More Power at Matco ’08

At this year’s Matco tool fair, more than 3,000 distributors, vendors and guests from all over the country stopped by to check out Matco’s new and exclusive offerings. The February show in Orlando, Fla., offered distributors four days of training sessions, tools and a chance to exchange stories with other Matco distributors. Matco played host to more than 110 suppliers and a record number of distributors, coording to the company.

NEW AND IMPROVED

From hand tools to power tools and toolboxes to diagnostics, the show’s suppliers promised something for everyone in the 90,000-sq.-ft. of expo space. More than 170 new and exclusive products were unveiled at the show, including a lineup of toolboxes with improved capacity, features and options at competitive prices.

Crowds also stopped to check out Matco’s new Toolbox Configurator, an online tool that allows technicians to develop their own customized box by selecting drawer configuration, color, accessories and more.
The Pit Bull, a 3/8” impact wrench with more than 130ft./lbs. of torque, was also launched at the show and met with rave reviews.

SINGLED OUT FOR SERVICE

In addition to announcing new products and top distributors, Matco announced its top suppliers of the year. These included manufacturers who worked with Matco to improve quality, delivery times and timely innovations.

Most Improved went to SP Tools, as their team reduced their lead time by 33 percent in 2007—an impressive feat. Astro Pneumatic won Best Line Review, while Professional Tool Products took top honors in New & Exclusive.

Supplier of the Year went to Lisle Corp., which was commended for its success in working to consistently ship on time and offer new products.

SPECIAL GUESTS

Tools weren’t the only stars of the show. Celebrities and TV personalities in attendance included top fuel dragsters Cory McClenathan, Tony Schumacher, “Hot” Rod Fuller and Antron Brown.

Courtney Hansen, host of Spike TV’s Powerblock, was announced as Matco’s new spokesperson, and interviewed various suppliers throughout the show, including Bill Fletcher of Mayhew Tools and Luis Lopez with Astro Pneumatic. A compilation of these interviews is slated to be produced into DVDs that Matco distributors can play on their trucks.

POLISHING UP

Throughout the show, distributors could take a break from the tool floor and sit in on training sessions that covered topics on toolboxes, merchandising, financial planning and diagnostics. These sessions were a casual affair, and attendees were encouraged to participate and share their on-the-road stories.

A large crowd turned out for a session called “So You want to be a DM.” This presentation took distributors through a day in the life of a regional district manager. Presenters covered topics like what qualities Matco looks for when recruiting DMs, basic job responsibilities and what areas are currently seeking a DM.

Additional sessions showed mobile jobbers “How to Earn $5K,” “Manager Your Time & Your Collections,” and “Gain Confidence in Selling MT/Silver Eagle Air Tools.”

After four days of learning new sales techniques and shopping the new tool scene, distributors and their families were invited to wrap up the week with a farewell family fun carnival to unwind and enjoy the sights and sounds of Orlando.

Next year’s show will take place in Las Vegas, from March 1-3.

Matco’s body and fender repair tools kit

Matco Tools’ 7pc Auto Body Repair Kit, No. BF47K, unveiled at the show, features a hammer design with a slightly larger handle for strength and a two-wedge assembly system for a tight fit. Polished faces are now standard, and the tools are coated with a dry layer of rust preventative for a longer shelf life on tool trucks. The kit is packaged in a blow-molded case with graphic cover.

According to Matco, the body repair tool business has remained fairly flat over the last decade with little or no new tools for the industry. With the increased usage of aluminum body panels on cars, Matco introduced a new body repair set for working on aluminum only.

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