MRO Magazine

Distributors get insight into end-user needs at local conference

By Bill Roebuck, Editor   

Industry

More than 130 members of the Canadian power transmission industry turned out for the second annual Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) Canadian Conference May 22-24, 2003. The event was...

More than 130 members of the Canadian power transmission industry turned out for the second annual Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) Canadian Conference May 22-24, 2003. The event was held at the White Oaks Conference Resort in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.

Although many of the delegates were from the southern Ontario area, the conference attracted members from distant locations too, including Ian Goodland, general business manager of Devcon in Coombs, B.C., and Ivo Mitev, owner and manager of Midnight Sun Energy Ltd. of Yellowknife, N.W.T.

The conference featured an economic forecast, roundtable sessions, a member panel discussion, and presentations and a panel discussion by end-use customers representing four key industries.

The customers and industries were represented by Kuldeep Chandra, director of procurement and supply, Wescast Industries Inc., Brantford, Ont. (automotive); Joe Gaboury, logistics specialist, and Trevor Gibbs, contract administrator, Ontario Power Generation, Pickering, Ont. (utilities); Tony Robinson, sourcing manager, supplies/service, Dofasco Inc., Hamilton, Ont. (steel); and George Frattolin, manager, purchasing and logistics, Bowater Canadian Forest Products Inc., Thunder Bay, Ont. (pulp & paper).

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The Canadian conference was developed by the PTDA to complement its annual convention and provide an opportunity for Canadian power transmission/motion control (PT/MC) executives to explore nationally focussed market issues and trends, said PTDA executive vice-president Mary Sue Lyon.

Peter R. Andersen, Ph.D., of Andersen Economic Research Ltd., presented a Canadian economic forecast. Andersen analyzed domestic, U.S. and global leading indicators that affect both distributors and manufacturers. While he focussed significantly on the U.S. economy because of its large impact on Canada, he discussed both short- and long-term trends for Canada’s overall economy as well as key end-use industries

His talk was followed by customer presentations and a panel discussion of trends in supplier selection, purchasing and product design. The customers also discussed their supplier relationships and performance expectations. There were many questions for each speaker, and several casual discussions among members ensued afterwards about the points raised during this session.

The next day, members had the opportunity to build on the previous sessions when they broke into roundtable groups to discuss the impact of general economic and end-use market trends on their business. A follow-up panel of table leaders was moderated by Bill Roebuck, editor and associate publisher of Machinery & Equipment MRO.

The table leaders summarized their group’s conclusions for the larger audience, and the session was followed by a question-and-answer period.

For more information on PTDA and its resources, call 312-876-9461 or visit www.ptda.org.MRO

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