IBT Industrial Solutions hosted a Customer Appreciation & Technology Expo on June 5th at the Butcher’s Block Event Center for businesses throughout the Joplin area. The event celebrated 45 years of IBT’s service in Joplin.
Over 110 customers and 36 vendors attended the event. “In spite of the bad weather, we had a very successful event,” said Rick Gerling, Regional Manager for IBT in Joplin. “The most exciting part for me was educating businesses in the area on all the new products available out there to help run their manufacturing and warehouse operations.”
The Butcher’s Block provided a BBQ buffet lunch, featuring brisket, pulled pork, and ribs, to all participants. Several prizes were given away, including a 3-lap ride with the Richard Petty Driving Experience at the IBT Tech X 500 tradeshow, which will be hosted at the Kansas Speedway in September 2013.
Guests Greeted by Top IBT Executives
IBT’s Owner and Chairman of the Board, Steve Cloud, came in from Kansas City to personally greet each guest and thank them for attending. President and CEO Mark Byrne also attended the event to meet with customers and suppliers alike.
“This event is very important to us,” said Anthony Akin, Director of Marketing for IBT. “We have a longstanding relationship with the Joplin community, and we want to personally thank the companies in this area who trust us with their business—no matter how small or large they may be.”
36 Vendors Participated
36 vendors were on-hand to demonstrate cutting-edge products and discuss industrial solutions, including representatives from Goodyear Engineered Products, Baldor/Dodge, MCR Safety, and JAX.
“I didn’t realize the vast number of products that IBT supports,” said Lesa Queen, a Senior Buyer for Murphy Brown, LLC. She started working with IBT only three months ago, and drove in from Nevada, Missouri to attend the show.
Queen said that as a result of the show, she has scheduled several meetings and product demonstrations for Murphy Brown’s maintenance group, including their feed-milling operations. “It was a great show, very enjoyable,” she said. “It was also a good opportunity to see all the different things that IBT does.”
New Ideas Introduced
Doug Andrus is a Reliability Engineer for General Mills in Joplin. He attended the event to learn about new products and ideas for preventing equipment failures, an important part of his job. This was the second IBT event he’s attended, and commented that the lunch was excellent and the location “perfect.”
“I like having all the vendors in one location,” said Andrus, who also brought along another technician from his team. “I can ask them, ‘What’s new? What do you suggest for a problem that we might have?’ They were all very helpful and polite.”
Andrus has worked with IBT for five years, primarily for drive components. He said that Tim Ferguson and his team have helped him come up with many new products and solutions over the years to fit their needs.
“I might ask Tim, ‘Who makes a bearing that can stand up to a high-pressure washdown?’” said Andrus. “And at the show, we found that Koyo’s RD Type seal can significantly reduce water intrusion. Now I can work with Tim to see how we can apply this to our unmounted bearings.”
In Business Since 1968
IBT opened the Joplin branch in 1968. Today, it occupies a 10,000 sq. ft. facility at 2701 W. 13th Street, and employs 11 maintenance, repair and operations specialists. The branch provides much-needed industrial supplies, safety, and engineering services to manufacturing, construction, and utility companies throughout the Missouri area.
“This is a very busy branch,” said John Hughes, the Joplin Store Manager. “Last year alone, we billed 23,000 line items.” Hughes added that the Joplin store services between 250-350 customers annually, routinely stocking 3,000 different products.
Bill Burlingame, a Senior Account Manager at IBT, has worked at the Joplin office for 33 years. “I enjoy the teamwork and camaraderie of the team here,” he said. “It feels like a family atmosphere, which makes it enjoyable.”