Taking Innovative Casting Technology To Your Bottom Line
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Posts Tagged Sales

Interesting Turn to the Economy

“Geoff Forester photograph, courtesy of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund”.

We run a sales forecasting model every month to try to predict how we’ll do for bookings one and two months out.  Our model is a neural network model based on company performance, econometric data, and market trends. This type of model uses years of historical information to try to develop predictive trends. We run the model multiple times to get a range of predictions. Sometimes they are tightly grouped, and other times, they can bounce around. This happens even though the same data are used. When things bounce around, there are usually conflicting data. Data that usually move together begin to come apart. That’s what happened in December. Good econometric information was clashing with negative emotional measures and the predictions bounced back and forth between dismal and pretty good. The real, numerical data was showing  growth, but people were still negative on the economy.

We were expecting that the emotions would begin to turn to mirror the numbers, and that began to happen in January. Prior to January, most of of our bookings had been from recently added customers, seemingly unaffected by the slow economy, while our legacy customers, more affected by the economy, were not ordering. That changed in January. We began to see orders from companies who had been dormant for the past few years. Additionally, the newer customers started ordering larger quantities of parts. This is beginning to feel more “normal”, if such a term can describe our post recession economy. In any event, we’re enjoying the change. Hopefully, it will continue. Maybe the forecasting model will start showing more stable numbers and operate as if the world has returned to a more predictive mode.

All Packed Up And Ready To Go…!

Graphicast will be at the Design 2 Part show in Marlborough Massachusetts November 2 & 3.  The show is at the Royal Plaza Trade Center, 181 Boston Post Road, Marlborough MA 01752

Please stop by and say hello.  We would enjoy seeing you to discuss our process or any project requirements you have.

This is our last show of 2011 and is right in our backyard, giving us the opportunity to get the real pulse of what is happening in New England.

Social Media Efforts For Industrial Companies Can Go Global

“Geoff Forester photograph, courtesy of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund”.

I recently heard from a contact in Europe about an opportunity for ZA12 castings. One of our customers in the United States suggested to an affiliated European company  to look into ZA12 castings for some of their component needs. Through a nationwide search effort for a supplier, my contact saw the inquiry and quickly directed the European company’s buyer to our website and our videos on YouTube. Interest is growing and there may be opportunities for both Graphicast and my contact to supply this need.

Having content about Graphicast on various sites on the web is one of the benefits of using social media outlets. Through the many networks of contacts you can establish, and a little  dedication to keeping those networks updated, a company can achieve a global presence through social media.

Graphicast on NH Public Radio on Friday, February 26 at Noon

I will be interviewed by Jon Greenberg of NH Public Radio between noon and 1 PM on Friday, February 26 during his live, call-in program, “Working It Out”.  Working It Out (WIO) is about the economy and its impact on the state. Notes are collected from NH residents and posted on WIO’s website to provide a panoramic view of the economy from the various regions of the state.  Monthly, Jon does a live, call-in program to supplement the web postings. The response to the program has been enthusiastic, as people have been eager to tell their stories and share their experiences.  On Friday, Jon will be exploring the recovery. He’ll be trying to find out what people are seeing around the state , is the recovery for real, are people confident or wary? It should be an interesting program. For those out of the immediate New Hampshire area, NHPR does have a streaming audio feed for its broadcasts.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Graphicast, But Were Afraid to Ask

With no apologies to Woody Allen for the title, we do get a lot of questions about how our process works. And not just our casting process, but the whole process, from beginning to end. How do we design and  make the molds, how do we program the CNC machines, how does the CMM work, etc. We’ve tried to answer these questions with a virtual Graphicast plant tour, highlighting the process we follow in developing a new part for you. All of this is in a  4 1/2 minute video on the Graphicast channel on You Tube. You can see all your favorite Graphicast characters (and they are characters), including a cameo role by your blogger as a CNC machinist. If a picture is worth a thousand words, the video should be worth millions.  I hope you find it helpful to your understanding of Graphicast, and how we work with you to make your parts.

The Intrinsic Value of Bad Show Food – Design 2 Part Marlborough MA November 4&5

KirkThe economy being what it is these days, there have been questions about how good show attendance will be.  Do people still have jobs?  If they do, is enough staff in the office to “squeak” out and get to a show?  Or is it the opposite, is it so slow people attend because it beats pretending to work all day?   Will those people have any $ to kick off a project?

Getting out there, seeing what’s new, different or flat out better is so important.  Making connections face to face and “seeing it” as opposed to “looking at it” from the screen at your desk has a value much greater than the mileage check and reimbursement for that over priced, over cooked, tasteless piece of pizza you’re going to grab at the show.

The Design 2 Part show in Marlborough Massachusetts was GREAT…!!!  I arrived yesterday at the Best Western Royal Plaza Trade Center and it was packed (see my tweet from the show).  There were very few slowdowns in foot traffic. In fact, attendees were walking the show mostly right ’til the end.  The mood was upbeat, connections were being made, and it might have been one of our best shows for leads taken in.  It sure looked like a economic recovery to me.  I had a chance to talk to one of the show personnel (the D2P  people are always great to work with), and she said they had over 1700 attendees walk through the door, and with a few hours left, would certainly hit their goal of 1800 people.

If you had a snapshot of this show you would be hard pressed to say there was an economic slowdown here.  How have your shows been?  What have you seen at the shows you’ve been to?  Let me know what you’re seeing and what shows you’re going to next so I can see you there…!

From the CEO – How’s Business?

Val Zanchuk
We’ve just closed the books on October, and it was the best month we’ve had since last October. While the recession may be over, the recovery is taking its time. Our sales are moving upward, but slowly. We’re seeing activity from a range of customers, and a lot of rush orders, which is telling us inventories are being replenished and sparks of recovery are igniting sections of our market. I’d like to conduct an informal and very subjective view of the economy from your perspective. Please leave your comments and opinions for all of us to see. Let’s see if there’s a consensus on the direction of the economy and the confidence you have in any recovery.

From the Trenches

GaryI’ve been on the road for the last two weeks, attending shows in Pasadena and Minneapolis, and visiting with customers. Graphicast exhibited at the Design2Part Show in Pasadena and MD&M Show in Minneapolis. Attendance was good in Pasadena, with many attendees coming with active projects. The visitors to our booth were very interested in our new Prototype Service, which they feel can play an important part in their new product development timeline. In Minnesota, the exhibition was geared toward suppliers to the medical analytic and diagnostic markets. My reading of the economy from attending these shows is encouraging, in that the number of  new products being developed is greater than six months ago.

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Taking Innovative Casting Technology to Your Bottom Line™

Graphicast Inc.

PO Box 430 36 Knight Street,
Jaffrey, NH 03452
phone: 603-532-4481
fax: 603-532-4261