What’s Behind The Guide
Production Machining’s 2008 Buyer’s Guide belongs on the desk of every person who has any influence on purchasing decisions for precision turning products or services. That is the philosophy we apply in our year-round effort to bring together the most comprehensive and well-organized directory of the industry’s suppliers. The obvious end result is this printed magazine that provides a source of reference to those readers who want quick access to the vendors who bring equipment to the shop floor. The sometimes overlooked, yet perhaps more significant background element is the extensive, continually updated database that holds the information presented here while being accessible at any time online at www.productionmachining.com/suppliers.
Gathering and organizing the large amount of supplier data for our directory requires quite a bit of time. In fact, as you read this, we are probably already adding new companies as the distribution of the Buyer’s Guide invariably prompts people with whom we have not previously communicated to now want a listing in their appropriate categories. While these additions are ongoing throughout the year, we must also stay up to date with the currently listed companies, keeping aware of potential changes to their product lines.
Because representatives for our magazine (editors, publishers and sales people) are in the field visiting companies and attending shows on a regular basis, we get a strong overview of what suppliers are up to and how the lines they offer may be changing. We also rely heavily on the mountains of mail (both postal and electronic) that we receive to keep us on top of the industry. But for the fine details and most accurate data to accompany each company’s listings, we depend most on the listing forms submitted.
We begin surveying of our contacts in early October. We contact each company in the directory, giving them the opportunity to make any necessary changes to their listings (either contact information or category listings) by completing either online or hardcopy forms. As these forms are completed, they are reviewed, sorted, entered and verified until we feel we have done everything to account for every supplier in the industry.
By early January, the online directory is complete, and the data is pulled together into the pages of this printed directory. But if that information is available and regularly updated online, why is this Buyer’s Guide even necessary?
We consider the Buyer’s Guide a partner to the resources on our Web site. It provides quick access, at a glance, to basic information about suppliers of specific products and services. The Web site allows further research about these suppliers, offering links to company Web sites, product descriptions and other editorial coverage of related equipment and processes that can help the buyer gain a heightened understanding of what he or she is searching for before ever contacting (or being contacted by) anyone.
A significant difference between information found in print and information online is how it is delivered to the reader. A magazine dictates the information that is available to the reader. While readers choose what magazines to receive, what is contained in those magazines is determined by others. On the Web, users have far more power over what is presented to them. In the case of Production Machining’s Supplier Directory, this Buyer’s Guide is putting in front of you a thorough list of who is doing what in the industry while presenting a path for you to follow to the Web for extended research on the targeted details that are important to you.
This Buyer’s Guide is intended to be an important, yet convenient first step in your research for the right supplier of your next shop purchase. The groundwork is already laid and is in your hands for knowing who can provide what you need. The next step is only to take this information and narrow it further through continued research at www.productionmachining.com. With the right tools, an educated purchasing decision is well within reach.