Canadian Plastics

Let’s Make A Deal

"ATTENTION SHOPPERS! Visit aisle 500 for an amazing, time-limited offer on chillers." If you think of NPE as a place to find bargains, you're not alone. Several machinery suppliers have voiced the opi...

June 1, 2003   By Cindy Macdonald

“ATTENTION SHOPPERS! Visit aisle 500 for an amazing, time-limited offer on chillers.” If you think of NPE as a place to find bargains, you’re not alone. Several machinery suppliers have voiced the opinion that pricing tends to be more competitive during a trade show.

“I think everybody is a little more flexible at the show, because exhibitors need to justify the expense of the show,” says Steve Goudie, vice-president sales with Berg Chilling Systems Inc. (Toronto).

Walter Jungwirth of Engel agrees. “I don’t want to exaggerate the deal-making potential, but there are always benefits to closing a deal at the show, because the machinery supplier does not want to bring his machines back home.” Jungwirth is executive vice-president, sales and marketing with Engel (Guelph, ON), a global supplier of injection molding machines.

For the most part, buying plastics equipment is not an impulse buy. “There’s really two types of buying that occur at a show,” says Goudie. “What happens most often is the client formalizing a purchase after having received quotes. In this situation, the quote would have turned into an order anyway, it’s just been timed to coincide with the show.”

And the second type? “Every show there are few sales to new clients that we haven’t quoted to before.”

Glen Billinger, president of equipment distributor Plastics Machinery Inc. (Newmarket, ON), is more skeptical about show-floor sales. “In my experience, the buying decision is not made at the show. People might use the show to do comparisons between machines, and that might sway their decision. But in all my years in the business I’ve only ever sold one injection molding machine at a show, and that was to an existing client.”


Even if you don’t make a decision at the show, the opportunity to see and compare equipment can help the purchasing process immensely.

“A show is a fantastic opportunity for the customer,” says Jungwirth. “It’s like the difference between film and live theatre. At the show you can see the machines live, meet the people at the company who work behind the scenes. With a photo you can’t open the electrical cabinet, or check out the switches.”

As conditions become more competitive between molders, trade shows become an even more important venue, says Bev Agnew of Moldpro Inc., a distributor of blow molding equipment based in Burlington, ON.

“It used to be that we could take customers through blow molding plants where we had machines installed. Now we are rarely able to do that, so trade shows give buyers an important opportunity to see the machine in operation.”

A lot of technical talk goes on at the show as well. Customers and potential clients have the opportunity to talk with technicians and service people, not just with the sales contact.

“We bring the software we use for chilling system design to the booth,” explains Goudie. “We let the customers play with it, mix and match motors, pumps, etc.” It’s a rare opportunity for customers to see the depth of experience and knowledge that goes into their quote.

So, whether you’re window shopping or have cheque in hand, use NPE to see, touch and feel the best the industry has to offer.

NPE 2003, June 23-27, 9 am – 5 pm daily

McCormick Place, Chicago

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