Why Does The World Need Another Buyer’s Guide?
You may be wondering why Production Machining decided to use our February issue to publish an annual Buyer’s Guide. After all, PM is a magazine about precision machined parts and the processes used to manufacture them. Well, the answer is simple. Purchasing the products and services needed to efficiently and profitably operate your business is, indeed, one of these processes. Moreover, this is not your father’s buyer’s guide.
Long a staple in trade magazine publishing, buyer’s guides have been around for many years. You’ve seen them come across your desk. Like most of these, the PM Buyer’s Guide was developed to provide you with a handy supplier reference tool. However, an important addition that we bring to the table is the ability to use the print version of the Buyer’s Guide in tandem with our Web site, www.productionmachining.com, where you can access a continuously updated directory as you further discover and research individual technologies.
The Guide identifies suppliers that you want to consider, and the Web site provides detailed information about each supplier. Most importantly, this integrated approach allows you to research as much as you like without identifying yourself until you’re ready. No salesman will call.
In this issue you will encounter a Buyer’s Guide section that contains an extensive list of suppliers to the precision turned products industry, including suppliers of materials, equipment, tooling, accessories and services. Once you have located a specific product/service supplier, turn to the directory section and find a complete alphabetized listing of company contact information. To contact these companies, you can either visit the company’s Web site or go to www.productionmachining.com and enter the PM Direct code that is provided with the company’s listing. This will lead you to an up-to-date listing of all the contact information, including company address, phone, fax, e-mail link and Web site link. In many cases you will also encounter a Showroom presentation online that highlights the capabilities and offerings of the individual supplier.
The Buyer’s Guide is a tool. Let’s say, for instance, you are interested in purchasing a bar feeder. Naturally, you would turn to the workholding section and search for “Bar Feeders.” Here, we have compiled a list of bar feed suppliers with a reference to their contact information. However, read further—you will next encounter a Learn More icon that references the online “Bar Feed Selector Tool.” This interactive online tool allows the user to input a number of bar feed parameters, including the number of spindles and material diameter and length, as well as whether the accompanying machine is fixed headstock or Swiss-type. After choosing the appropriate parameters, you are provided with the machine type and supplier company that offers only the bar feeders that match your criteria.
This is only one example of how this Buyer’s Guide is different and why it should be more valuable to you. Throughout this issue, you will encounter a variety of Learn More icons that will provide you with further reference to related articles, product overviews and suppliers within the context of the product category you are researching.
Using the annual print Buyer’s Guide as a front door to www.productionmachining.com has many benefits. In general, it’s safe to say that a print directory, by itself, is dated by the time it reaches your inbox. Integrating the two media—print and online—and providing this information in digital format allows for the opportunity to constantly update the information so it is always timely and relevant. If a supplier moves, changes its phone number or adds a product line to its portfolio, these changes can be instantly updated and reflected online.
We invite you to review this issue from cover to cover, and then put it in a safe place for you and your colleagues to use as a reference tool throughout the year. Please let us know what you think of this new approach to using both print and online as a tool. This is a work in progress and your feedback is part of our continuous improvement process.