Want an Alternative to Trade Shows?
Try Some PIE (Productivity Information
By Kellie A. Schroeder, CMP, CAE
The Moulding and Millwork Producers Association (MMPA) will
stage its Second Productivity Information Exchange (PIE) March 24 at the
Wild Dunes Resort located on the Isle of Palms off the coast of Charleston,
S.C. What is PIE and why should a moulding and millwork manufacturer attend?
PIE is an event that expands the manufacturer’s opportunity to directly
connect with suppliers in a meaningful segmented learning environment.
Attendees sign up for a series of one-on-one 45-minute private appointments
with suppliers in a “sales free” atmosphere. A manufacturing attendee
will meet with top representatives from suppliers of their choosing on
a wide range of topics such as: optimization; ripping; dry kilns; moulders;
coatings; insurance services; and inventory, sales, accounting and production
control system software, just to name a few.
Attending PIE to obtain product-and service-specific information is an
efficient use of a manufacturer’s time. At a trade show, a manufacturer
will gather general information from suppliers regarding their products
and services as he stands with a crowd of other people in a noisy exhibition
hall. The PIE experience places the manufacturer in a supplier’s suite,
one-on-one with a representative who has familiarized himself with the
manufacturer’s needs and is ready to address those issues.
The key component to the PIE event is the attendee informs the supplier(s)
in advance the topic(s) he would like to learn about. For example, if
a manufacturer is considering adding a scanner to his operation and would
like to know how a scanner might impact his operations, he could sign
up for an appointment with the appropriate supplier detailing his scanner
query. The supplier would contact the manufacturer to gather details on
his current operations, and then assemble a personalized presentation
on the estimated outcomes if a scanner was installed in the manufacturer’s
facility. When the attendee shows up at PIE, his/her personalized day
of education has been constructed to his/her requirements from the various
companies with whom they selected to meet.
"The PIE experience places the
manufacturer in a supplier’s suite, one-on-one with a representative who
has familiarized himself with the manufacturer’s needs and is ready to
address those issues."
Manufacturers will be asked to register for the PIE event
and send in a wish list of questions and/or topics on which they are seeking
detailed information. Those questions, topics or specific issues then
will be turned over to the relevant suppliers so they may design educational
programs for the attendees as noted in the scanner example above. If an
attendee does not have a distinct topic he would like to have covered,
he may opt to have the supplier speak on new products and services.
I would like to reiterate that these sessions will not be sales pitches
to purchase the speaker’s product or service. The PIE sessions will focus
on educating, illuminating and problem-solving for the manufacturers on
distinct issues brought to the attention of the suppliers. The sessions
also will look to future products and services that should be considered
in the manufacturing process.
The registration fee to attend PIE is $100, and early-bird registration
ends February 1. PIE attendees also will have the opportunity to play
in the MMPA’s Golf Scramble being held the day before PIE on the award-winning
PIE appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis and, once the
appointment slots are filled, no more registrations will be accepted.
Manufacturing attendees may register for the PIE event as a stand-alone
program or take the opportunity to register for the combined PIE and the
MMPA’s Winter Business Meeting. Both programs will take place at Wild
Dunes Resort. You do not have to be a member to be invited to register
and attend these events if you are a manufacturer of moulding or millwork.
Watch for further information on the MMPA’s event calendar at www.wmmpa.com.
Kellie Schroeder, CMP, CAE, is executive vice president of the
Moulding and Millwork Producers Association. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Her opinions are solely her own and do not necessarily reflect those of
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