This morning I had to write an email to a vendor explaining that the sales of his product had fallen substantially because a new product has been introduced that offers significantly more value to the customer, at about ½ the price.  

That long sentence sums up the ongoing battle in the marketplace. For every innovation there is a winner and a loser.  The customer is the judge and the marketplace the jury.  People vote with their purchases.  

As a tool distributor I often see two different attitudes from manufacturers. One is the commitment to continuous improvement and the other is to sell the same old stuff but dress up the marketing a bit. 

There is risk in new product introductions. We are excited to introduce new products that are driven by technical improvements, not just marketing smoke and mirrors. Good management knows that to survive, constant, real innovation is required. That is why we are happy to work with vendor partners who share that perspective.

In two weeks we begin extended field trials of a new product. If the market accepts this product it will make a substantial portion of our existing product offering obsolete, which is more than a little frightening, but it will reduce time, labor and increase quality for our customers. Visit our booth #26208 at StonExpo to see how this attempt at innovation works out.  

If you have thoughts or concerns, please address them to me at .

Have a good read.

– Rich Hassert