by Andy Woodward
Current economic indicators in manufacturing are at the lowest levels for years, but why do Wenzel America sales continue to grow?
Is it products, market sectors served, our focus or our ‘family approach’ or might it be a combination of all of these factors?
The purchasing managers’ index sits at 50.1 in October – this is the lowest value since May of 2013. The only time it fell to below 50 (indicating a recessionary forecast) in the last 5 years was in November of 2012. So there’s not too much optimism about short-term future expenditure out there.
The USMTO reported the lowest quarterly orders for Q3 2015 since the recession of 2008/9 also and in some parts of the country the order acquisition is at historically low levels – the South-Central region (which includes Texas) has been hit particularly badly.
Both Gardner Business media and the USMTO are forecasting that machine tool sales will be down in the region of 16 or 17% in 2016 when compared to 2015.
So why is it that is these quite uncertain times that Wenzel America continues to thrive and grow? I believe it’s a combination of factors
I think we understand our products well and we understand in which sectors we sell well compared to our competitors. We sell REVO CMM’s and CORE-DS high speed, optical scanning systems to aero engine manufacturers, we sell solidly-built, mechanically accurate, granite CMM’s to job shops and we sell good value horizontal arm machines to sheet metal pressing companies and styling studios. We know where we can be successful and we stick to our job. Our target customer base is doing well which is good for us, but we target them for this reason too.
We know where our customers and potential customers are and we go and visit them to explain what we can offer them.
We have products that stand up well to the requirements of our target customers. We show them the pay back and most times they buy from us.
Perhaps customers trust a family-owned company to stick to the job when times get a little tougher. Maybe they understand that we are in it for the long haul and we won’t cut back or shy away from our responsibilities.
All of the above are contributing factors to our continued success, but I think most of all it reminds me of a mantra we used to use a while back in the Wenzel family – “Wenzel – big enough to support you, but small enough to care”.