At the Rotochopper 2013 Factory Demo Day, our attendees demonstrated the value of our company mission and the people who uphold that mission.
I’ve been a part of Rotochopper from day one, and our annual Demo Day, more than any other event, takes me right back to the early days of Rotochopper. When our guests began to enter our factory for our third annual Demo Day on August 20th, I was again struck by the continuity of the machines we build and the customers who rely on those machines.
We started making grinding equipment with really simple goals—to build practical equipment that would turn waste into profitable products and then support that equipment with world class factory-direct customer service. That’s still the driving force behind what we do. It’s still what brings guests to our factory. Seeing our guests recognize that unique value during factory tours and live demos never gets old.
Make no mistake about it: much has changed in the 20+ years that we’ve been building grinders. Our machines are bigger and more sophisticated. The control systems do things that would never have occurred to us 20 years ago. Our customers are grinding materials that we would not have imagined going through a grinder when we began building grinding equipment. The business landscape has changed substantially. Yet seeing our guests arrive for Demo Day 2013 reminded me how much things have stayed constant.
Our guests for Demo Day 2013 had the same goals as the people who came to our factory to see our first grinders more than two decades ago. They came looking for equipment to turn low grade materials into high quality finished products. They came wanting to see solutions that would help their businesses grow. Just like our very first guests to our factory, they were looking for solutions to make their businesses better, not simply more profitable. That’s what they saw in demo after demo.
Demos included a track-mounted B-66 grinding logs, an EC-366 grinding bark, and an RG-1 grinding shingles, among the seven different machines grinding over 10 different feedstocks. Attendees saw Rotochopper equipment grinding logs, pallets, wood chips, asphalt shingles, and municipal yard waste, among other raw materials. Since we demonstrated machines in multiple applications, the attendees got to see us change screens and teeth in preparation for different feedstocks and end products. Two of the most popular demos didn’t even involve grinding: the track & dolly system for the B-66 and the Go-Bagger 250.
Most importantly, our guests saw the complete solutions they were seeking come together not by watching demonstrations, but by getting to know the people who design, build, and support these machines. Each demonstration wrapped up with an opportunity for attendees to climb around the machines and talk to our R & D team, our customer service representatives, and other attendees.
Although our annual demo day has the added excitement of a larger audience and more equipment than our typical demos, the individual demos are essentially the same as any other. The attendees ask questions about hydraulic valves, service intervals, finished product specifications, fiber markets, and anything possibly related to grinding equipment. They closely examine the finished products. They walk away from the event better informed about fiber market opportunities and the equipment needed to capitalize on those opportunities. This is always the most enjoyable part of any demo.
When the attendees arrived, they were excited to see how Rotochopper equipment could help their businesses grow. By the end of the day, that excitement had grown along with their understanding of the opportunities available to them. By the time we sat down for dinner, I’d already had the opportunity to speak with many of the attendees. In talking to them throughout the day, one thing became clear again and again. The attendees had the same type of entrepreneurial spirit that brought customers to us in the beginning. They wanted to turn waste materials into opportunities. At Demo Day, they saw how they could do that. Some of them own several grinders already. Some of them had never seen a grinder except in pictures and videos. But all of them were seeking to grow. All of them demonstrated that the goals we set when we launched the Rotochopper brand are just as important today (and probably more so).
That is a very gratifying and very humbling experience. Thank you to all of our attendees who made Demo Day 2013 our best yet.