Trade Show TalesBlog

Word on the Street — August 24th thru August 28th

August 28th, 2009 COMMENTS
Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Who is Classic Exhibits?

The headline this week is clearly self-promoting. But there’s a good reason. Last week, we talked about the upturn in business. This week, the upturn continued, so much of my time was devoted to orders, quotes, and production. 

During the busy season, I am frequently reminded, often by distributors, of all the reasons that Classic is different, so indulge me for a few minutes while I discuss “Nimble Manufacturing,” a core concept at Classic Exhibits.

Nimble Manufacturing  

We are a nimble manufacturer. What does that mean? In short, we are a not only a Manufacturer of Portable, Modular, Custom Modular and Custom Hybrid Displays, but we are also an Exhibit Builder. This is an important distinction that needs to be made when comparing Classic Exhibits to our competitors.

Do we design and manufacture “kits”? Yep!  Lots of them. In our humble opinion, we design and manufacture the most creative line of exhibit kits in the world. 

Being nimble is important. When you decide to be an exhibit builder and a kit builder, you have to be willing to be nimble, creative, AND reasonable. For example, let’s say your client wants a 10 x 20 Magellan Hybrid Kit, but they want it modified. They want the counter top lime green (not standard black), and they want to move one of the interior uprights 6″ to better fit their graphic layout requirements. We do it . . . and we do without major upcharges or ridiculous turnaround times. In our minds, why make it painful if it doesn’t have to be. In this case, we can get the laminate in a couple of days, and we have everything it takes to reconfigure the metal, so why demand a huge upcharge? If we have to air freight in the laminate, there may be a fee to cover the shipping.  But other than that, we should be able to build the modified kit without too much trouble and without creating a process and procedural nightmare. After all, we are exhibit builders.

Amazingly, not all other manufacturers see it that way — evidenced by the “if you make one change to a kit, your cost goes up 25%.” Our competitors want to build standard kits, and only standard kits. In their mind, change, any change, suddenly falls into “Custom,” and, as you soon discover (based on their sighs, groans, and waffling), Custom is evil, Custom is hard, and Custom is expensive (cue the cash register sound effect).

Custom Modular…Custom Hybrid…Custom Portable! Ah!!! Run for the Hills

At Classic, we have the audacity to consider all three of these standard. And there is a simple reason for that. When I look at what we build everyday and for the past 4-5 years, it’s almost always customized a bit — whether that means adding a 60″ shadow box to a Quadro S Pop Up or building a touch screen into a laminated pedestal.

So, I hope “they” never change their corporate culture because I know we won’t be changing ours. 🙂 After all, to quote our tagline, “We’re not just different. We’re better.”

The busy season is here. Here’s to a successful fall!

Have a great and restful weekend.

Be Well!

–Kevin Carty


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