By Conrad BaileyStressed out from low sales on the Internet? Can't believe the rising cost of online marketing such as search engine optimization or pay-per-click? Is this is a problem you're facing, one solution is Co-op advertising.Co-op advertising is a mutual promotional arrangement between two or more non-competitive companies that share the same target market. For example, a manufacturer of bearings may develop a cooperative advertising relationship with an re-builder of engines. Or perhaps, a distributor of first aid supplies may engage in co-op advertising with a plant safety management firm. Both companies benefit from the exposure while cutting advertising expenses.Previously, most co-op advertising relationships were between manufacturers and their distributors or the retailers that sell their products. Which usually consisted of running ads in newspapers or magazines read by their target audience. However, ever since the Web came along, there has been all kinds of co-op arrangements between companies in just about every industry.The Perfect Co-Op PartnershipManufacturers and distributors of industrial products share the same end user - industrial and technical buyers such as engineers, construction companies, manufacturing facilities, foundries, and other buyers of industrial supplies, equipment and machinery. Therefore, with such a vast target market, manufacturers and suppliers of industrial goods or services make the perfect co-op partnership.Finding co-op advertising partners is usually not that difficult. After all, cutting advertising expenses is something every company would like to do, so whether your a manufacturer or distributor, or perhaps an exporter or importer, you should have no problem finding cooperative advertising opportunities. You can start by looking at your own supply chain or the companies you are currently doing business with. These are often the easiest to arrange a co-op relationship with, especially if you're a buyer, distributor or wholesaler of their products. Web Sites Are Ideal For Co-op AdvertisingJust about all kinds of media can be utilized for co-op advertising. For industrial suppliers, however, trade magazines is still the media of choice for running coop advertisements. But quickly closing in is the Internet, which many suppliers are finding to be the most effective source for developing co-op campaigns.Obviously, the most popular form of co-op advertising on the Internet is simply trading banners or reciprocal linking. Yet, over the last couple of years. too many people, perhaps out of greed, have ruined which was once an extremely beneficial method of building traffic. In other words, the bulk mail offers (Spam) to exchange links. In result, more people are now shying away from exchanging links and instead focus more on internal, one way links.But if you're serious about finding valuable co-op advertising partners online, there still are literally unlimited opportunities available. Whether it's trading or sharing the cost of a banner or logo, text link or display ad, the possibilities are endless and only limited by your imagination. By all means, when looking for co-op partners, think in terms of quality, not quantity. Don't worry about page rank, that will come naturally. Just focus on developing fewer, but of higher quality co-op advertising or linking partners. Because it's not how many co-op or banner exchanges you have developed. More importantly, it's the value of those relationships that count. Just a handful of the right partners can dramatically increase your site's Web presence.Co-Op Advertising Using AdwordsI know of several companies in which Google Adwords has proven to be an extremely effective source for co-op advertising. Adwords is nearly perfect for developing, running and tracking coop ads. No other advertising system gives you the ability to access such a large audience so quickly and test your ads so easily. It's practically designed for co-op advertising.In fact, I can say with almost certainty, and you can quote me on this, that by the end of the year there will be noticeably more companies doing co-op advertising via Adwords. Especially if the bids for keywords continue to rise like they are, co-op advertising maybe the answer for a lot of manufacturers and suppliers of industrial products. Yes, Google Adwords.For instance, the way Adwords is designed, it's possible for companies to share the views of a landing page, so traffic is filtered equally between the partnering sites. Or maybe the landing page itself can display the advertising content of both companies for mutual exposure. You can even get creative and design the ad to promote both companies, or even use rotating ads. Or if you want to get real creative, you and your coop partner can integrate your keywords and create a totally different ad that promotes both companies. Again, the possibilities are limited by creativity and your willingness to test different ideas. Free Co-Op Industrial Advertising NetworkIf your company is a manufacturer or distributor of industrial products, I want to invite you to join the Free Co-Op Industrial Advertising Network. I've developed the network in association with IndustrialLeaders.com, and it's quickly becoming the most popular online co-op advertising network for manufacturers and suppliers of industrial products. International manufacturers and suppliers are welcome to join free-of-charge. You can get all the details at the website below. About The Author :Conrad Bailey is co-founder and vice president of IndustrialLeaders.com, a Manufacturing Directory and author of the popular Co-Op Industrial Advertising Blog at: http://www.IndustrialLeaders.com/blog/
Machining center manufacturers are all looking for and touting the ability to reduce part cycle times by offering faster and more efficient machines. That is what the job shop and part production customers of these products demand, because their end-product customers are driving a purchasing philosophy of lower costs per part.While the choice of a high-speed machining center makes a major difference in operational productivity and part cost, the tooling utilized on that machine can be another dominant factor. The efficiency of such new, special purpose proprietary tooling can even further enhance the output of a horizontal machining center. It can provide a wide degree of flexibility in compressing several machining processes, especially in parts production.Makino, a global provider of advanced machining technology, says that the use of special-purpose and multifunctional tools, like the SmartTools it manufactures, helps in this process compression. These specially designed and patented tools reduce cycle times as well as production costs, which saves money.As an example, there are a number of unique, special tools that can reduce the initial capital investment and drive out substantial process time in the machining of engine blocks. Cylinder bores can be finished and honed with a precise closed-loop boring system that automatically compensates for tool wear or thermal distortion and produces exceptional repeatability.You can also grind bimetallic surfaces utilizing a cubic boron nitride superabrasive grinding wheel all on a standard machining center.Machines incorporated with this special, multifunctional tooling will outperform a number of individual specialty-purpose machines when used in an integrated system. Mid- to high-volume parts manufacturers often invest in state-of-the-art machine tool technology, and can further enhance their flexibility and productivity with the use of such special-purpose tooling.With more and more demand to streamline processes and production cycle times, especially from original equipment manufacturer outsourcing operations, there is a growing need for more valuable and cost-effective solutions for jobs shops and production facilities. And, the solutions exist to allow them to "work smarter."
It is no secret that more and more companies are moving their projects outside of the company walls by using outsourcing and freelance services to complete the projects. This move has made it possible for companies the world over to remain profitable in the face of economic downturns. This speaks directly to the benefits to be had when outsourcing projects to freelance professionals from all over the world. So many people are skilled in certain areas that they hardly ever use, mostly because they took a job in the world that was outside of their qualifications in order to survive in the failing economy that is plaguing the world. This is not uncommon. Those with degrees in electronics and their inner-workings are especially prone to this because of the cut throat market that reigns. Upon graduating, these people will most often take a job that has little to do with the education they have received. This is a huge waste of resources as many companies will not hire such persons because they have little or no skills in the real world. Barring a complete and total makeover of the way that companies hire professionals, the only chance these people have is to take on freelance jobs that have been outsourced by a company in need of such services. This is becoming common place in this world as freelancing takes a hold and makes it mark on the professional world. Outsourcing is rapidly becoming the best way for companies to save money in light of the downturn that the economy has taken. Little can be gained by these companies when they attempt to keep the projects in house. Moreover, they stand to lose substantial amounts of money by attempting to hire and train someone for the project when you take into consideration all the benefits and salary that must be paid to persons that work inside the company. Outsourcing does away with the need for such benefits by hiring professionals from outside the company walls to make certain that the project is completed in a timely and efficient manner without the large costs involved in training someone for the project.The beauty of outsourcing lies in the simplicity of it all. The freelance professionals that are available for outsourcing the projects are already trained in the inner-workings of the project. This saves the company not only time but money in the long run. The fact remains that hiring a professional for full time work is not productive in most cases when the project is a one time thing that may lead to the possibility of more work but does not guarantee as such. This means that a company may only benefit from a persons knowledge once and never again. Then if they have already hired such a person then they are required to put into place a full time salary and benefits package that will cost them more than the project is worth in the end. So in essence the company has wasted the valuable resources they have when it comes to a one shot project that is not guaranteed to bring in any long term profits for the company. That is where the outsourcing of projects comes into play. Instead of hiring a full time employee with long term pay and benefits, the company takes part in outsourcing by opening the bidding floor to qualified freelance professionals who will bid for a one time flat fee for the project.Under the outsourcing system, freelance professionals bid and are awarded the project based on their individual merits and the price that they have bid for the project. If they have the skills required then they simply complete the project in exchange for the pay that is agreed upon. That is the only connection that the freelance professional that is hired for outsourcing has to the company and can make no claims to the company for more than the agreed upon pay. This is all done in the comfort of outside locations. This means that the person does not have an office inside the company and is not subject to any benefits that the other employees of the company enjoy. This in itself has saved the company a lot of money.When you take all the factors into consideration you see that outsourcing is the way to go for a lot of things. Many companies are finding that they can run with a surprisingly low number of employees on their payroll as compared to previous years when they use outsourcing as their main method of completing projects especially when it comes to those things that require special training and knowledge that is not taught in the base education of the employees that they regularly hire. There is the possibility that many companies will find improved profit margins in relation to the former bottom lines that they once thought to be too low. In the essence of good business decisions, more and more companies are outsourcing their projects in an effort to streamline their business with an eye to the future.There is much to be gained by outsourcing the projects that a company needs completed. All over the globe there are people who are highly skilled but not using those skills in their normal jobs. This is a tragedy to many who know that these professionals can be tapped to provide valuable services to the companies all over the world that are spending millions of dollars more than they should be to get the work done that is so vital to the company. Most of the knowledge that can be found in the freelance professionals of the world that take part in outsourcing is mandatory for the companies of today. So much is relied upon by these companies and it is of the utmost importance that they work to maintain a higher profit margin in an effort to boost the world out of the recession that it currently is in to provide the best work possible for their customers. In the end if there are no customers than there is no business and they need to find cheaper ways in which to maintain an airtight business without harming that which is important to them. Outsourcing is the only solution to the problem as more and more companies are struggling and laying off workers in an effort to remain profitable. They will notice a 50% decrease in costs when outsourcing takes place on the projects that can be completed by freelance professionals. If the economy continues on the downward spiral than a great loss of jobs is not far off in the horizon. This speaks directly to the need for outsourcing of the projects that companies need to the freelance professionals of the world who can get the job done at a fraction of the cost and normally within a shorter amount of time than originally conceived. To maintain this type of business most companies will benefit in a short period of time when they outsource the projects to those who do not operate in house.Furthering the cause of outsourcing is of vital importance to all those who need the work completed in a timely manner and with the professional quality that so many can bring to the table.
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in early January 2006 was a blow-out four-day trade show attracting some 150,000 guests and 2,500 exhibitors. The "trade show" floor was 28 football fields worth of space and exhibits spanned 1.6 billion square feet of convention space. This dynamic trade show gave us a peek into the future of a plug and play lifestyle where we can work, play, and keep in touch when we want, where we want.The incredible momentum around these new products and services shows that the digital lifestyle has truly gone mainstream this year, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said in his opening keynote address. Now its time to bring together the devices, software, and services in peoples lives and take all these experiences to the next level. To introduce the latest technologies, the most effective trade show displays combined drama, creativity and design to broadcast their message and pound home their brand awareness. On the other hand, there were trade show exhibits that lacked creativity and pizzazz and went virtually unnoticed by the milling show floor throng.Clients who want their trade show appearance to make a dramatic impact often ask about the traits of a trade show booth that hits it big on all cylinders. They want to know what the innovative trade show leaders do differently and how they can also stand out against the competition. Event Marketer covered the CES show and ranked the trade show booths as to their appeal. Just a few of their favorites were AOL, Dolby and Daewoo. Here are a few pointers that resulted from why they picked these trade show exhibit exhibits:1.Have your "trade show exhibit" booth provide a valuable service to attendeesAOL scored big when they offered their high speed Internet service free to all weary trade show exhibit goers. Attendees found a comfortable place to relax, check their email, and surf the web. While this was going on, AOL got to showcase their companys services such as music on demand, Mobile, AIM, and City Guide. This was a win-win situation that helped trade show exhibit attendees check in with their offices in real time while appreciating AOL as their host. 2.Find a location that stands apart from the crowd AOL was inside the concierge tent and therefore got lots of exposure and foot traffic. They commanded a corner in the concierge tent which was located in the parking lot outside the main hall. Their entry had a 20-screen TV wall showing brand logos and concert videos. There were 20 laptops for guests to use and six were mounted on mechanical arms, which could be reached by attendees relaxing in comfortable chairs. 3.Find creative ways to be in the moment. AOL corporate executives off site were able to view the inside of their trade show exhibit booth as a web camera filmed the action inside their booth at the show in real time. They could critique booth activity in real time and coach exhibit personnel on traffic flow, visitor reactions and fresh ideas for engaging prospects. 4.Use eye-catching designs, shapes and tension fabrics. Daewoo used a large wall constructed of 17 LCD screens with 36 fabric screens with rear-projected graphics as its focal point. Huge fin-shaped tension fabric structures with custom lighting lined TV display stands at the sides of the exhibit. They used a logo laden two-sided tower perched on top of the info desk at the entrance with 10 LCD screens built into the pillar. Visitors were fascinated by the compelling visual drama. 5.Create a space for attendees to try out your products. Dolby had a gaming zone that allowed guests to try out their new Xbox 360 racing game, Burnout. The Xboxs Dolby Digital sound was like a beckon that cast a spell on visitors alluring them to the trade show exhibit booth. Remember that by incorporating movement, color, lights and action in your trade show exhibit booth you get to showcase new technology while entertaining and mesmerizing your guests. Techniques such as these can make for an unforgettable trade show exhibit experience.Dick Wheeler is President of Professional Exhibits & Graphics, headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. The firm is a full-service premiere trade show exhibit exhibit, graphics and management services company. For addtional information, go to www.proexhibits.com. Copyright 1996-2006, Professional Exhibits & Graphics. All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2006 Mary GreenwoodNo matter whether you are negotiating a raise with your boss, negotiating a vacation schedule with you ex-spouse or negotiating with a seller or buyer on an on-line auction, there are certain rules or principles that will help you settle your disputes.Rule 1. Focus on the goal. Dont be distracted by your emotions. It is important to check your emotions at the door before trying to negotiate anything. Emotions such as anger can make one lose control. We have all seen someone who gets red in the face and starts shaking his finger and generally looks as though he could easily have a heart attack. Sometimes that person is so mad that he is incoherent. You need to get past that stage if you are going to succeed. If you are the one who is angry and upset, you need to focus on what you hope to accomplish and tell yourself that nothing is going to stand in the way of that goal. It really does not matter whether you like the other side or not. Some parties are rude, obnoxious and insulting. Try to get past these insults so you can focus on resolving the dispute. The other side may be baiting you so dont give them the satisfaction of knowing they have gotten to you. If you focus on the goals of the negotiation, it wont matter whether you like or respect the other party.Rule 2. Look forward, not back. The past is called the past for a reason. If one party gets too involved in what has happened in the past, it can be counter-productive. One party in a divorce case, may be so intent on documenting everything the husband has done wrong, that the wife is not even thinking about the goals of the negotiation beyond blaming the husband. You have to figure out a way to get to the present and deal with current issues of custody or visitation. Ask the other party what they want now to resolve the dispute.Rule 3. You dont have to be right to settle. What are the three words we want to hear the most, even more than I Love you? We love to hear those magic words, You are right. For some people, this is even harder to say than I love you. And if you say, You are absolutely right, that is even better. When someone says, It is the principle that counts or It is not the money, its the principle! I know that the negotiation is in trouble. That is because the party is making a judgment call that it is more important to be a martyr than settle the case. When someone is obsessed with the principle of a situation, he/she is still emotionally vested in his/her feelings. Unless you can get beyond those emotions, the dispute is not likely to be resolved. Feeling that you are right can be a heady emotion, but it has no place in the negotiation. If the other side is only interested in being right, chances are the situation wont be resolved.Rule 4. Know what you want and what the other side wants. Knowing what you want may seem obvious, but many parties dont know what they want. They are so angry that they have not even asked themselves how the issue can be resolved. If they dont know what they want, how can they go about getting it? They may want to hash and rehash the circumstances that got them into this negotiation. Depending on the complexity of the situation, you should have a detailed plan of what you want. In addition to knowing what you want, you also need to know what you are willing to give up to get what you want. Generally you can get what you want if you are willing to pay the price for it. Dont ever begin a negotiation without knowing what you want.Rule 5. Be prepared and do your research. Once you have an idea what you want, you must do your research and preparation. That could be as simple as listing your arguments on a sheet of paper or as complex as doing the research to cost out a request for wage increases. Either way, you need to be prepared. Otherwise, you might make a concession or agreement that you will later regret. You need to know the rationale behind your requests and a good estimate of the costs, including the future costs. Nothing is more embarrassing than making a presentation and having someone question the accuracy of your numbers and having the whole presentation fall apart because the data is confusing, or even worse incorrect. If you are not completely prepared, consider delaying the start of the negotiation. If you go in with little or no information, and try to wing it, you will regret it later. You cannot be over-prepared. Even if you dont use everything you prepared, it does not matter. It is important to have as much information and research as possible just in case you need it.