In a prior life, long before joining FPSA, I worked for a large chemical company run by, you guessed it, chemical engineers. In our just-in-time operations, when it came time to fight for product for my international customers, the product managers didn’t want to hear about how important a client was or our market share in Mexico. The domestic clients would pay a few pennies more per pound and therefore they would get the product, leaving me to share the bad news with my clients who would go to the competition that month. I understood the decision, after all the margin is razor-thin in the commodity plastics industry, but I always wondered if there wasn’t a better way to do this. Having also studied some chemical engineering, I realized that this leadership wasn’t going to find this better way as 1 + 1 must always equal 2.

Compare that scenario to whatever piece of equipment you’re thinking of showing at this year’s PROCESS EXPO. I’m sure when that piece of equipment was designed and put together for the first time, those engineers had one primary application for that machine in mind and it made perfect sense. I’m sure it still does, and your clients can give you a million testimonials confirming it. But here’s what I’m getting at: Are there applications in that same piece of equipment that you are missing? Perhaps applications that new prospects, maybe prospects in other industry segments, might see that you don’t because you are a little too close to it? In other words, are you missing out on new revenue because the engineer can only see it one way?

Mind you, I’m not putting down engineers! I work with many of them in the membership and have tremendous respect for them. I’m just pointing out that in October, we will have many thousands of food processors and beverage manufacturers coming to Chicago looking for new products and new solutions for their issues. That might mean your equipment, even if the prospect doesn’t come from your primary target market. Maybe they can see some use for your equipment that you haven’t even fathomed yet. Think about it. A new market for existing technology. A new revenue-stream. Extending the life cycle of existing technology and diversifying your customer base.

So, how else can customers see your equipment and what are you doing to shape that perception?

PROCESS EXPO is the country’s largest horizontal trade show devoted to food processing technologies. Take advantage of that.