Old friends & new friends at AED
I’m glad to report a successful trip to the annual AED (Associated Equipment Distributors) Show and Conference. It’s always great to re-connect with some of the people who deliver and support our products in the field. Allow me to pass along a shout-out to our dealer and OE partners, who used some of their time at the show to share around our product literature – our “force multipliers” in the crowd! We also made friends with several new dealers who “get” what we are trying to do with quality products and quality support in aftermarket lubrication. We were surprised, and pleased, by the level of interest we attracted from the OE sector this year. We’ll have our work cut out to follow up and turn these opportunities into a growing presence in the US for BEKA and MATO products.
Here’s my take…
AED is always a rewarding experience for us, but I can’t help feeling that the show is missing out on some of its potential. From my vantage point, I see much of the event’s activity taking place away from the show floor, with some of the “majors” staging their own events in private suites. When these high-profile names aren’t participating on the exhibition floor, attendees are conflicted about where to spend their time. I believe that the overall show suffers. Many of the newest and freshest product and service ideas come from the smaller exhibitors, but they often get overlooked if the major players aren’t there to help draw traffic back to the floor. I hope the organizers can find a way to re-energize the exhibition as the primary focus for bringing innovations to the industry.
Rolling into 2016
Industry analysts are predicting renewed strength in the construction industry, which should be good news for equipment buyers and sellers. While 2015 finished with a down month, it was still the industry’s best year for housing starts since 2007. The chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, David Crowe, tells us that January forecasts are still “right in line” for continued growth. Dealers we talked to are still in a “wait & see” mode, but the promise of infrastructure spending gives us reason to be hopeful for good days ahead. We’ll all be glad to see the US election cycle completed, so we can put politics behind us and get back to business!