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2018 represents a major milestone in the history of electronic enclosures, the 90th Anniversary of Bud Industries. I have often written about our history in this blog so I won’t repeat it, but I do think there are several key points worth highlighting. First, Bud’s current president, Josiah Haas, is the 4th generation of Haas’s to lead the company. I recently read a study that showed that only 3% of companies survive to be led by the fourth generation, making this a feat that is almost as astounding as surviving for 90 years.
The year 2016 marked my 44th year at Bud Industries and what is most interesting is how we have continued to reinvent ourselves, most recently with our focus on modified enclosures. When I joined the company, large cabinet racks were the driver of our business. We had no plastic products, did not participate in the NEMA market, and we did not really modify products, only building custom products in very large quantities to order. If I look back through the years, we reinvented our mission and strategy frequently, often on a 5-7 year interval yet always remaining true to our core values. In any business, remaining static seems like the safe route, but in reality, it is the path towards a slow sinking death.
Bud Industries focus over the last few years has moved aggressively to providing modified and custom enclosures. As I have written, Bud now provides and industry leading 5-6 day turnaround on most simple modifications to many of our standard products including the cutting and piercing of holes, slots and other types of openings. We also perform many more operations including providing custom design services, special sizes, gaskets, colors, and packaging. We are unique in that we work with our distribution partners, allowing the customer the best of all options, close customer service for their turn-key enclosures.
As 2015 wraps to a close, it has to go into the record books as one of the most unusual. From politics (remember that Scott Walker was the favorite for the Republican nod early in the year) to the weather (remember the Polar Vortex as now the East Coast is basking in record heat?), nothing seemed to go as projected. Therefore, it is with pride that we note that Bud continues to be as consistent as ever. As we celebrated our 87th year in business, we have bucked the trend with double digit growth and increased market share. Why do we think this happened? There have been a number of good reasons:
- We have had an aggressive new product introduction program this year. From many new sizes and styles of NEMA 4x plastic boxes to high end extruded pc enclosures, from snap together utility boxes to explosion proof boxes we have led the market in pushing into new industries and broadening our base
- We have upgraded some of our best sellers. A great example is our AN die cast NEMA enclosure which are now rated IP68, suitable for submerging for extended periods of time.
- We continue to lead the industry in our modification capabilities and lead time. Our five day turnaround on most modified boxes helps us serve the customer as quickly as their local job shop with higher quality and more consistency. On all significant quotations, we booked more than 1/3, which includes many that did not get funded
As your design work on your great new project is wrapping up, you realize that you need an enclosure. In the past, because time was tight, you would buy someone’s standard box and then send it out to either your local job shop or the shop in the back of your facility to have the required holes and slots put in for such things as connectors, power, readouts, or whatever is needed. You did this because getting a custom product out of a typical enclosure manufacturer was harder than getting a bill through Congress.
Today, you have a great alternative. We, at Bud, have pioneered a rapid turnaround on modifications to our broad line of standard enclosures. Here are the quick steps to making it happen:
It is all about easy. Staples, the office supply store, has staked their brand on the concept of making life “easy” for their customers, creating their ubiquitous ads that feature an easy button. For anyone who is interested in their user’s well-being, developing solutions that make the acquisition process quicker and simpler is inevitably going to lead to greater customer satisfaction. At Bud, there are several steps that we have taken recently to let any customer push that “easy” button. With enclosures, that typically means making it simple to use the enclosure right out of the box.
- We offer the fastest modification services available. We can modify a standard box in 6 days for the first run, 5 days for the succeeding runs. There is no premium for this fast service and in most cases, we can even provide free design support. Of course, most enclosures cannot be used without some modifications to allow for power ingress, readouts, data connections, and the like. We can provide that service so we can help you eliminate the need to go to multiple sources to make the enclosure useable.
- We have expanded our accessories to include a very broad array of cable glands that are rated at IP 66. Quite simply, there is no point to drill holes in your NEMA enclosure if you do not protect the openings properly. Our broad array of cable glands provide the perfect solution. With multiple sizes and styles that range from the traditional to flexible to even metal, we can save you the time and hassle of research and acquisition by being a single source vendor.
There are many more ways that Bud can make your life easy. Discover the Bud that you did not know by checking out our website at www.budind.com.
I am finishing a trip to Chicago that has consisted of traveling with our company’s new president, a salesperson from our local rep firm and a distributor salesperson from Allied Electronics and then attending a sales show run by Carlton Bates. I often dread making calls with sales people wondering if they are prepared, if there really is a reason for our call or are they only calling in a favor to keep me occupied. Yesterday, I saw some of the best salesmanship I have seen in some time. Our rep did not know the account contact specifically, but we were there at the request of the Allied salesperson. Both jumped in once the meeting started, delving into the customer’s needs rather than just promoting our products. Once they had clarified the need, they identified opportunities that we could provide to help them solve their enclosure requirements. In this case, the customer was delighted to learn about our 5 day modified enclosure program, an industry leading turnaround on customized products. He was using his internal team to do the modifications, but their lead times were often excessive. The sales team continued to drill down to learn specific products, time frames, and next action items. They were not aggressive, but they were supportive, leaving the customer feeling that his interests were paramount and understanding that we were there to help him, not push our own agenda. They even asked for other contacts at this account, setting up follow up approaches to provide a total solution for that customer.
We then went to the Carlton Bates reverse trade show. They had their outside team prepared to discuss a specific target account and then let us review it with them to determine the enclosure opportunities. They were well prepared, interested in what we had to say, ready with good suggestions, and eager to learn. Several were waiting for us to visit their table to discuss other potential accounts. Again, their focus was on the best aspects of selling, how they can provide exceptional service to their customers. They were excited when they could see approaches to solving sticky issues that the customer had been experiencing and partner with these accounts to be a meaningful support.
As the year draws to a close, I cannot help but think back on what an eventful year we have had at Bud Industries. From innovative new products to corporate milestones, 2013 has been a very good year for all of us at Bud. Perhaps the highlight of 2013 was the introduction of the Board-ganizer. This creative product solves several issues for the development board user:
- It helps organize the workspace of the designer who is using several development boards such as raspberry pi, arduino, freescale freedom boards, and others or the various accessories that have sprung up for these products.
- It allows these boards to be mobile…to allow for the transportation of your boards easily without having to disconnect the cables or other components.
This product has been an overwhelming success with hobbyists, schools, and many companies. It even led to a very clever film about how to use the Board-ganizer with the boards to create a fish tank controller and camera. Check it out, it’s very funny.
What distinguishes a simple metal or plastic box from a functional electronic enclosure? Most often, it’s the modifications necessary to allow access to the interior, stabilize and protect its contents, and present the appropriate appearance. Enclosures typically need a minimum of one cutout for a power cable and often many other modifications, which can include holes, cutouts, tappings, gaskets, pre-assembly, and finishing.