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May 2, 2000

2 Min Read
The challenges of marketing a specialty

We have a tremendous opportunity if we want to take it. Individually we lack the resources to market the technology to the world. If we collaborate, we do have the resources." Steve James, executive vp and coo of MIM custom molder Injectamax (Escondido, CA), highlighted the pressing need for marketing PIM technologies to the recent PIM 2000 meeting at Penn State. While his words were directed specifically at those involved in powder injection molding, the principles also ring true for other molders involved in exotic or specialized molding technologies.

He called for a cooperative marketing effort among all involved in what he called a proven technology that works in the world marketplace. An Injectamax technology licensee in Japan, Nippon Piston Ring, already molds hundreds of thousands of MIM parts, some weighing more than 150g, for its domestic automotive market, for instance. Still, James says the world at large remains mostly unaware of PIM. Marketing, he explains, is the exploitation of the technological capabilities of the process—the PIM industry must focus on marketing the beneficial results of using the technology, and not the art of using the technology.

Injectamax is willing to put its money where its mouth is. It plans to help convene the implementation of a marketing task force composed of suppliers, consultants, and competitors. This task force would be chartered to decouple promotional activities from the technology. James envisions it being in existence for about three years to market PIM’s benefits aggressively to customers and consumers. "Divide and suffer—unite and succeed!" was his message.

James’ comments were echoed by Yeo Chee Tian, managing director at MIM custom molder Advanced Materials Technologies Pte., Singapore, who also spoke about the need for effective marketing. Using AMT’s successes and growth as an example, he says the time has come for MIM to change from being a laboratory experiment and become a business. He cautioned attendees not to expect customers to pay a higher price for the technology for technology’s sake. Rather, he says they must prove that the technology pays for itself through better quality and cost savings.

After describing many of the key elements of business cultures and operational assets customers expect today, and warning molders to be prepared to take risks with their customers to prove that they can deliver on promises, Yeo Chee Tian concluded by reminding listeners to focus their marketing energies on competition with other processes, rather than with one another.

"Customers want more than one supplier. We must encourage our direct competition," he says. "MIM can provide up to 30 percent cost savings vs. casting. If we compete with one another on price, we will drag down margins for the entire industry."

Complete PIM 2000 show report.

Contact information
Injectamax Corp.
Escondido, CA
B. Scott Stanford
Phone: (760) 743-1582
Fax: (760) 743-3026
Web: www.injectamax.com

Advanced Materials Technologies Pte. Ltd.
Yeo Chee Tian
Phone: +65 567-7223
Fax: +65 567-7407
Web: www.amt-mim.com

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