Thursday, July 24, 2014

Do You Offer Regular Product Training for Sales Personnel?

Most companies only remember to give their sales personnel product training when they are first hired and when a new product is introduced. If that is all your company is doing, you may want to consider more training on a regular basis for all sales employees, even the ones who have been with your company for years.

It is always beneficial to reinforce the knowledge base of your sales personnel. A regular training session (maybe one hour per month) allows them to ask questions about products they may be a little ‘shaky’ on, it may enlighten them on a new way of presenting a product that had not occurred to them, and it allows them to share stories with each other on what the customers are saying when they are ‘out in the field’.

Holding regular training sessions for your sales force may be the most important improvement your company makes this year. You won’t see an immediate benefit, but I guarantee you’ll see a long term benefit.

The author, Marge Bonura, is the Director of Sales & Marketing for New England Machinery, Inc. (NEM). NEM is a leading packaging machinery manufacturer of bottle unscramblers, cappers, orienters, retorquers, lidders, pluggers, pump sorter/placers, scoop feeders, hopper elevators and much more. The company has been in business since 1974 selling to the food, beverage, pharmaceutical, personal care, chemical, household products, automotive and other industries. For more information on NEM, visit their website at www.neminc.com.

Monday, July 21, 2014

How Does a Company Grow Successfully?

Every so often I like to take a moment and look back at our company and remind myself of what it was like when I started versus where it is today. I remember being so happy at being offered a position at a great company. I thought that the company and job couldn’t get any better. I was wrong. As they say there is always room for improvement, and when you stop and look back, you are often surprised to see that it happened.

Some companies are changed overnight by buyouts and an infusion of cash, but the really good companies change slowly over time. They set a course for where they want to be in 2 years, 5 years, 10 years, etc. They then plot out the steps they need to take to get to their desired level and start taking those steps day after day, year after year. There are rarely any ‘AHA’ moments, just small improvements in many areas over a period of time. It isn’t until several years have gone by and you look back that you can fully appreciate the breadth of those changes. It is sometimes referred to as ‘continual improvement’. On a day to day basis, continual improvement may seem like a small change that doesn’t make a big difference. But take enough small changes over a long period of time and you now have significant improvements that make a really positive impact.

Try making small improvements in your own work area. Set up a schedule on what small things you want to change and determine when you will implement each one over a period of time. You’ll be surprised one day when you look back and see how those small changes have added up to a real improvement.

The author, Marge Bonura, is the Director of Sales & Marketing for New England Machinery, Inc. (NEM). NEM is a leading packaging machinery manufacturer of bottle unscramblers, cappers, orienters, retorquers, lidders, pluggers, pump sorter/placers, scoop feeders, hopper elevators and much more. The company has been in business since 1974 selling to the food, beverage, pharmaceutical, personal care, chemical, household products, automotive and other industries. For more information on NEM, visit their website at www.neminc.com.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What is Your Repeat Business Rate?

I once read an article about an entrepreneur who started a business, grew it into a multi-million dollar company and then hired a staff to run it and spent his time pursing other interests. The only information he insisted on getting from the company was a daily report that listed the number of sales of repeat business versus new business. This he claimed would tell him all he needed to know about the health of the company.
He knew that as long as he kept his percentage of repeat sales to existing customers even (or close to) the percentage of sales to new customers, his company would continue to grow and stay healthy. How does this work?

If you start to sell more to new customers than to existing customers - that means you are losing your existing customer base. Not a good thing. Either they are no longer happy with your product or service, or your competitor(s) are taking them away with better products or less expensive products. You cannot let this happen for too long, or you will be out of business. This is a strong indicator that your business is in serious trouble.

Conversely, if your sales to existing customers increases significantly over sales to new customers, you are not going to see your company grow. Sales will quickly start to flatten out and eventually less and less orders will come in. Your business needs a constant stream of new customers to stay healthy. Over time your existing customers will go out of business or be bought out by another company that only buys from your competitor. You need new customers to become existing customers.

If you keep check of this important ratio balance, you will have a strong and growing business.

The author, Marge Bonura, is the Director of Sales & Marketing for New England Machinery, Inc. (NEM). NEM is a leading packaging machinery manufacturer of bottle unscramblers, cappers, orienters, retorquers, lidders, pluggers, pump sorter/placers, scoop feeders, hopper elevators and much more. The company has been in business since 1974 selling to the food, beverage, pharmaceutical, personal care, chemical, household products, automotive and other industries. For more information on NEM, visit their website at www.neminc.com.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Case for ‘Case Studies’

Everyone loves a good story. The best public speakers use stories to keep their audience engaged in their presentations. We all like to hear about someone else’s problems and/or issues and how they dealt with them. It allows us to learn a lesson on how to avoid the same thing from happening to us. So our company recently decided to use real life stories about challenges faced by our customers and how we helped them resolve those problems.

We originally started out by adding one ‘Case Study’ to each of our monthly e-newletters. The stories were a hit so we added a section to our web site that also carries Case Studies. We are telling a different type story each month covering the various industries and machinery types that we handle. Each month we add a new one to the list. This is a great opportunity for us to let our customers and potential customers know more about our capabilities and, hopefully, offer them some ideas on how they can resolve some of their daunting challenges. To read New England Machinery’s Case Studies, visit our website at: www.neminc.com. Or contact us at (941) 755-5550 to be added to our monthly e-newsletter or bi-annual paper newsletter, NEM NEWS & VIEWS.

The author, Marge Bonura, is the Director of Sales & Marketing for New England Machinery, Inc. (NEM). NEM is a leading packaging machinery manufacturer of bottle unscramblers, cappers, orienters, retorquers, lidders, pluggers, pump sorter/placers, scoop feeders, hopper elevators and much more. The company has been in business since 1974 selling to the food, beverage, pharmaceutical, personal care, chemical, household products, automotive and other industries. For more information on NEM, visit their website at www.neminc.com.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Importance of an HMI on Packaging Machinery

We asked our Electrical Engineers why a customer should spend the extra money to purchase an HMI with their packaging machinery. We were all a bit surprised to learn about all the really great features and value the HMI adds to the machinery in both functionality and time-saving benefits.

Here are a few of the items they mentioned: For use on bottle unscramblers, cappers and orienters, an HMI allows the operator to make changes to the speeds of the machine without entering the control panel. This is a great safety feature. An HMI also allows changes to the timers without getting online with a program. It also allows the ability to read the machine status while the machine is running. Another great capability for orienters is that it allows the operator to make changes to the amount of rotation being performed.

For a full list of benefits of adding and HMI to your next packaging machine, visit NEM’s website at www.neminc.com and view their upcoming July 2014 newsletter, ask your packaging machinery salesperson, or contact an NEM representative at (941) 755-5550.

The author, Marge Bonura, is the Director of Sales & Marketing for New England Machinery, Inc. (NEM). NEM is a leading packaging machinery manufacturer of bottle unscramblers, cappers, orienters, retorquers, lidders, pluggers, pump sorter/placers, scoop feeders, hopper elevators and much more. The company has been in business since 1974 selling to the food, beverage, pharmaceutical, personal care, chemical, household products, automotive and other industries. For more information on NEM, visit their website at www.neminc.com.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Happy July 4th To All

This will be a short week for me, but it is an important one for our country. Friday marks the anniversary of America’s hard won freedom. The day will be celebrated across the country with picnics, parades, fireworks and fun. But we all need to keep in mind that this freedom we so take for granted was not accomplished easily and that ‘freedom isn’t free’. We who are blessed enough to live here need to always remember that this country was conceived, designed and created by brilliant men with strong moral and ethical values. But more importantly, this country’s freedom and the freedom of many other countries was only truly acquired at the cost of the lives of thousands of brave men and women. Their sacrifice allows us to take a day and enjoy and celebrate the freedom for which they paid the ultimate price. Happy 4th of July America! Thank you to all the heroes who made and continue to make it happen.

The author, Marge Bonura, is the Director of Sales & Marketing for New England Machinery, Inc. (NEM). NEM is a leading packaging machinery manufacturer of bottle unscramblers, cappers, orienters, retorquers, lidders, pluggers, pump sorter/placers, scoop feeders, hopper elevators and much more. The company has been in business since 1974 selling to the food, beverage, pharmaceutical, personal care, chemical, household products, automotive and other industries. For more information on NEM, visit their website at www.neminc.com.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Best ‘Summer Read’ For Managers

An acquaintance recently suggested I read the book “Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney” by Lee Cockerell. It was probably the best advice I have received in many years. The book should be required reading for all business school students.

Reading the book gave me new ideas on almost every page. Most books I ‘archive’ after I have finished reading them on my Nook. This book will stay on my ‘desktop’ forever. I know I will go back and re-read it several times as I think the ideas, suggestions and recommendations are all extremely valuable.

If you want to improve yourself and your company, I highly recommend you get a copy and read it. It is great advice about real companies, real employees and real managers and how a manager can become a leader that will be respected and followed through good times and bad times.

The author, Marge Bonura, is the Director of Sales & Marketing for New England Machinery, Inc. (NEM). NEM is a leading packaging machinery manufacturer of bottle unscramblers, cappers, orienters, retorquers, lidders, pluggers, pump sorter/placers, scoop feeders, hopper elevators and much more. The company has been in business since 1974 selling to the food, beverage, pharmaceutical, personal care, chemical, household products, automotive and other industries. For more information on NEM, visit their website at www.neminc.com.