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Another look at the formal business review
Last month in this column, we discussed why it’s important to have a formal business review on a regular basis. This month, we’ll take a closer look at the specifics of how to get that done.  (more)
Do you “Network”?
For the past 20+ years, I’ve been fortunate to work for a company that believes good things happen when you put yourself in a position to network with industry peers. Attending various events every year has allowed me to grow my professional network and create lasting relationships. Typically a conversation with a new person will find a common ground, and from there you can form a new relationship and gain newfound knowledge.  (more)
New Certified Manufacturing Technology Sales Engineers, CMTSE - November 2016
CMTSE exam questions are developed by the Certification Committee, which includes machine tool distributors, builders, sales engineers, customers and allied industry representatives. The exam is a knowledge-based, online exam consisting of 150 multiple-choice questions. Candidates have three hours to complete the examination. Find out more about becoming a CMTSE.  (more)
When was your last formal business review?
The formal business review is an essential process that sometimes gets overlooked because of day-to-day commitments and pressures to lead the organization, whether your job is CEO or Sales Leader. Any healthy, forward-looking organization should conduct a formal business review every three to five years.  (more)
Make your open house count
The process of planning an open house can be daunting. For any of us who’ve done it, at some point it’s likely we asked, “Is all this work really worth it?” And nothing is more worrisome than waking up the morning of the event and wondering, “Is anyone actually going to show up?”  (more)
Industry News - October 2016
AMT member news  (more)
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It’s time for a youth movement
About two years ago, while sitting in my office, I came to the realization that at 56 years old, I was the youngest member of my sales team. After my initial panic subsided, it became quite obvious that we needed to get younger!  (more)
Industry News - September 2016
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The most important sales factor: risk
IMTS always brings plenty of excitement regarding the many new technologies that will be on display and how these capabilities can benefit end users. Indeed, it is a very special event for both suppliers and end users, but most excited may be the salespeople who are looking for new offerings to help capture more business and build their pipelines. Their typical questions are “When can I sell it?” and “What is the price?” With all the technology and enthusiasm that is being shared with prospective customers, however, we should remind ourselves that “risk” is the No. 1 factor that influences a customer’s decision to buy. Salespeople who don’t want to talk about risk do so at their own peril.  (more)
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Want to grow your business? Be accountable to the customer
To increase your business, make your entire company accountable to the customer. This starts at first contact and continues through every facet of the relationship. It can’t be just a notice on the wall someplace, but deep in the culture of your business.  (more)
Industry News - August 2016
AMT member news
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My thoughts on U.S. manufacturing
We are not Europe. We are the United States of America. We invented the American system of manufacturing and those processes that created wealth in the entire world.  (more)
Industry News - July 2016
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In business, it’s all personal
Selling, managing, designing, creating turns out to all be about connections among people. No one would question that the sales process is highly emotional and personal. Do we really think that design, engineering, run offs, or troubleshooting are not equally dependent on the emotional and motivational state of the participants? How many of those vital business activities are done by a sole actor?  (more)
Making a comeback: apprenticeships on the rise
For the past 50 years AMT member company Advanced Machine and Engineering (AME) of Rockford, Ill., has thrived through its robust apprenticeship program.  (more)
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Relationships – the key to consistent success
Well, here we are in the midst of another economic slump that is affecting many of the industries we serve in a not-so-good way. In addition, the political winds of concern are blowing, and many of us are hearing the classic line, “I think we may wait until IMTS before buying.”  (more)
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Some of my favorite quotes … and why
I was recently collecting some of my favorite quotes in one place and decided to share some of them. Let’s start with the quote, “Progress, Not Perfection.”  (more)
Preco Chairman Jack Pierson dies
Jack Pierson, Chairman of the Board at Preco, Inc., passed away on May 22 at age 84. Pierson lived in Mission Hills, Kans. Pierson began his manufacturing career in 1958.  (more)
Industry News - June 2016
News from AMT members
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New Certified Manufacturing Technology Sales Engineers, CMTSE - June 2016
Congratulations to the new Certified Manufacturing Technology Sales Engineers, CMTSE.  These new CMTSEs demonstrated their knowledge in machine tool design, CNC technology & machine control, cutting tool technology, metalworking technology, machine tool accuracy, capital investment justification, the selling process, responding to customer needs, territory management, and business/commercial practices.  (more)
Industry News - May 2016
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Engineered and cost-effective workholding solutions
The demands for higher quality and lower prices have many manufacturers looking for creative solutions when it comes to their manufacturing process. Tooling, robotics, machine tools and workholding are all important considerations.   (more)
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Training: Good for your staff, great for your company’s growth
How confident would you be making a purchase from someone who could not answer your questions or demonstrate the value that a product provides?  How would that influence your impressions about that product and the company that makes it?  It is often said that your first impressions can make or break a deal. An argument can be made that says the interface between our customers and our products are our own representatives. Suffice it to say, it is in our own best interest to equip our reps with the best tools and knowledge so they have the best chance of success.  (more)
Methods Machine Tools Appoints Jerry Rex as Chief Operating Officer

Methods Machine Tools, Inc., a leading supplier of innovative precision machine tools, 3D printing technology, automation and accessories, announced the appointment of Mr. Jerry Rex as Chief Operating Officer of all Methods Machine Tools operations, effective today.

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Be a part of change!
Running a successful business requires good planning. Many of us spent countless hours the last three months of 2015 researching data and meeting with colleagues to formalize an Annual Business Plan for 2016. In this plan, company leadership provides direction on how the company will run for the year.  (more)
Industry News - April 2016
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The spirit of AMTDA lives on
When the merger of AMTDA and AMT took place five years ago, many members, distributors and builders were concerned that the main assets AMTDA would bring to the new organization – namely, passion and enthusiasm for the machine tool community – would be lost in the larger organization.  After the recent MFG Meeting in Palm Desert, these concerns have been eliminated.    (more)
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Remember who you are
One of the greatest challenges and lessons to be learned from supporting and growing a global customer base is consistency. While it is easy to show potential customers your global footprint and capabilities, many customers – both distributors and end users – are looking for something else that defines you as a company and/or person.  (more)
New Certified Manufacturing Technology Sales Engineers, CMTSE - March 2016
Congratulations to the new Certified Manufacturing Technology Sales Engineers, CMTSE.  These new CMTSEs demonstrated their knowledge in machine tool design, CNC technology & machine control, cutting tool technology, metalworking technology, machine tool accuracy, capital investment justification, the selling process, responding to customer needs, territory management, and business/commercial practices.  (more)
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AMT Chairman's Address - Annual Meeting at The MFG Meeting 2016
AMT Chairman of the Board addresses the membership at the AMT Annual Meeting at The MFG Meeting 2016 in Palm Desert, Calif.   (more)
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AMT Annual Meeting 2016 - Business Session
Hear from your Chairman, Jerry Rex and other Board members as they present the financial report, new Board members, Board announcements, and key programs and services that enhance and support members’ businesses.  (more)
Marcus Crotts Acceptance of the Al Moore Award
The Albert W. Moore AMT Leadership Award was presented to industry icon Marcus B. Crotts at the AMT Annual Business Meeting, March 5, 2016, in Palm Desert, Calif. Watch the video of the award presentation.  (more)
Industry News - March 2016
News from AMT members  (more)
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What is the value of the distributor in today’s machine tool business?
Having only worked on the OEM or “Builder” side of the machine tool business for these past twenty-some years (never as a Distributor or Machine Tool Distributor Salesperson), I had often pondered the value of Machine Tool Distributors in Machine Tool Sales. Without meaning to lump them all together as if they were all equal – certainly understanding that there are many differences between distributors across the nation – and aside from the obvious “boots on the ground” benefit – the question that I ask myself in general is, “Why do we (the OEM) need them?”     (more)
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A hire experience … my business education
It was about 30 years ago that I started working for DP Technology – a Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) company. DP Tech was a true entrepreneurial startup brought to life by Dan Frayssinet and Paul Ricard. There were just a handful of employees early on, as you might expect. I was 32 years old at the time, and I was the oldest employee. In fact, I was more than 10 years older than some of the crew. I believe I still hold that senior position today.   (more)
Industry News - February 2016
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In God We Trust…But what about everybody else?
For many distributors in the manufacturing technology industry, the changes that occurred in the last 12 months were a very sobering experience. Distributors were terminated; builders were dropped as affected distributors struggled to fill the voids in their product lines, and a few terminated distributors were even reinstated. This was just the beginning; it could take years before the dust finally settles. As distributors, we quickly learned that we are woefully unprepared both strategically and legally to protect our businesses. So what do we do?  (more)
Methods Machine Tools Engineer Brittany Speroni honored as 30 under 30 recipient
Methods Machine Tools, Inc., a leading supplier of innovative precision machine tools, automation and accessories announced that one if its Mechanical Engineers, Brittany Speroni, was named as a 2015 recipient of Manufacturing Engineering Magazine's 30 Under 30 awards in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). A total of 30 young manufacturing professionals from across the country were chosen for their exceptional talent and leadership in STEM. Ms. Speroni was also recently appointed to serve on SME 2016 Member Council.   (more)
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Is it sales, or production capacity that is holding you back?
A daily challenge for management is juggling between working in the business and on the business. Customer needs, and those of staff members, have a “voice” that the company struggles to compete with.   (more)
2016 MFG Meeting: Time for action
Now is the time to jump into action for the first significant AMT event of 2016: The MFG Meeting in Palm Desert, Calif., on March 2-5, 2016. As I have always been involved from the distribution side of the machine tool industry, I look forward to our annual big AMT event and it has consistently exceeded my expectations.  (more)
Industry News - January 2016
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Determine your company’s purpose
Companies are created for many reasons, however they may operate for a different purpose. A book I am currently reading by Lisa McLeod explains why it is important to determine your company’s purpose.   (more)
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Synergy in workholding and automation
The future of automated manufacturing that requires workholding flexibility is now! The automation of loading and unloading machine tools has become essential to our need to become more productive. Automation is no longer just for welding, pick and place, and packing. It has become an integral part of most manufacturing solutions.  (more)
AMT recognizes and congratulates eleven new CMTSEs
On November 10, eleven CMTSE candidates passed the exam and earned the Certified Manufacturing Technology Sales Engineer (CMTSE) credential, which recognizes them as knowledgeable, experienced and committed to the industry. CMTSE is the only nationally recognized accreditation of its kind that gives customers the certainty that they are dealing with a qualified sales professional.   (more)
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DG Committee year-end meeting, December 2015
On December 1 - 2, 2015, the Distribution Group Committee met in St. Louis. The meeting focused on several important factors that impact distributors and the distribution channel.  (more)
Former AMT Board Chairman Kim Beck passes away
Kim W. Beck passed away Monday, Nov. 16, 2015, at home. Beck was the President & CEO of Automatic Feed Co., Napoleon, Ohio. He joined Automatic Feed as a salesman in 1975 and became President in 1982. A graduate of Hillsdale College, he was involved with many civic associations.  (more)
Industry News - December 2015
News from AMT members  (more)