Entrepreneurship is often driven by an ability to see trends, understand their implications and act. Trends in demographics, trends in purchase behavior, trends in customer needs all offer opportunity for those ready to “see” the possibilities. Swanzey-based ABTech recently saw a trend in their markets – competitors unwilling to re-purpose or re-use components for their customers. And they quickly acted!
ABTech is a successful local manufacturer that sells globally. They design and manufacture metrology gages, rotary and linear air bearings and custom motion systems for aircraft and aerospace, semiconductor, optical, turbines and other industries where precision is paramount. It sounds complicated (and it is) but simply put, ABTech makes and sells instruments that very precisely measure components that other manufacturers make that must fit perfectly in a final assembly, such as a jet engine.
Like most manufacturers (and as the word “manufacturer” implies) ABTech has always focused on selling new ABTech gage systems to its customers. But Ken Abbott, ABTech’s President, Founder and Principal Engineer saw something in the market.
According to Ken, “We see that there are a tremendous number of older roundness gages in the market: gages that are not being supported by their original manufacturers. The PCs are old and the electronics are failing. Most of our competitors simply say to the customer ‘buy a new one.’ The beauty of an air bearing-based gage is there are no contacting parts to wear out, so an air bearing that is 30 or 40 years old should still be as accurate as when it was first made. The problem with old gages are the controllers, computers and monitors. These are failing or no longer supported by the original manufacturer.”
ABTech saw an opportunity. Their solution? “We are tapping into a need and creating a trend by offering to take those gages in for retrofit with our new computers and software” continued Ken. “No other companies are doing this and in today’s world of re-purposing, re-cycling and re-using it feels like the right thing to do. And we believe offering a retrofit option has the potential to significantly contribute to our sales.”
Check out ABTech’s MicroForm™ Retrofit Program. Their Retrofit Program converts older air bearing roundness gages from other manufacturers to a state-of-the-art ABTech MicroForm™ system. As long as ABTech is confident that each component will provide the required performance, stability and reliability, they will recondition them, saving their customers substantial money compared to purchasing a new gage.
We applaud this creative, innovative and entrepreneurial approach to marketplace opportunities. What trends are you seeing in your business markets? How might you respond to the opportunity they present? Food for thought!