As you are well aware, markets are always changing, evolving. Many factors drive this process, but both a driving factor and combating tool is product innovation. Here we talk more about how we, as a business, work with the ever shifting market around us.
Finding Needs in the Market
The first step for any successful approach at inserting one’s self into the market is finding gaps. Where are the holes? Where are the opportunities?
This has been a resounding success for many of the products at our company. When our first Ash Vacuum was invented by our founder, Mike Loveless, in 1983, there was no other product like it on the market. It was not something that had been mainstream. This allowed us to find a period of success in the Ash Vacuum market when there were relatively low competitors and a high need for a product of this type.
Had we attempted to create a product in a highly saturated environment, we may not have seen the same success we saw with our initial ash vacuum.
Adjusting With the Market
As the turn of the century arrived, the market experienced shifts. Less people were using wood burning stoves and were more frequently using gas powered fireplaces. This eliminated many people’s need for an Ash Vacuum.
At the same time, increasingly stringent regulations regarding hazardous materials began with more technologically supported scientific and healthcare related studies. This created the need for a new type of product.
We adjusted from focusing on one type of product – the Ash Vacuum – and inserted ourselves into the dust control realm. Our innovations included certified HEPA vacuums that could work between wet and dry materials without switching filters; truly a remarkable design. We added dust shrouds for a variety of tools, including grinders, saws, drills, and others.
This did not mean elimination of our Ash Vacuum product line; rather, it encouraged expansion of additional product lines.
Working in the Post COVID-19 Market
Certainly, the ease of market predictability and integration can experience disruptions. As we are all well aware, nobody really could have anticipated the worldwide pandemic that crashed markets worldwide.
This requires an additional layer of idea generation, as the entire market is shook. Once again, innovation is the key to success.
With our usual purpose slowed down and a warehouse full of vacuum filter bags, our CEO had the idea to turn the filter bags into face mask inserts. We could then donate these mask inserts both locally, nationally, and even internationally in an effort to slow the spread of a life devastating and economy destroying plague.
Much to our surprise, our mask inserts came in higher and higher demands and we began to sew masks as demand increased. We were able to work with the State of Utah to provide masks as part of the ‘Mask for Every Utahn’ initiative. This allowed our company to stay healthy in an otherwise shaken world.
Eyes Pointed Forward
It is not enough for us to stall ourselves now. As the Matthew Principle states, if you are not moving forward, you are moving backwards – there is no stasis. In discussion with customers, dealers, and among ourselves we are looking forward to what our customers need going forward. 3D printing technology and a new push for products that are Made in the USA are among some of the exciting projects coming to our customers soon.
A Thank You
These exciting changes are not possible without our loyal customers, our dedicated dealers and distributors, and our faithful manufacturers reps everywhere. Thank you for supporting us, and we hope to meet your expectations as we continue moving forward into the ever bright future.