing methods. Combined with advanced design and optimization techniques, the potential cost-savings of AM extends to the design phase where simulation can reduce the number of necessary design iterations. This technology also enables small, one-off production runs, which remove the additional costs typically associated with customization. A new hydraulic valve block has been optimized to take full advantage of the benefits of 3D printing. The result is a product that is 66% smaller than the original design – leading to savings in weight, space and material. The valve block, which is used to control hydraulic cylinders that move under loads applied via the hydraulic fluid, can be found in cranes for example. Traditionally, the internal channels of the valve block are created with straight, circular drillings in a solid block of material. Additionally, several auxiliary drillings are needed, which are plugged and create the
potential for leakages. With AM, the internal channels of the valve block can be optimized to optimize flow and save space, while the potential for leakage is removed because auxiliary drillings are no longer necessary. “Using a laser for metal 3D printing is fairly new in Finland. Metal powder is spread one layer at a time and laser-melted at the desired areas. Unique, new materials are under development which will lead to new features and designs not yet commercially available. We have analyzed the manufacturing costs and identified cost savings. In the future, this technique will give free hands for a designer, because manufacturing is not limiting geometries anymore,” says Senior Scientist Petri Laakso of VTT. Together with the private sector, VTT engaged in a twoyear project in November 2014 aiming to create new business within Finland with the use of AM technology. The overall project consists of the companies’ own projects and a research project by VTT, in which the companies are also participating. Tekes, the participating companies and VTT are providing the budgeted funding of three million euros. The project is part of VTT’s For Industry spearhead program and its SME project startups. www.vtt.fi
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Aftermarket John R. Walker
How serious do you consider your aftermarket competition? For years I have asked hundreds of equipment dealers, their department managers and many times individuals involved with the parts, service and rental departments this question: If your customers asked: “How will I be better off if I buy from your dealership rather than from your competition?” We further asked whether or not the dealership could be absolutely certain that everyone in the dealership would answer the question in the exact same manner? The follow-up question to the original comment for this article is: How much do we actually know and truly understand about our aftermarket competition? Over the years I have told thousands in the equipment business that everyone within the dealership must recognize that every customer who buys equipment from the dealership has a CHOICE. This choice occurs when it comes to where your customer will go for their parts, service and rentals or for the product support requirements they will be faced with over the years of maintaining their equipment. That is a basic which all successful world-class equipment dealers totally understand. One of the frustrating points of view that constantly plays out in the equipment industry is how little time aftermarket managers spend in the field with customers to determine the strengths and weakness of their aftermarket competition. Too many aftermarket managers get tied down in their comfort zone, either behind the
counter or out in the shop turning wrenches. There is a tendency to forget that marketing/selling parts and service is absolutely no different than marketing/selling complete goods. You need to know what your product support competition is doing in your market, how they are doing it and most importantly, why they are successful. Please understand that your competition is not necessarily the dealer selling a like piece of equipment. It could be a local independent, a specialty shop, an independent parts warehouse, etc. What are their strong points and where are they vulnerable? How can your dealership compete? What are the facts and what are the assumptions? A professional sales person would never consider entering the market place without a thorough knowledge and understanding of their competition. Should it be anything less for the professional parts manager, service manager or aftermarket service sales representative? Your customers all have a choice, a choice as to where they purchase their parts and the service to keep their equipment operating. In the aftermarket if you do not know and understand the facts surrounding your competition you will never be in a position to sell the customer on the features, advantages and benefits of doing business with your dealership. In the aftermarket, perception is everything! If your customers believe your labor rate is high in comparison to the
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Aftermarket independent, then that perception will continue until you, by stating the facts, convince your customers otherwise. Value-added is as important to the marketing of your aftermarket as it is to complete goods. You don’t necessarily have to match your competitions parts pricing or the competitions’ labor rates. However, you must be sure that for your additional price the customer is getting something in addition to what they receive from your competition. It is a known fact that as an OEM dealer your customer’s perception is that your operation is high priced. To overcome this perception you will need to sell your dealership’s uniqueness, as far as the aftermarket is concerned. For example: If your dealership’s parts warranty is 30, 60, 90 or even 180 days versus your competition’s non-existence parts warranty, then you have a value added situation. If your service warranty is guaranteed and your competitions is not you have a value-added service. Following is a listing of some value-added parts and service items that have become so basic that many times you neglect to mention them to your customers to make a big issue of certain items you cover that your competition does not. Value-added factors found in your service department: Guaranteed work, quality service, genuine or alternative sourcing of parts, factory trained technicians, orderly and well equipped shop, proper tools for working on customer equipment, budgeted maintenance costs, ability to service a broad base of equipment, experienced and helpful personnel. Value-added factors found in your parts department: One stop shopping, competitive parts pricing, financing, overnight delivery of emergency parts, convenient dealership
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hours, parts for all makes, experienced and involved personnel, significant parts in inventory, highest quality exchange and re-built components. These are basic items that add value to your dealership, your product support departments and certainly to the customer. Check your competition out as to their ability to provide these services. Then develop your own customer prospective and department sales presentation. However, before you do, make sure you do your own research and development. Check out, not only your customers but your competition. Find out exactly what your customers are looking for and only then be positioned to sell your dealership’s added-value. It will most certainly pay off in additional sales for your parts and service departments. Ask and answer these questions concerning your aftermarket competition: 1. What is the competition’s true pricing structure. In parts, all too often when we hear that the customer receives a discount from the competition, we back away from the sale. We need to determine immediately what the customer actually paid for the part and in what quantities did he have to buy to receive the discount? Many times you will be surprised to find that your actual price is lower than the discounted price. In service, you may learn that your labor rate is double that of your competition. Hard to explain, unless your market research discovers that your competition requires three hours to do a job that only requires one hour in your shop or, that the independent bills for two people working on the job. 2. What is your competition’s overall marketing philosophy? Customers are concerned with availability of parts. Competitors in parts marketing are basically interested in fast, high turn parts. Your dealership is in a position to supply all of the parts for the equipment you sell, you are the one-stop, single source supplier for your customers. In service, we have seldom met a dealer who did not guarantee his shop’s work. So why not market this guarantee? You might well find in your market research that your competition does not offer the same guarantee. 3. What is the quality of your competition’s parts and service? It is imperative that you develop a marketing strategy devoted to backing up your dealership’s and your manufacturer’s sale of quality aftermarket services. Overemphasize your quality parts and service at every opportunity, don’t let it be only a perspective, make it a fact of life at your dealership! 4. What is the integrity and reputation of your dealership versus your competition? Sometimes we find talking about our reputation and integrity so basic that we neglect to develop a marketing strategy around these important factors that make our dealership and our aftermarket services so outstanding in the eyes of our customers. As an example, the following dealer comment: “When you buy from our dealership, you don’t just buy the sales department, you buy the whole dealership!” Marketing your integrity and reputation begins with the development of a Mission Statement and/or A Statement of Purpose. A document memorized by employees and made visible to all your customers.
Aftermarket Your dealership’s integrity and reputation is developed by informing the customer about some very basic facts: How long your dealership has been in business. Representing a manufacturer or manufacturers who have been in business for so many years. A dealership with sales of so many millions of dollars. A dealership selling to some of the finest companies or consumers in the area (references.) A dealership with so many dollars in shelf inventory and overnight delivery from your suppliers. You are a one stop shopping center for parts. A parts department staffed by experienced, friendly, cooperative and involved individuals. A competitive parts department established to service the needs of the customer. A service department offering guaranteed work and quality service, staffed by professional, experienced and involved individuals, with over 50 combined years of experience. Factorytrained, experienced technicians. An orderly and well equipped shop, with tools designed for doing the job right, the first time and on time! A shop with the ability to service a broad base of equipment. Fully equipped road service trucks and trucks for transporting the customer’s equipment. Look at what your dealership has to offer your customers and develop a marketing strategy to sell the advantages of using your aftermarket services versus using the competition. When is the best opportunity to market your aftermarket? We believe it is part of the entire selling process and should happen immediately after or even during the sale of the equipment. We encourage the equipment salesperson to bring in and allow the customer to meet the parts, service and aftermarket service rep as part of the selling process. Sell your entire dealership at the time of the sale and you will keep your customer from considering those others in the competitive market place.
The dealer who provides superior product support services to their customers will in turn receive more for their products! If you are interested in developing this sales culture even further within your dealership email us at email@example.com, and ask us to email you our manual entitled “Back-ground for Developing Value Added Selling.” You will be invoiced for this document a total of $14.99 and payment will be made when you have determined you are satisfied with your purchase . . . look for this manual to: 1) increase your product support sales, 2) increase your product support profitability and, 3) to greatly improve your customer satisfaction, while last but not least, 4) reducing the customer’s ailment called Buyer’s Remorse. John R. Walker is president of Aftermarket Services Consulting Co. Inc. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to contact John.
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Bottom Line Garry Bartecki
Top line does not matter I recently produced a webinar for Infor (dealer and rental software provider) where we reviewed the status of the rental markets and what the ARA crystal ball was showing for the growth of rental through 2019. The growth numbers are pretty impressive, but if dealers in the equipment rental business think they are just going to sit back and ride the wave I would suggest that program will not work. Rental is truly a growth industry but when you take into account all the new players going into the rental business, the growth factor could provide a much more competitive environment, one that will destroy any company just trying to ride the rental growth wave. Some of the visual materials we used for the webinar were supplied by Joe Box and Key Bank. Joe covers the rental industry and always provides current reliable data describing the rental markets as well as the public rental companies. You can ask Joe to put you on his mailing list to receive the Key Bank commentary which covers both industrial and construction markets. Jbox@keybank.com. One thing Key Bank does is compare their company portfolio to the specific industry economic cycle associated with that industry, and it was interesting to note that they felt the public rental companies are at the top of their game and about to start the next downward cycle. Where do you feel your company
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sits in its own cycle? Probably worth some conversation at the next management meeting you convene. My review of the EDA data in the October issue of MHW didn’t reflect anything to write home about. Kind of flat and based on what you keep hearing, the manufacturing index appears it will remain so for a while. Which is why I titled this column The Top line does not matter…..because in your business that is absolutely true. It is the gross margin line and percentage, the sales mix, the operating profit line, all of which mean more when measuring the performance of a material handling dealer. Get the sales mix wrong and the top line will really not matter. Can we improve the top line profitably? Sure you can because it makes a lot of sense right now to continue to consolidate the industry. Money is available, interest rates low (free money), dealers looking to sell. Add in a continuation of Bonus Depreciation through 2016 (on the table) and you could conservatively increase the top line and at the same time reduce fixed costs as a percentage of the new combined sales, keep the tax bite to a minimum and generate adequate ROI’s from your investment. With all the latest technology I think it is safe to say that larger business units are more efficient to operate in this type of business. Speaking of consolidation how did you like last month’s column? I found it quite interesting and it kind of supports that the life cycle of most business units is limited, especially those owned privately. I guess my point about the top line is that it will be tougher to move the top line through your normal business process, and if it is more cash flow you are after you will have to do more with aftermarket products and services (John Walker tells you how), and at the same time look for acquisition candidates that will move both the top line as well as your overall returns. On the other hand, if you are a potential “seller” it may be a good time while the funding is still available to take some bucks off the table. There are many ways to skin a cat and at the same time lower your stress factor. I do have to warn “sellers” however, that your tax position is what needs to be planned for before you do anything. One other thing I want you to consider and that is how you would plan out your business affairs if we run into a deflationary period. In many areas of the economy it is already in the works. How would you deal with this type of situation? Most people never had to before. We are usually paying off debts with cheaper dollars…..but what if we are paying off debts with more valuable dollars. And how do these economics work in terms of payroll and other operating expenses. Top line decreases across the entire sales mix ... Interesting to say the least.
Garry Bartecki is a CPA MBA with GB Financial Services LLC. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to contact Garry.
More Bottom Line articles available on www.MHWmag.com 14
To learn more about what makes a MHEDA MVP an excellent choice, visit
2015 Your Search for Material Handling Equipment Distributors Just Got Easier
Looking for an award winning distributor with a documented commitment to business excellence? Look for the MVP logo. The Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association, MHEDA, has awarded the following distributors the 2015 MVP, Most Valuable Partner Award. This award is earned by companies with outstanding working relationships with customers, suppliers and employees. Feel confident in your decision by choosing a MVP award winner. AHS, LLC Cincinnati, OH
Elite Supply Chain Solutions Hudson, OH
NMC Material Handling Omaha, NE
AK Material Handling Systems Maple Grove, MN
Fallsway Equipment Co Akron, OH
PapĂŠ Material Handling Eugene, OR
All Lift Service Company Willoughby, OH
FMH Material Hdlg Solutions Denver, CO
PeakLogix Midlothian, VA
American Warehouse Systems Blaine, MN
Gregory Poole Equipment Co. Raleigh, NC
R.H. Brown Co. Seattle, WA
Associated Addison, IL
Hodge Material Handling Dubuque, IA
Riekes Equipment Co. Omaha, NE
Bode Equipment Co. Londonderry, NH
Liftech Equipment Companies E. Syracuse, NY
Southern Acquisitions Farmers Branch, TX
Bublitz Material Handling Kansas City, MO
LiftOne Charlotte, NC
Springer Equipment Co. Inc. Birmingham, AL
Cardinal Carryor, Inc. Louisville, KY
Mathand, Inc. Woodstock, GA
Sunbelt Industrial Trucks Dallas, TX
Carolina Material Handling Services Columbia, SC
Maybury Material Handling E. Longmeadow, MA
Warehouse1 Kansas City, MO
CE-DFW Warehouse Solutions Grapevine, TX Conveyor Solutions Inc. Schaumburg, IL Eastern Lift Truck Co., Inc. Maple Shade, NJ
Morrison Ind Equipment Co Grand Rapids, MI National Lift Truck, Inc. Franklin Park, IL
Wisconsin Lift Truck Corp. Brookfield, WI WW Cannon Dallas, TX
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Web ID to 27414 2015 Karcher KM105/110 R bp STK# 310N276 (979) 431-5654 Bryan TX
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2007 Caterpillar SF2200 STK# 14530X (877) 725-4461 Pineville NC
2002 Raymond DSS30 STK# 16710X (877) 725-4461 Pineville NC
2010 Linde C4531TL5 STK# FRS0040 (864) 295-7800 Greenville SC
2008 Jungheinrich EFG430 STK# 53348 (800) 708-9765 Coraopolis PA
1999 Yale GLP040AF STK# 16858X (877) 725-4461 Pineville NC
2011 VOGELE SUPER 1800-2 STK# RRMP0003 (864) 295-7800 Greenville SC
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2008 Clark CMP70D STK# CMPU480 (979) 431-5654 Bryan TX
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Type: IC Big Pneumatics Make: Taylor Model: THD280M Year: 2000 Capacity: 28,000 Mast: 159/180 standard Details: Diesel, Cab, 5way, S-S PF, 96” Forks
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Type: IC Big Cushions Make: Royal Model: T300CS Year: 1998 Capacity: 30,000 Mast: 118/143 Standard Details: LPG, 4Way, S-S FP, 96” Forks Type: IC Big Cushion Make: Rico Model: PG-350 Year: 2011 Capacity: 35,000 lbs. Mast: 133/144S Details: LPG, F-P, 60” Forks
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Nuts & Bolts
Acquisitions, expansions & other business news
HighJump acquires Wesupply HighJump, a global provider of supply chain management solutions, announced that it has acquired Wesupply, a United Kingdom-based premier provider of supplier enablement and B2B integration solutions across multiple industries including retail, building, CPG, energy and manufacturing. With this acquisition, HighJump further expands its global footprint and extends its growing leadership position in the market for trading partner connectivity and omni-channel enablement. Wesupply’s comprehensive electronic trading platform increases HighJump TrueCommerce EDI Solutions’ global reach to over 10,000 trading partners and 130,000 trading connections. The acquisition of Wesupply empowers the growth initiative of HighJump TrueCommerce with the addition of a true multi-tenant SaaS solution that enables quick onboarding of new trading partners and rapid time-to-value for community members. The addition of Wesupply adds further to TrueCommerce’s significant scale in Europe and growing international presence. www.highjump.com
Columbus McKinnon completes acquisition of Magnetek Amherst, N.Y.-based Columbus McKinnon Corp., a material handling products manufacturer, has completed its acquisition of Menomonee Falls-based Magnetek Inc. Magnetek manufactures digital power and motion control solutions for material handling, elevator and mining applications. It is one of North America’s largest independent digital drives, radio controls, software and accessories suppliers for industrial cranes and hoists, and has counted Columbus McKinnon as a customer. The $188.9 million transaction, announced in July, is expected to provide enhanced technology, innovation, branding and expertise to Columbus McKinnon. The brand and operations will remain intact at Magnetek, and its president and chief executive officer, Peter McCormick, will continue to lead the subsidiary. The company has about 340 employees. While Columbus McKinnon, which has 2,735 employees at 17 global manufacturing facilities, does not yet have any firm hiring plans, it expects to add additional employees at Magnetek as it grows the business, said Gregory Rustowicz, chief financial officer and vice president of finance at Columbus. www.cmworks.com
1351 Nagel Blvd., Batavia, IL 60510 Ph: (630) 879-7008 | Fax: (630) 879-8068 www.summitmetalproducts.com
RAIN DECK • open area rack deck (B-Deck) • perforated for sprinkler drainage • installed on step ledges of rack beams • top of deck is flush with top of rack beam • smooth top surface protects products • products slide easily on and off • finishes available are painted or galvanized
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Nuts & Bolts
Hoist Liftruck Mfg., Inc. enters into agreement with Toyota Material Handling
Caterpillar slashes revenue forecast, may cut up to 10,000 jobs
Hoist Liftruck Mfg., Inc., a manufacturer of high-capacity material handling equipment, announced it has entered into an exclusive agreement with Toyota Material Handling U.S.A., Inc., (TMHU) to manufacture pneumatic tire forklifts under a private label agreement. Hoist Liftruck will manufacture to TMHU’s specifications pneumatic tire products ranging from 22,000# in capacity to 72,000# in capacity under a private label agreement with its first orders expected to be delivered later this year. “Toyota has consistently demonstrated the ability to produce results with the products it distributes and we feel our pneumatic tire trucks will be an excellent addition to their product line up,” said Stu Jacover, VP Strategy and Development of Hoist Liftruck. “We are excited to partner with TMHU on this project and we are confident this will be integral to our mutual growth.” “The high capacity forklift market is an important segment of the material handling industry in North America,” said TMHU President Jeff Rufener. “We are committed to our role as a full line supplier and we are proud to partner with Hoist to offer Toyota dealers and customers a broader selection of high capacity forklifts made in the U.S.” Hoist Liftruck, who recently announced their pending manufacturing expansion into 550,000 SF building in East Chicago, IN has experienced an influx of activity and business over the past few years thanks to strategic positioning in the marketplace, continuing growth of the economy and booming industries. www.hoistlift.com
Caterpillar Inc slashed its revenue forecast for 2015 by $1 billion and said it could cut up to 10,000 jobs through 2018, amid a downturn in the mining and energy industries. Shares of the world’s biggest construction and mining equipment maker, which has also been hit by a slowdown in industrial activity in China, fell as much as 8 percent to a fiveyear low of $64.65 on Thursday. The stock also pulled down shares of other industrial companies and knocked 31 points off the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Caterpillar said it expected revenue to fall for the third straight year in 2015, to $48 billion. Revenue is expected to fall a further 5 percent in 2016, the company said. Caterpillar said it would cut 4,000-5,000 jobs by the end of 2016, most of them in 2015. The company has already reduced its workforce by more than 31,000 since mid-2012. Caterpillar had 114,233 employees as of Dec. 31, according to Thomson Reuters data. The company expects to save up to $1.5 billion annually from the restructuring. It expects to incur about $2 billion in pretax costs. The restructuring could impact more than 20 plants around the world across its three large businesses - construction, resources, and energy and transportation, the company said. www.caterpillar.com
New Reel Rotator Avoid Strain on Arms And Back With Interthor’s New Reel Rotator • For safety reasons gripping arms cannot open by mistake • Handles reels up to an impressive 50” diameter • Available in fork over and straddle design • Manual and electric rotation • 1,100 lbs capacity
Tel. (888) 345 1270 Email: email@example.com www.interthor.com 22 www.MHWmag.com halfpage_Material_Handling_Wholesaler_reels_2.indd 1 November 2015
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The Howard Bernstein Material Handling Industrial Distribution Scholarship
recruit SMART... save MONEY... save TIME By joining other industry leaders you benefit by: • Reaching thousands of trained students committed to material handling and industrial distribution, attracting leading companies offering these opportunities • Directly recruiting among hundreds pre-qualified universities
Meet the winner, Daniel Anderson! Meet Howard Bernstein Scholarship winner, Daniel Anderson one of the students to receive the Howard Bernstein Material Handling Industrial Distribution Scholarship award this year. He is currently a senior at Oklahoma State University in Tulsa, OK where he is majoring in Industrial Engineering and Management. He recently toured TVH headquarters in Olathe, Kansas and met with TVH officials.
• Joining a LINKEDIN group of industrial distribution students and faculty • Making your company known among the leaders in your industry
“It’s important that we support those students who are interested in Left to right: Pat McLaughlin – President, pursuing a career in Els Thermote – CEO, Daniel Anderson, the material handling Dirk von Holt – VP Sales & Marketing industry,” said Pat McLaughlin, President, TVH. “It was a pleasure to meet Daniel, show him around our facility and to talk with him about our industry.”
All this can help you: • Lower your recruiting time and costs • Tailor your recruitment message to a pre-qualified audience • Leapfrog your competition and attract the best Remember: • You establish year-round relations with schools of your choice • 100% of your contribution goes to a scholarship and the funds pay all administration cost
TVH is a proud sponsor of The Howard Bernstein Material Handling Industrial Distribution Scholarship. This scholarship was established in 2012 with the goal of attracting talented students to the material handling industry. Each year, this scholarship is awarded to students committed to studying the material handling, industrial distribution, engineering, logistics and supply chain curriculum.
“We hired a graduate each year and our investment has paid dividends.” Duncan Murphy, President, Riekes Equipment Company, Omaha, Nebraska
All scholarships identify the sponsors as benefactors and do not name Howard Bernstein.
Yes, I wish to be an investor in our industry’s future! Name: ________________________________________ Title: _____________________________ Company ___________________________ Address: ______________________________________________________________________________ State: ___________ Zip: ________ Phone:______________________________ Fax: ________________________________Email: _____________________________________
Sole award Elite $5,000 and above
Shared awards Gold $2,500-4,999
Shared awards Silver $1,500-2,499
Shared awards Bronze $500-1,499
Shared awards Other $ __________
MHEFI is a non-profit IRC501(C) (3) charitable organization in partnership with MHEDA and MHI. This program is managed by MHEFI. For additional information contact Donna Varner at 704.714.8731.
Please fill out form above and mail to: Material Handling Education Foundation, Inc. (MHEFI) Attn: Donna Varner | 8720 Red Oak Blvd., STE 201 | Charlotte, NC 28217-3992
Nuts & Bolts
JCB to cut 400 jobs due to global market slump JCB says it is to cut 400 jobs over the coming weeks after a “dramatic” slow down in world markets. The Staffordshire-based construction firm said the equipment market in Brazil, Russia, China and India was down 43% on the same period in 2014. Staff across the UK could be affected and union consultation has begun, chief executive Graeme Macdonald said. He said there was a “perfect storm” across worldwide markets which were either down or slowing. “In the first six months of the year, the market in Russia has dropped by 70%, Brazil by 36% and China by 47%,” the firm said. “Parts of Europe are also struggling, with France down by 26%. Even the strong growth in the UK and North America has softened due to a fall in market confidence over the summer...” Mr Macdonald said the business, which currently employs about 6,500 UK staff, has had to make some “difficult but necessary” decisions. JCB currently has eight factories in Staffordshire, one in Derbyshire and two in Wrexham. Gordon Richardson, of the GMB union, said: “These staff job losses are the first ripple from the downturn in world markets, including China, impacting on the UK economy. “This huge wave of uncertainty is likely to lead to further job losses in the sectors that trade with the rest of the world. “GMB will do everything we can to avoid compulsory redundancies and to mitigate the impact on the workforce.” www.jcbna.com
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Melmor Associates, Inc. 840 Ann Avenue - PO Box 511 - Niles, OH 44446 Melmor Associates, Inc. 330-652-1784 phone - 330-652-1667 fax 840 Ann Avenue - PO Box 511 - Niles, OH 44446 www.melmor.com
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840 Ann Avenue - PO Box 511 - Niles, OH 44446 www.melmor.com 330-652-1784 phone — 330-652-1667 fax www.melmor.com
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Human Element Caliper Corp.
Stabilize your employee investment through good leadership communication Whether you’re an active investor who craves the thrill of the open market or someone who is simply dutiful in contributing toward your 401K every two weeks, a global stock plunge can inspire feelings of helplessness and anxiety. After 2009, if a global stock plunge does not cause you to feel helpless and anxious, you may be a candidate to take up base jumping or crocodile wrestling. There are frequent openings I hear. But assuming imminent disaster is not your idea of fun, last week’s tumble in China probably had you looking over your shoulder. You try to do the right things and make sound business decisions, but forces beyond any one person’s control can still have a detrimental effect on your financial outcomes. It’s that way not just with investing but also the world of work in general. The good news is we have more power to mitigate uncertainly in our offices than we do on the trading floor, and leadership communication is the key. When employees are left to guess about the health of their company or the security of their jobs, work quality often suffers. Many workers view silence from management as a sign of dissatisfaction from management. Why try so hard if it doesn’t matter? Product and process changes that appear without warning can also lead to questions about a company’s goals, plans and direction and how the employee fits into that scheme. Frightening team members into working harder seldom leads to increased productivity and reduced turnover.
Some executives try to do the right thing by holding periodic status updates with staff members, but this approach can still convey a message of Them (management) versus Us (employees). Standing at the end of a boardroom table and informing employees about decisions that were already made on their behalf is preferable to a silo of silence, but it’s still not the two-way communication that alleviates uncertainty. Good leadership communication involves gathering feedback from team members on an ongoing basis, seeking feedback throughout all levels of the organization (you never know who is going to come up with a game-changing idea), and helping people to know that their contributions matter. You may even consider establishing a rotating employee representative to participate in business planning and strategy sessions. There are plenty of other ways to enhance employee engagement and reduce anxiety through good leadership communication. Be creative! Better yet, ask your employees for ideas. About Caliper - For nearly half a century, Caliper has been helping companies achieve peak performance by advising them on hiring the right people, managing individuals most effectively and developing productive teams. The accuracy, objectivity and depth of our consulting approach enable us to provide solutions that work for over 25,000 companies. To find out more about how Caliper can help you identify and develop people who can lead your organization to peak performance, please visit us at www.calipercorp.com or call us at 609-524-1200. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to contact Caliper.
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Industry Insight Data provided by EDA, a product of Randall-Reilly BY RANDALL-REILLY
Lift Truck Market Trends ach month EDA, a product of Randall-Reilly, provides a snapshot of industry data that’ll let you see E where buying activity has been, and forecast where it might be heading so that you can proactively stay in touch with the needs and habits of your market. Understanding how and where buyers have been spending their money can help determine the scope of consumer spending, project growth for a certain product line, or identify the signs of a future downturn.
Top 5 Equipment Buyers
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isplays the top five buyers nationwide for each of D EDA’s eleven industries, based on financing activity results added by EDA last month. The results are based on distinct serial numbers of sale and lease transactions for new equipment only. Olam West Coast Inc. Class 4 Class 5 Class 1
Fresno, CA Nissan Nissan Nissan
49 25 23 1
Alcoa World Alumina LLC Class 5 Linde 6 Class 4 Taylor 5 Class 5 Taylor 3 Class 2 Raymond 2 Class 3 Hyster 2 Class 5 Hyster 2 Class 3 Doosan 1
Pittsburgh, PA Class 3 Raymond Class 3 Toyota Class 4 Mitsubishi Class 4 Toyota Class 5 Mitsubishi Class 5 Toyota Class 5 Yale
28 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Toyota Motor Mfg. IN Inc. Class 1
Princeton, IN Toyota
CHG Meridian Usa Corp. Class 2
Woodland Hills, CA 24 Crown 24
Sapa Extrusions Inc. Class 5 Class 4 Class 5 Class 5
Coraopolis, PA Combilift Nissan Linde Taylor
19 11 4 2 2
isplays the top 20 lenders nationwide for each of D EDA’s eleven industries, based on financing activity results added by EDA last month. The results are based on all financing statements of sale and lease transactions for new equipment only. Toyota Motor Credit Corp...... 295 M B Fin Bank........................... 11 Wells Fargo Bank..................... 124 US Bank Eqt Fin....................... 10 JM Eqt Co................................. 49 Farm Credit Lsg Svc Corp........... 9 Connell Eqt Lsg Co................... 47 Amer Bank.................................. 9 Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken.. 24 Bank of The West......................... 9 Corp Svc Co............................. 19 Bank of Amer.............................. 8 Nissan Motor Accept Corp........ 18 Wells Fargo Eqt Fin..................... 7 GE Credit Corp........................ 17 Citizens Asset Fin Inc................... 6 Banc of Amer Lsg & Capital...... 13 G E Capital Commercial Inc....... 6 PNC Eqt Fin............................. 11 De Lage Landen Fin Svc............ 11
Data provided by EDA, a product of Randall-Reilly. For more detailed information visit www.edadata.com/resources/industryinsight/lift-trucks.aspx
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Industry personnel and organization news
Crown Equipment discusses alternative energy at The Battery Show
Raymond Handling Concepts expands Breast Cancer Charity fundraiser
Crown Equipment Corporation announced Ernst Baumgartner, project manager, participated as a panelist at The Battery Show 2015 in Novi, Michigan. The panel session, “Optimizing Hybrid-Electric Vehicle Technology for OffRoad Vehicles” is part of the show’s Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo. Its focus was on the aspects of electrification technologies that are most important for off-road vehicle engineers to consider. Dave Lamb, global applications engineering manager for Sevcon, and Steve Huard, Ph.D., staff engineer and engineering fellow at Parker Hannifin Corp., joined Baumgartner on the panel. “With fuel cell and lithium-ion technology, and advances in the management of lead-acid batteries, fleet managers today have more viable power source options for their industrial vehicles,” said Baumgartner. “Customers are looking for suppliers who will help them understand their energy options and the trade-offs that exist between different solutions so they can, ultimately, choose the option that is the best fit for their forklift fleet, facility and application.” During the session, Baumgartner discussed why fuel cells and lithium-ion batteries are gaining attention as alternative energy solutions for powering forklifts and highlighted some important considerations for those looking to pilot these alternative energy solutions. www.crown.com
Raymond Handling Concepts Corporation (RHCC), a materials handling equipment supplier in Northern California and the Northwest, will be holding its second annual Pink Pallet Jack Project online auction to raise money for two breast cancer charities from Oct. 8-14 on eBay. The charities benefitting from the auction are the Tina Turner Memorial Foundation, in the city of the Raymond Corporation’s origin Greene, NY, and Northwest Hope and Healing in the Greater Seattle area. In addition to this auction, the Raymond dealer network spanning the United States is getting involved in programs to raise breast cancer awareness and funding. During the seven-day auction on eBay, participants bid on Raymond’s pink 8210 AC walkie pallet jack. The 8210 Raymond AC walkie pallet truck was released by the Raymond Corporation in 2015 and is the perfect lift truck when you need to navigate tight spaces. J&K Trucking out of California bid on and won RHCC’s first pink pallet jack for $4,150 and donated an additional $350 so RHCC was able to donate $4,500 to the two breast cancer charities. The power of the Raymond dealer network really amplifies the scope of the fundraiser with dealers activating their own programs. Last year, Heubel, the Raymond dealer in the Midwest, raised more than $27,000, and they have plans to put on another pink pallet jack auction this year. Malin is also getting involved by painting an 8210 pallet jack pink and donating it to the National Breast Cancer foundation in Dallas, Texas.
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UniCarriers Americas announces Canadian National Sales Manager UniCarriers Americas (UCA) hired Alan Kunce as its new national sales manager as part of the company’s expansion in Canada. In this role, Kunce is responsible for national accounts and dealer development across Canada. Prior to joining UniCarriers, Kunce acquired more than a decade of experience in the material Alan Kunce handling industry. Kunce originally worked for Hewitt Material Handling as a product support representative, branch service supervisor and eventually a major account representative. While at Hewitt Material Handling, Kunce was the top sales representative for seven consecutive years. “We are very excited to utilize Alan’s proven sales experience and methods to help grow our Canadian dealer network,” said Brian Markison, director, North American Sales. “His skills will help strengthen dealers and allow them to grow and support the UniCarriers brand in Canada.” Earlier this year, UCA expanded its dealer network in Canada to nine authorized dealerships with the addition of All-Lift Ltd., A.M.B. Lift Inc., EMU and Deval, covering specific regions throughout the country. www.unicarriersamericas.com
Stellana US Inc. announces new North American sales manager-aftermarket Stellana US Inc., a global manufacturer of molded polyurethane and rubber wheels and tires, welcomes Dave Brocklehurst as North American Sales Manager-Aftermarket. With over 10 years of business development experience within the material handling industry, Dave will be a strong addition to Dave Brocklehurst the Stellana sales team. “Dave has a unique skill set that aligns very well with our long term sales strategy”, said Michael Scoon, Director Global Sales and Marketing. “His understanding of market requirements and his experience driving sales development will be a valuable asset to our existing and new customers.” Dave Brocklehurst joined Stellana US on September 15th, 2015, and will be responsible for developing sales in the material handling dealer aftermarket and OEM aftermarket sales channels for North America. Previously, he worked over ten years for Superior Tire and Rubber in sales management.
Thanks to our valued customers and suppliers. We’re celebrating 50 years in business!
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In Memorial of Gary K. Selman On Sept 13th, at approx. 9pm, Gary Selman passed away with his family & children by his side. Only days after celebrating 75 years on this earth, Gary has gone to be with his Lord and savior Yeshua/Jesus. For those that knew him (or heard of him,) the variations could have been one of the many different versions of Gary Selman. No matter the version or time period you knew of him, his everlasting impact will be in our hearts for an even longer time than 75 years. In our material handling industry, his tenure of almost 50 years, the variation could have been the newbie salesman at Vogels in Brooklyn, NY in the 60’s, or as the World’s Smallest Wholesaler during his Gary K Selman Enterprises decades of the 70-80’s. Or it could have been during his renaissance of Genesis Lift in NJ, which also happens to be my entry to this beloved (and sometimes beleaguered) industry. Regardless of the company(s) he founded, or corporation he worked for, the daily lessons he taught to me and others in this industry will be forever remembered with tremendous fondness. He always sold very well, but it didn’t matter to him. It wasn’t the selling he was concerned with. I can remember lesson after lesson he would tell me. “Buy right, it won’t matter what happens next, as the right sale will come when you need it to.” If you did happen to buy or sell to Gary over the last 20 years, he would always have a plethora of forklift toys. It was his thing to give them away, and it has somewhat rubbed off on me amassing a huge collection of toys. I view them as a historical lesson, and a fascinating history too. But his reach was far beyond what this industry had to offer. Did you know he was an Elvis fanatic? Some of you do, and some might even recall his abilities to even impersonate Elvis. I remember as a kid at home, Dad would have similar outfits to the flashy Elvis of the 70’s and perform local, live concerts at our dining room area, singing the best of Elvis. The neighbors were invited! I might be biased here, but from what I remember and what I’ve heard...he was good. The scarves, belts, and the TCB (taking care of business) necklace all were present. Lest I forget about the “Elvis Car” that he purchased from Lowel Hayes in 1978. Lowel happened to be Elvis personal jeweler in Memphis and was gifted this 1977 Lincoln Mark V Bill Blass edition in April of 1977 only months before Elvis’ death. Speaking of musical talents, Gary was an accomplished guitar player and piano player – always wowing our guests during parties or family get togethers. He could always get people swaying, singing, and smiling when he started playing the piano.
Late in the 70’s, he was born-again and saved in Yeshua/Jesus. Finding the Lord for him was an earth shattering event and forever changed what he would do for himself, family, and for thousands (if not millions) of people around the globe. In what has become a large ministry – Hope of the World Ministries, and Beth Israel congregation in NJ, it all started in the den of our home in NJ. A couple of chairs, a couch, some prayer & bible verses spoken and interpreted, Gary founded what has become a world outreach ministry spreading the gospel regardless of your background in religion, with Beth Israel. The humble beginnings have been replaced with a larger proper facility (the 3rd such move since its founding,) with thousands of people coming for services throughout the week. Gary would regularly minster to anyone within earshot and interest, consistently asked people where they were from to learn about culture & religion, and spread the word of hope through believing. The joy, counseling, and mentorship he gave to many can never be replaced, and I know that the congregation will be missing my father greatly, as we all will. But wait! There’s more. He was an accomplished Radio talk show host for three decades, also spreading the gospel. Once a week, he and his pastor at the time would perform for 2 hours each week on 970AM, later being broadcast online as well. Two Nice Jewish Boys was the name of the radio broadcast, and was always interesting to listen to. Born Again Jewish & Christians talking about the bible, Jesus, and overall religion on an open forum. He even let me open the show when I was just a kid, sit on his lap and talk into a huge microphone to announce my dad’s name. There are so many more other facets to this great man (devoted husband, little league coach, provider and father of 4 kids, community church leader, etc.,) but for me, he was Dad. Growing up in those first 17-18 years, the chance of getting away from the parents, being free on your own, was the #1 goal. Yet, here, I find myself trying out some part-time jobs from when I was 15, to eventually working with my Dad in some crazy wholesale forklift business. He came down the hall of our house, gave me a hand written list (no computers, no smartphones, etc.) and said, “start making some calls to these people. I haven’t heard from or spoken to them in a long while.” I had no idea what to do, how to say it, what to say, etc. I had a small list of forklifts he
had in stock (some with prices, some without,) and I was just plain nervous. My first call was to Buck Caldwell. I can still remember how bad I was. But I went through the list, gave Dad my notes (to which he gave me an entire history of right and wrong,) and that is what started me (and apparently now stuck with,) in this crazy, roller coaster industry that we call Materials Handling Equipment. At my age currently, and my introduction to this business in 1994, I shouldn’t know what a Waukesha engine is, a Pettibone Mercury is, or why CLARK made a C20P in the 60’s. But I do, and the reason I do is because of my Dad. He taught me not only the various in-and-outs of a sales process, but the actual guts of the industry as well. The history, the specs, the why, etc. ,came from him. It has been polished over time throughout my career with other accomplished managers and owners I worked with, but it was my Dad that gave me the joy and happiness in this business. It was the war-stories of deals, or arguing which is worse (2 stage mast, 4,000lbs. capacity, 4wheel electric, OR, well...nothing else is really worse than that in wholesale...) or just reviewing what’s going on in our industry. He always remained in wholesale, while I transcended into retail and operations. It allowed for many great conversations about the struggles between rental/sales dept. and service. Should you have family in this business, or be in business together, cherish it. He wanted me to take his company over and build it, but I didn’t have the wherewithal that he did. Only Gary Selman could be a wholesaler in my family, and he was amazing. Why you ask? Because almost every month over the last 4-5 years, he would call me ⅔ into the month and tell me he’s having the worst month ever, not sure if he can continue, etc. Most of the time, he called back sometime weeks later and would tell me he had the best month ever. He always turned it around, figured it out, and made it happen. Regardless of the business you are in, it’s an amazing accomplishment to take something from nothing, and have fun doing it. Love you, Dad. We will ALL miss you, but continue to celebrate you! Baron If there is a story you would like to share with his family, we have setup a special email address at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Should you not want to email them, I have continued to keep his phone – so please call and I will look forward to hearing from you. As Gary would say, God Bless.
Always in our hearts
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Sales lessons from a Billy Joel and Elton John concert I had the opportunity to see the Rolling Stones kick off their US tour in San Diego a few months ago. What was most mindblowing was how Mick Jagger at 87 – or whatever he is now – bounced around stage like he did when he was 30. Great concert overall. But one of the best ones I’ve seen was in 2009. Billy Joel and Elton John played together and I saw them when I still lived full time in Omaha. The music was what one would expect from these two legends. And I loved it for another reason. I learned and reinforced some sales lessons. I wrote about it then, and I’m reprinting it for you today. Billy Joel and Elton John are two of the most popular, talented pianists/performers/entertainers of our time. I had the opportunity to see them perform recently in Omaha. Amazing. They both sang together to begin the show, then each performed separately. Then they finished together again with their biggest hits. The place was electric. However, in my opinion, one of them clearly connected with the audience better, and received a warmer response. He expertly did things that we also do – or should do – as salespeople and communicators. That person was Billy Joel. Don’t get me wrong, Elton John was fabulous, and I would pay to see him alone. In fact, I prefer his music. It’s just that Billy Joel was masterful in his handling of the crowd.
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Let’s look at how. Elton played his set first. He mentioned the obligatory, “It’s great to be in Omaha,” which drew a big cheer. That was about it regarding his rapport with the crowd. He could have been playing in his living room by himself. The music was great, he just wasn’t present. Then Billy Joel sang his first song. After it, he stopped, looked at the audience, burst into a big smile, and brief conversations with several sections of the arena as if he shooting the bull at the bar with some buddies. He then turned and joked with the section behind the stage, saying, “I bet you thought those were going to be bad seats,” which they weren’t, since the stage was backless. That drew hoots and laughs. He used some local humor, next pointing to the far upper end of the arena, “And you people way up there, sitting over in Council Bluffs, thanks for coming.” Council Bluffs is across the river from the arena, in Iowa. That comment brought the house down. I’m sure it wasn’t tough to incorporate that local comment, but it had a huge impact. Just like some of the research we do to learn about our prospects and customers. Further addressing the people in the nosebleed seats he said, “If you can’t see me, I’m the guy who’s six-foot four, a cross between Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise...with flowing blond locks.” Of course he’s pretty much the opposite of all of that. And the crowd roared again. Self-deprecating humor helps us connect with others, as opposed to trying to be aloof, or a know-it-all in the sales process. Elton John did not acknowledge the other members of his band. After each song, Billy Joel introduced one of his many band members by name, and where they were from. It was not all about him. Just as in sales, it should never be about us. Further, he again added some local flavor by making a point to emphasize that one of his guitarists was from LINCOLN, NEBRASKA. That of course went over well. The more you can relate to what is going on in your listener’s local, physical world, the better the connection. Elton John’s piano was stationary on the stage. His back was to my section on the side of the stage the entire time. Billy Joel’s piano spun around, so that he was facing all parts of the crowd equally. Again, small point about making it about the audience, and connecting, contributing to the total impact. I am always amazed by people who do things that I have zero talent or aptitude for, and musicians certainly fall into that category. My musical experience consists of being a disc jockey for weddings during college (I did over 400 receptions in four years!). As a result, I still know a lot of songs from that era. And when I go to a concert, like many people, I prefer to hear the songs I know. For the most part, these guys excelled in this area, since they have about a gazillion hits between them. However, Elton John played one, maybe two new songs – one excruciatingly long – while most of the crowd politely sat. He looked like HE was enjoying himself. (Compare that to the salesperson who talks about what HE wants to talk about.)
Sales Trends Of course, being a sales geek, I found a way to turn a concert into a sales lesson. Billy Joel helped the crowd buy him by making it about us, personalizing and customizing his comments, and overall projecting a warm vibe that made him likable because he genuinely cared about his audience. Sounds like a good model, doesn’t it?
Billy Joel, however, played only the well-known hits, delighting the crowd, singing along to every song. Again, it was about the audience. It reminded me of what Kix Brooks, of the famous country duo Brooks & Dunn told me. (I know, huge celebrity namedrop here.) I played golf with him about a year and a half ago the day of their concert in Phoenix (a good friend of mine is a good friend of his). He’s a down-to-earth, regular guy, and a pretty good golfer (we tied with 82’s). I asked him if he was going to play lots of songs from their new album. He looked at me, smiled and winked, and with his slight Southern drawl said, “Art, when you got 16 Number Ones in the rack, people get pissed if you don’t play ‘em.” So true.
Art Sobczak helps sales pros prospect, sell and service accounts more effectively by using conversationally, non-sales messaging, and without “rejection.” Get a free ebook of 501 telephone sales tips at businessbyphone.com/501-tips-ebook. Email editorial @mhwmag.com to contact Art.
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Towlift celebrates 50 years When the employees and families of Towlift Inc. gathered at Ohio amusement park Cedar Point this summer, bystanders likely wouldn’t have guessed that the hundreds of yellow shirts the group donned for the event were connected to a company that had started half a century early with just a handful of people. But the material handling business, which started as a Towmotor dealership in 1965, now boasts over 300 employees and eight physical locations. And although Towlift has expanded and diversified over its five decades, the business continues to operate under family leadership and remains tightly connected to its Ohio roots. Towlift President, David Cannon, went through the history at their 50th anniversary party. Matt Adams, General Manager and third generation of the family leadership, finished with some inspiring words for the future. “We’ve come such a long way since the beginning and all because of the wonderful people that work here” said Cannon. Towlift has four locations under the original company name. Headquartered in Cleveland, the business has full service operations in Columbus and Toledo, along with a parts and service operation in Mentor, Ohio. Affiliate companies include: Forklifts of Toledo, B&B Forklift, Wilson Barrett Battery Power Systems and Ohio Warehouse.
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All of the Towlift locations carry Cat Lift Trucks, Kalmar, Hoist and the Trackmobile rail car mover lines. Racking and warehouse supplies and equipment are also offered, and some of the company locations carry the Linde, Jungheinrich® and Mitsubishi Forklift lines. “It goes beyond just selling the equipment,” explains Cannon. “Our emphasis is customer care...providing customers with the right product and the right after-market support.” This support required a large investment into parts inventory, over the road service vans, a large fleet of rental equipment, customer service staff and a highly skilled team of service technicians. As the business has grown, its lines have expanded, and the equipment has become more sophisticated, making it imperative that Towlift technicians stay abreast of developments and learn the different product lines through annual training. “Our technicians are one of our greatest assets”, emphasizes Cannon, and so Towlift has a dedicated training staff and is a factory authorized regional training center for technical training. Now in its third generation of family leadership, there is a sense of pride throughout the staff over being continually owned and operated by the same family. “It’s personal. Employees know we have a stake in (the business) and we care about it,” says Cannon. A lot of other dealerships have been bought out by factories in the material handling business, but to Cannon, the family leadership of Towlift indicates the company is solidly rooted. “To me it says, ‘we’re here for the long haul” he said. “All our investments are made for the long term best interests of our customers, our associates, our suppliers and our shareholders.” The family leadership translates to a commitment to the community as well – Towlift continues to look for ways to be involved in the Ohio communities and southern Michigan counties where it operates. The business has worked continually with local charities and offers forklift operator training courses to unemployed veterans. In recent years, Towlift made equipment donations to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, Mid-Ohio, Lorain and Cleveland Food banks, and Cherry Street Mission in Toledo. Asked whether the next fifty years will bring additional expansion and efforts to diversify, Cannon was confident. Absolutely,” he said. “There has been so much change and consolidation; I don’t think we’re ever done with change.” Eileen Schmidt is a freelance writer and journalist based in the Greater Milwaukee area. She has written for print and online publications for the past 12 years. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit eileenmozinskischmidt.wordpress.com to contact Eileen.
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Verti-Lift manual turntables ideal for pallet loading or unloading
Buckhorn® launches new 62” x 48” extended length bulk boxes
Verti-Lift manufactures an array of manual turntables which enhance ergonomics and productivity by eliminating the need to walk around or reach across loads. Ideal for loads which require pallet loading or unloading, these low profile turntables feature heavy duty construction, and a 4,000# capacity. The standard turntable top is ½" thick steel, with optional conveyor top available. Seven platform sizes, both square or round, from 24" x 24" to 60" x 60" suit most applications. Custom shapes and sizes are available. Detents can be added at 90-degrees and 180-degrees to further enhance operator efficiency. Lifetime lubricated kingpin bearings ensure a long service life with no maintenance. Verti-Lift manual turntables can floor mounted, stand-mounted or on Verti-Lift hydraulic or pneumatic scissor lifts, making them ideal for palletizing, de-palletizing, work station assembly and manufacturing of all kinds and in all industries. www.verti-lift.com
Buckhorn Inc., provider of reusable plastic packaging solutions, announces a new 62" x 48" extended length bulk box. The new 62" x 48" footprint offers maximum trailer cube utilization allowing more containers to fit in a 53' trailer. The extended length boxes have a 2,000-lb. capacity and also inter-stack with Buckhorn’s existing 64" x 48" product offering. The containers are available in 34", 44" and 50" heights. “The 44" height is a completely unique offering,” said Joe Borer, Market Manager. “Both the 44" and 50" heights feature a tall, one-piece base with 10" of storage for dunnage allowing the panels to be collapsed for return shipment.” Buckhorn’s extended length bulk boxes are ideal for products such as automotive trim parts, hoses, pipes, harnesses and other long, awkwardly shaped items. They collapse flat in seconds and stack for storage and return shipment – optimizing space usage and saving money on return freight. Hand-hold areas on the panels provide a comfortable grip for assembling and collapsing the containers. www.buckhorninc.com
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New Sovella packing stations Introducing a new highquality, ergonomic and economical packing station for efficient packing from Sovella. Each packing station includes the frame, top, uprights, top shelf with dividers, two roller holders (one above and one below the work surface), and a horizontal rail with paper/tape dispenser. A large range of additional accessories are available. Two new carton trolleys have also been introduced with this line of products. All steel parts are epoxy powder coated in grey. Work surface is made of 1” laminate with plastic edges. Frame size is 36” x 72” and is height adjustable from 25.59” to 35.43”. Max load capacity of the packing station is 660 lbs. www.sovella.com
Toyota launches three new products Toyota Industrial Equipment introduced several new products to its customers and dealers this month including a new Reach Truck, a new 80-Volt Electric and a High-Capacity IC forklift. The latest product launch culminates months of product development, with eight new Toyota models and services introduced in the last two years. Toyota’s new Reach Truck, available in 2,500 -4,500 lb. capacities, features more than 500 engineering changes to increase quality, reliability and durability. The new forklift includes extended service intervals and an increased powertrain warranty of 3 years / 6,000 hours. New 80-Volt Electric Toyota’s new
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Akro-Mils, a North American leader in storage, organization and transport products, announces the expansion of its industry-leading line of Akro-Grid dividable grid containers with the addition of four new sizes. New Akro-Grid models include 33103 (10 ⅞" L x 8 ¼" W x 3 ½" H), 33162 (16 ½" L x 10 ⅞" W x 2 ½" H), 33165 (16 ½" L x 10 ⅞" W x 5" H), and 33222 (22 ½" L x 17 ½" W x 12" H). Versatile work-in-process containers, Akro-Mils’ Akro-Grids feature a molded-in grid system with divider slots that allows the creation of hundreds of compartment sizes down to 1 ⅛" square. Injected-molded from industrial strength polymers, AkroGrids resist most solvents and chemicals. Strong stacking rims and external ribbing provide added strength. Akro-Grids are compatible with most racks, shelving and automated material handling equipment. Akro-Grids are now available in 13 sizes and four colors — red, blue, gray and clear. Accessories (sold separately) include long dividers, short dividers, clear snap-on lids, adhesive labels and label holders. www.akro-mils.com
Interthor’s Reel Rotator lifts and rotates reels up to 1,100 lbs
Akro-Mils announces four new sizes of Akro-Grids
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80-Volt Electric forklift is available in 4,000 – 7,000 lb. capacities. Designed to work outdoors, 80-Volt forklifts offer reduced maintenance, improved ergonomics and increased productivity, and are proven to have twice the run time as 36- and 48-volt models. New High-Capacity IC Forklift Toyota’s new HighCapacity IC forklift, available in 22,000 – 72,000 lb. capacities, is made for ports, lumber, oil and gas, and any other industries where high-capacity forklifts are used. www.toyotaforklift.com
The Danish manufacturer of material handling equipment, Logitrans A/S (parent company of Interthor Inc.), now introduces a Reel Rotator. The perfect choice when transporting, lifting and rotating heavy reels with a large diameter. “It is hard, uncomfortable and often impossible to lift and rotate reels without help – and many enquiries have now led us to develop the Reel Rotator. The Reel Rotator makes it possible to solve every imaginable reel handling situation”, says Gitte Kirkegaard Berg, CEO at Logitrans A/S. The new Reel Rotator from Interthor Inc. is compact, very maneuverable and ensures the user ergonomically correct working conditions. The gripping arms have rubber-covered gripping pads to achieve the largest friction and to ensure a gentle grip. The Reel Rotator can handle soft as well as hard reels up to an impressive 50" in diameter. www.interthor.com
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www.grindstaffengines.com Advertiser’s Index ADVANCE METALWORKING COMPANY, INC.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . INSERT
FLIGHT SYSTEMS INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS (FSIP).33
PRESTO LIFTS, INC.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . INSERT
FLOW-RITE CONTROLS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
PRODUCTS FOR INDUSTRY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
ADVANTAGE MATERIAL HANDLING, INC.. . . . . . . 9
GATEWAY RACK CORP.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
REUSA-WRAPS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . INSERT
AFTERMARKET SERVICES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
GENESIS LIFT, INC.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34, 35
RHINO RUBBER, LLC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . INSERT
AIGNER LABEL HOLDING CORP.. . . . . . . . . INSERT
GRINDSTAFF ENGINES, INC.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
SAFETY SYSTEMS & CONTROLS INC.. . . . . . . . . . 35
ALL BRAND FORKLIFT PARTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
H&K EQUIPMENT COMPANY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
SHOPPA’S MATERIAL HANDLING. . . . . . . . . . . . 27
ALLTECH ELECTRONICS, INC.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
HADER INDUSTRIES INC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
SOUTHWORTH PRODUCTS CORP . . . . . . . . INSERT
AMERICAN INDUSTRIAL TRANSMISSION INC. . . 44
HAMILTON CASTER AND MFG.. . . . . . . . . . INSERT
STELLANA U.S.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
AMERICAN VULKO-TREAD CORP.. . . . . . . . . . . . 51
HANNIBAL INDUSTRIES, INC. . . . . . . . . . . . INSERT
SUMMIT METAL PRODUCTS, INC.. . . . . . . . . . . . 20
ARCON EQUIPMENT, INC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
HOWARD BERNSTEIN SCHOLARSHIP. . . . . . . . . 23
SUPERIOR ENGINEERING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
BAY EQUIPMENT CO.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
INDUSTRIAL POWER PRODUCTS, INC. . . . . INSERT
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CASCADE CORPORATION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . INSERT
INTERTHOR, INC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
SUPERLIFT MATERIAL HANDLING INC. . . . . INSERT
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JOSEPH INDUSTRIES, INC.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
THE FORKLIFT PRO. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
CHARNOR INC.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
KEYTROLLER, LLC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . INSERT
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CLARK MATERIAL HANDLING CO. . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
MAC RAK INC.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
TOWLIFT, INC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
CONNELL FINANCE CO. INC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
MELMOR ASSOCIATES, INC.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
TRI-BORO STORAGE PRODUCTS. . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
DACS, INC.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
MHCONX.COM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16, INSERT
TVH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13, 52
DYNA RACK. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
MHEDA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
UNIRAK STORAGE SYSTEMS. . . . . . . . . . . . INSERT
DYNAMIC MANUFACTURING CO.. . . . . . . . . . . . 36
MOR-VALUE PARTS COMPANY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
WEST POINT RACK, INC.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . INSERT
ECOTEC LTD. LLC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
MOTOR TECH, INC.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
WHOLESALE PALLET RACK PRODUCTS. . . . INSERT
ENGINE POWER SOURCE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
NUTTING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
WY’EAST PRODUCTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26, INSERT
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