I'll Buy That

The Buyer’s Guide provides our readers with quick access to supplier contact information for whatever equipment they may need for their shops. It is designed to be a resource to last throughout the year, and it is intended to facilitate the buying process.

The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself. — Peter Drucker

We face sales pitches every day. If we’re out shopping for a specific item, we get approached by sales personnel looking to assist us in our purchase. Even in unrelated activities, we are fed promotional information through commercials and other forms of advertising. Fresh out of the holiday season, we know these marketing efforts are alive and well as much as ever.

Often we can be turned off by these messages. Perhaps we’re at an early stage in the shopping process, only beginning to research what our options are, and are faced with a pushy salesperson who acts as if we need to buy today. Maybe we’re not even in the market at all, merely trying to enjoy an evening of television that is repeatedly interrupted by commercials. We can actually be so irritated by some marketing that we refuse to buy a product out of spite.

But these sales and marketing efforts often can be helpful, too, guiding us to useful products or features of which we may not have even been aware. In such cases, a promotional message may seem more like a resource than a nuisance. It might make a person’s life easier rather than disrupt it.

I’m not much of a shopper. When I need something, I want the buying process to be as fast as possible. The greater the expense, the more time and effort I’m willing to invest in the decision, but I still prefer to have my options clearly defined to simplify the process as much as possible. Easy in, easy out is the ultimate goal.

When it comes to purchasing machine tools and related equipment and supplies, most shop owners and purchasing managers want the same simplified buying experience. Delays not only take the people away from doing other productive work, but also extend the wait for the ultimate goal of having the equipment on the floor, contributing to production and, thus, helping the shop make money.

A machine shop sees both sides of the business marketing coin. Not only does it deal with the buying end, evaluating products to determine which can be most beneficial to its business. It also must sell its services to customers. In the magazine business, much of our money is earned through advertising sales, but we also have our readers who we want to keep happy by providing useful information, both editorially and in the ads we run. We act as sort of a conduit between suppliers and buyers.

When we bring out our annual Buyer’s Guide, this connection takes a different form from our usual monthly issues, but it still serves the same purpose. The Buyer’s Guide provides our readers with quick access to supplier contact information for whatever equipment they may need for their shops. It is designed to be a resource to last throughout the year, and it is intended to facilitate the buying process. By referring to the list of suppliers, shops can quickly determine who can provide the equipment they need.

But the Guide is only the beginning. It also acts as a front door to a more detailed supplier directory that PM offers online. In reality, the print version is dated by the time it is delivered. Contact information for companies sometimes changes. By pulling together the print and online versions, updated information is always available. Besides always being timely and relevant, the online directory allows further research about suppliers, offering links to company websites, product descriptions and other editorial coverage of related equipment and processes that can help the buyer gain further understanding of what is being researched.

At PM we intend to provide a variety of useful information to our readers. Each monthly issue contains both advertising and editorial that address the needs of our industry. We try to help educate our readers about products and technology that would be useful in their shops. Through our Buyer’s Guide and online supplier directory, we hope to provide the next level of support with information that assists in the purchasing process.