As we step into a New Year, Bluff Manufacturing takes a look back at 2010.
It was a great honor for me to have kicked off Bluff Manufacturing’s marketing and sales agenda for 2010 by joining Bluff as the Marketing and Sales Director early in the year. Designing a strategic plan meant implementing several changes and facing various challenges. But perhaps our biggest marketing and sales successes came from adding talented and experienced personnel to our team, and creating a comprehensive web and interactive strategy designed to develop business and manage customer relationships.
From creating a comprehensive social media plan in addition to an interactive online portal for distributors, Bluff took giant steps to meet the marketing challenges of an ever-evolving world of web marketing and e-commerce.
Even with the industry still reeling from the after effects of the financial catastrophe of the past couple of years, Bluff Manufacturing managed to create positive news. But they were several challenges as well. In April, we noted that steel prices showed upward trends creating a dilemma for Bluff Manufacturing – maintaining competitive product pricing for its customers and distributors while facing higher raw material costs.
In June, Bluff Manufacturing acquired B&L Structures, a national steel manufacturer whose clients include NASA, Tuesday Morning, Burlington Coat Factory, Anderson Systems (a division of Wal-Mart), and Aviall (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Boeing Company). This helped Bluff add more people to its employee roster as well as an entire new product line of mezzanine structures, conveyor support, stairways and ladders. These were definitely exciting times for Bluff, and its employees, partners, and customers.
In the second quarter Bluff introduced the all-aluminum, lightweight, ANSI MH30.2-certified truck dock board featuring aluminum curbs (ATD) specially designed for applications where rust resistance and control of spark production is essential.
In October, Bluff welcomed a representative from Senator John Cornyn’s office for a tour of our plant in an effort to increase awareness of the importance of growing the manufacturing sector within the United States. This also shone light on the important topic of job creation within this sector.
In the last quarter of the year, we traveled from one convention to the next to network with our industry peers, understand our customers’ needs, and to position the Bluff brand as the number one manufacturer of solutions for the material handling industry. We made a lot of friends, had some unusual experiences, and learned a lot about the manufacturing industry as well as other sectors. But perhaps the most unusual marketing initiative this year was the creation of the Bluff Travelling Banner. The banner traveled to many different places with our Yard Ramps making a statement wherever it went – Another Bluff Yard Ramp on its way to work!
No matter how many business goals the company achieves, Bluff continues to keep its focus on helping build our community and giving back whenever we can. This year we gave toys, monetary donations and household goods for a family in Burleson, Texas, who recently suffered a house fire, which caused extensive damage and property loss. Bluff recognizes that some priorities are more important than others.
As we approach 2011, we are excited about all the new possibilities that await Bluff Manufacturing in the New Year. As noted in our last blog, the manufacturing revenue is set to grow at 5.6% in 2011 according to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) semi-annual forecast. So, we are ringing in the New Year with optimism and hope. As a growing company, we have an exciting agenda for 2011 as well as new products and offerings for our customers and distributors. Happy New Year!!!