Trade shows are an invaluable resource for us in the manufacturing sector. Trade shows are informative—and fun. They bring together industry leaders to share ideas, showcase new products and technologies, and to prepare for the future.
As a central gathering place for an industry, trade shows have a distinct advantage over other forms of information gathering: face-to-face interactions. Building relationships with customers and suppliers that you already know, and meeting new customers and suppliers may lead to additional working relationships. In addition, most trade shows include seminars and workshops that are knowledge building events. Seminars are led by industry leaders who have industry experience, information, and understanding. It is an opportunity to interact with a full range of experts.
The spring conferences and trade shows focusing on the automotive and heavy truck market continued through the end of April and the beginning of May. We choose to attend these conferences and shows because they provide suppliers with the opportunity to gain insight on the markets, and upcoming technology advances.
On April 30, we attended the PMA Auto Parts Suppliers Council and the PMA International Business Services roundtable. At the PMA International Business services Roundtable, Lou Longo of Plante & Moran led an interesting discussion on exporting and importing, reshoring, and affiliation hints for companies new to the international market. At the Auto Parts Suppliers Council speakers addressed latest contract terms and
conditions practices, and a supplier panel of leading stamping executives, which was facilitated by Craig Fitzgerald, discussed trends and operating metrics they use for their companies.
On May 1, we attended the Great Designs in Steel annual meeting. Seven major steel manufacturers assembled a group of 1200 engineers from the auto industry to listen to presentations on the latest advances in steel materials used in vehicles that are being introduced to the market place, the latest product development success stories, and the latest processes for manufacturing and testing steel.
Finally, on May 2-3 we attended the Heavy Duty Truck Manufacturers Business Council forum. Industry speakers addressed how their companies develop and train employees, and we were informed about the heavy truck market forecast by ACT Research.
There’s a saying: staying still means falling behind. It’s vital to keep up with the trends that drive the market. Showcasing the newest trends, these events highlight the direction the market is heading. Being informed is good business sense.