NZ Manufacturer February 2012
I never dreamed about success. I worked for it. – Estee Lauder
Leaders drawn to ‘Innovation Conference’
ike a good Hollywood producer onto ‘a good thing’, Howick Engineering, a current prestigious ‘TIN 100’ company and winner of ATEED’s Auckland South export award, is to stage a follow-up ‘Steel Framing Innovation Conference’ -- Share, Innovate, Create and Grow. The event will take place in Auckland, 21-23 March, at the premises of RFS Steel Framing. Sir Kenneth Stevens will open the proceedings, highlighting how innovation in New Zealand is boosting productivity. The presentation on ‘fastener innovation’ and ‘correct fastener selection for application’ -- ‘not all fasteners are created equal’ -- is expected to create much interest and discussion. Richard Ogden MBE, chairman of Build Offsite UK, will share the experiences of building offsite – particularly in weather afflicted countries -- and how offsite manufacture has benefitted some of the large projects in Europe. He will outline the vast future potential of offsite construction, including schools, which, given NZ’s leaky schools’ scandal, should prove most interesting. He
is an internationally-recognised building expert across most areas of construction, with great experience in fast-food outlets, amongst others. Are you listening down in Christchurch? The occasion will culminate with the launch of Howick Engineering’s next generation machines, where according to CEO Wayne Rowe: “attendees will be shown the upgrades, as well as details of the latest control system advances”. Pardon the pun, but Howick Engineering is on a roll. It’s not Rowe’s or the company’s style to puff their abilities or their successes, so it takes a while to establish that their machines are now in 54 countries. And they are adding more distributors to grow the brand even further. A business manager for China is currently setting-up shop. A UK office, established by the next generation of Coubrays, Nick, now back in Auckland as business development manager, keeps an eye on matters there and in Europe. Distributors are hard at it in Malaysia; South Africa; India; Brazil: USA; Poland; Rumania; the Middle East; with two in Russia. The previous conference held
in 2010 served to confirm the company, established some 30 years ago by Alan and Bruce Coubray, to be a global leader both in the manufacture of machinery, fixed and mobile, to produce steel framing and allied products, and in bringing innovative products to market, like the Speedfloor, rollformed steel joist, developed by Graeme Stubbing – offering a steel / concrete composite flooring system – which is revolutionising the construction industry (including parking garages) in many overseas countries already. The breakthrough Howick Truss System for use as flooring joists and lintels will also be featured during the conference. Auckland University associate professor, Charles Clifton will look at how steel framed houses survived the Christchurch earthquakes and proved their suitability for modern homes in those conditions. Rowe says the growing contribution of software companies is highlighted by the inclusion of four global leaders, Steel Framing Systems; Tekla; JFBA - Truss D&E; and Finnish-based Vertex, with their Vertex Building Design, a comprehensive BIM solution for
General Manager Wayne Rowe
residential and light commercial steel framed houses. The Vertex solution can be easily connected to other information systems like ERP; can be customised to ‘work the way you build’; and a new solution implementation process. “Without the use of sophisticated computer software, it would be extremely difficult and time consuming to analyse a cold formed steel truss and wall system. The JFBA presentation will outline the fundamental design requirements for CFS trusses and walls; the engineer’s design responsibility; and will give some guidance in the selection of computer software to assist the engineer in the design process,” he says. Chris Kay, the driving force behind the growth of New Zealand Steel’s AXXIS product will also contribute his insights.
Smart marketing for manufacturers
s a sales and marketing consultant, I advise my clients to do things that differentiate their business in a positive way from all their competitors. And a simple way to do this is with the strategy of ‘added value’. Here are three examples of added value to get you thinking: 1. Warehouse reorganisation: In the book How Champions Sell by Michael Baber there is the case study of Steve who was an industrial sales representative and sold hardware, nuts and bolts to industrial accounts. Steve dealt mainly with buyers in purchasing departments. His products were considered a commodity and he was under constant price pressure. Now Steve was an engineer, and became interested in warehouse operations. During some extended sales calls, and during some of his weekends, he worked with the warehouse manager of one of his accounts. Together they upgraded the accounts warehouse management system. This saved the customer hundreds of thousands of dollars. His customer was very grateful and gave Steve all his hardware
business with little concern for price (as Steve was generally pricecompetitive). The owner of this company and the warehouse manager referred Steve to several other companies in the area. Steve helped install the costsaving warehouse system at some of these companies. He picked up their hardware business, again with little concern about pricing. Soon Steve was calling on the owners of companies (not buyers) all over his territory. He offered the added value service of improved warehouse operations. This was accompanied of course by the purchase of his hardware line. Steve became the most successful sales person in his company. SteveÕs added value service of helping his clients improve the efficiency of their warehouse operations is a perfect example of adding value to his customers.
How can you ‘add value’ to your customers?
2: The movie tickets with the new car: I brought a new car a few years ago. Three weeks after the purchase I received two free movie passes from the car dealer; along with a lovely note thanking me for my business. When I brought this car; I was regularly speaking to several hundred business people a month at live seminars. I told all these people about my delightful little added value bonus from this car firm. I also went back two years later and bought another car from the same firm. 3: The ‘flower man’ recruitment consultant: I met an interesting recruitment consultant in Australia a few years ago. He specialised in recruiting office staff for large companies. He made it a habit of regularly going into the offices of these companies and adding value by giving a lovely rose to all the staff who worked there. He told me he became known as ‘The Flower Man’ by his clients. He also told me it was a very simple way to differentiate himself from his competitors and he got a lot of repeat business by giving away
By Graham McGregor Graham McGregor is a marketing consultant and the creator of the 396 page ‘Unfair Business Advantage Report’. www. theunfairbusinessadvantage.com (This is free and has now been read by business owners from 11 countries.) You can email Graham on graham@ twomac.co.nz these free flowers. Action Step: How can you add value to your clients this week? “One right and honest definition of business is mutual helpfulness.” William Feather www.nzmanufacturer.co.nz
NZ Manufacturer February 2012