In an upcoming print edition of The FABRICATOR, columnist Dick Kallage, principal at KDC & Associates, Barrington, Ill., asks this fundamental question: Why do customers buy from you? As Kallage explains, “the answer often revolves around soft, generalized terms, such as quality, precision, or service. Those are great attributes for use, but who told you that? Unless you know exactly why your customers choose your company, you cannot possibly improve in a focused, economical manner.”
Those are wise words. Kallage’s column focuses on company valuation. It delves into not just why customers buy from you, but why another company or investor would want to purchase a custom fabricator. As Kallage explained it, investors will pay more for a fabricator with new equipment, because they know they won’t have to update equipment during the near term. But they don’t view equipment as a key differentiator because--unless a shop uses proprietary, custom machinery--other fabricators can buy the same or similar machines.