June 8, 2012
Why Gabbett machinery is not at the AWISA exhibition
Gabbett Machinery will not be attending AWISA 2012. The Australian Woodworking Machinery Industry Association’s longstanding exhibition is the traditional showcase for the cabinet, joinery, furniture, timber and panel industries.
So why has one of Australia’s biggest distributors decided to opt out?
Barry Gabbett of Gabbett Machinery speaks out about the nature of exhibitions, their value for the machinery industry, and why he is focusing on something different.
Barry Gabbett believes exhibitions on the scale of AWISA are a dying breed. This is mainly due to the massive costs which are the result of the size and complexity of modern machinery. Highly sophisticated machines need to be transported from regular showrooms to a central CBD venue and involve freight costs and complex installations. For a company such as Gabbett, this can mean five days to set up, four days exhibiting and three days to move out. As Mr Gabbett says, ‘During the exhibition period the costs become disproportionate to any possible return'
Globally, many major machinery manufacturers have decreased the number of exhibitions they attend and are looking at better ways to keep their customers satisfied.
Gabbett Machinery has operated at the forefront of the Australian machinery business for thirty three years. In an uncertain economic market, their current success is the result of one simple business strategy: they put the customer experience first.
‘This is the area we have been addressing since we made the decision several years ago to increase our ‘In House’ shows and decrease spending in external exhibitions. We have invested the entire external exhibition budget for years 2010 through to 2012 into transforming our company into the best possible service and back up provider in Australia and New Zealand’ says Mr Gabbett.
Owning a machine does not stop at the moment of purchase, and Gabbett Machinery extended their customer relationship beyond the initial transaction. They want to stay in touch with their customers throughout the machining lifecycle. They provide unparalleled service, twenty four hour troubleshooting and remain on-hand over years to provide machining solutions as their client’s businesses grow. Sales, exhibitions and marketing endeavours become less important as the company place the most value on making the customer experience of owning a machine from Gabbett unique.
The Gabbett Machinery team have known and worked with Australian manufacturers for decades. Barry Gabbett says, ‘I have no doubt the majority of end users would tell you that back up is the most important part of the decision making process when they purchase capital equipment. The customer wants to buy a brand that does the job, is very well represented in the country, and service is readily available.’
The Company particularly support customers outside of the traditional business centres. They run ‘Service Roadshows’, where technicians travel up through regional areas, visiting key clients on customer service ‘pit stops’. This is a very cost effective way to have regular checks and servicing throughout the life of a machine.
Gabbett Machinery also service brands that they do not sell, but as Mr Gabbett says the priority must be for existing customers and people who have bought SCM group products over the last 60 years. This is so Gabbett Machinery can fulfil their service charter, ‘Our aim is to be able to fully support every product we sell today as well as tomorrow’.
Mr Gabbett says that there are probably twenty brands of machines that were exhibited at trade shows in 2008 that are not represented here (in Australia) at all today, or the manufacturer has ceased to exist. The owners of these machines now realise the importance of a solid brand with great back up.
Mr Gabbett says ‘There is nothing more frustrating for me than to hear a customer, that I have known for many years, ask for help on a machine that has disappeared from the market completely. I never want Gabbett Machinery to be in that position.’
As the Oceania representative for the entire SCM Group range of products, Gabbett Machinery promise that when you want a spare part for a SCM group machine you will be able to, ‘talk to one of our people and get a result. We may have to fly a technician from Melbourne to Brisbane to fix your 36 metre long router because there are only six in the world, but we’ll do it‘. The customer experience comes first.
The SCM Group offer cutting edge European machines. The Group has sold over two million machines worldwide with twenty three different brands all represented in Oceania. Names such as Morbidelli, CMS, DMC, Stefani, Routech, Gabbiani, Celaschi as well as SCM branded products are well known in this part of the world and each of these are considered leaders in their field. Mr Gabbett is rightly proud of the SCM Group and Gabbett partnership. ‘Our success will come from the support we get from our SCM Principals, support and experience that we pass on to our customers.’
The customer-focused business strategy have also led Gabbett Machinery to improve their organisational structure. They now have thirty-three technicians. In the past year alone, six European factory trained staff have been engaged in the Southern Hemisphere. All are becoming part of the Gabbett Machinery community and will become citizens of either Australia or New Zealand when they complete their sponsorships with the company
Five of Gabbett Machinery’s resident technicians travel to Europe each year for specific product training. They also have several European factory trained experts visit and conduct product knowledge seminars with our technical staff in both Australia and New Zealand.
The company has introduced a 1300 number. Two CNC technicians are on hand to answer customers problems over the phone for real time troubleshooting. The company will continue to focus attention and budget on real customer focused solutions. Not expensive marketing endeavours.
So if not AWISA 2012, where do customers see Gabbett’s range of SCM Group machinery?
As Mr Gabbett says ‘We have splendid demonstration facilities throughout Australia and New Zealand with a massive amount of machines for customers to test and inspect. You’re invited.’
Specifically, Gabbett Machinery will be running a showcase this July from 11th to 13th of July. Aimed at being a fun, informative and engaging day out with food, entertainment and a chance to get up-close and see demonstrations of the highest quality European machines.
If your travelling from interstate, and staying in the CBD, transport to the exhibition is available. For more information contact your local Gabbett office.
There are showcases taking place throughout the year in major capital cities in Australia and New Zealand. The difference is that at Gabbett Machinery, it’s more than one day - It’s a lifelong relationship.
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