Last year GROB Bluffton embarked on a series of significant marketing initiatives, the objective being, not just to enhance the GROB brand’s profile in the universal machine business, but also to open up new market segments. In 2013 GROB’s sales and marketing team had a presence at all the American trade fairs that mattered. And that meant attendance in Toronto, Alberta and Montreal in Canada. And also in California, Connecticut, North Carolina and at various in-house exhibitions organized by other businesses. Everywhere they went they did a great job demonstrating the benefits of the GROB universal machines and the merits of the new milling/turning technology. And this year GROB Bluffton will be pursuing a similar trade fair strategy, with special attention to the year’s top trade fair in September, the International Manufacturing Tool Show (IMTS) in Chicago.
Great interest from plant visits
But it was not just at trade fairs that GROB Bluffton sought close contact with its customers in the universal machine business. The G350 and G550 universal machines were showcased to a wide range of interested parties in GROB’s Bluffton plant, in the form of demonstrations on test parts. Visitors to the GROB plant in Bluffton were impressed by its cleanliness, the outstanding process flows, the friendly manner of the workforce, the professional work procedures in the construction of universal machines, but also particularly by the technical expertise. What also impressed the visitors was the precision and quality of the parts created by GROB universal machines and just how highly GROB values service and customer care, even after delivery of the machines.
GROB’s Technology and Application Center at the forefront
For all visitors, the new Technology and Application Center (TAZ) is, of course, an impressive and influential asset at the plant. It was only opened last year and is equipped with two universal machines – a G350 and a G550 – and with a pallet storage system. Here parts can be machined for aircraft construction and mold-making, as well as for suppliers requiring small and medium runs, and also for the medical technology industry. The Technical Application Center is also ideal for client events, organized by GROB partner companies, such as the software business, Open Mind. Last year this company invited several customers to Bluffton to show off its software on GROB machines. That’s a win-win for both parties, for GROB Bluffton and Open Mind.
Drawing in new target groups with an expanded sales and distribution network
But it is not just the salience of the GROB brand and customer activities that have seen further growth. The American distribution network for universal machines has acquired a new look over the last two years. New agents have been appointed in Michigan, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Pennsylvania. Since the middle of last year they have been ably supported by GROB’s sales director for universal machines, Bill Vejnovic. He can draw on many years of experience in the universal machine business and also on an excellent customer network.
We are very pleased to see the development of sales activities on the west coast. A G350 was supplied to Oregon and two G550s with pallet storage were sold in Seattle. Another region with good prospects for GROB is southern California, where many machine tool companies are now based. We have already convinced not just the aviation and aerospace technology, but also the American military of the merits of our ultra-precise 5-axis machines. Here is a market with plenty of potential for GROB’s universal machines.