Mac Tools Tool Fair: 3 days of products, training, networking, prizes and fun

Thousands of distributors from across the country converged at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando for the 2014 Mac Tools Tool Fair, where they feasted for three days on new products, training, networking, recognition, prizes and entertainment. Mac Tools’ management felt it was one of the best attended Tool Fairs ever, with distributors gaining thousands of dollars in promotional discounts and getting glimpse of new products and programs designed to sustain an impressive growth curve for Mac Tools.

Attendees noted a number of innovative new products on the trade show floor, which hosted about 130 exhibitors.

Distributors were treated to special display sections on the show floor for tool storage, power tools, diagnostic tools, hardlines and some newly-designed trucks.

Training sessions over the three days covered the company’s new credit program, a new tool box configurator that allows customers to be involved in designing their toolbox, a new digital marketing program, new diagnostic tools and ways to add a new route.

Brett Shaw, president of Mac Tools, welcomed attendees during the annual kickoff event.

He noted with pride that the Mac Tools affiliated motorsports drivers were the top performers in the recent National Hot Rod Association race in Phoenix, Ariz. He invited all the drivers to take the stage to be recognized by the assemblage of distributors.

Noting that the health of the distributors is the company’s top priority, Shaw reported with pride that the company has accomplished 17 consecutive quarters of sales growth. “2013 was a record year,” he said. “The best teams like Mac Tools never stop improving.”

To this end, Shaw noted the company has already introduced an annual distributor satisfaction survey. He urged all distributors to participate in the survey.

John Castelino, director of product management, followed Shaw on stage and noted the company introduced a record 600 new stock keeping units (SKUs) in 2013. He said new product strategies are in place for cordless tools, which include both the Mac Tools and DeWalt product lines. New products will include drills, ratchets and battery kits, including hybrid kits with both Mac and DeWALT cordless.

The meeting then moved to several 2014 new tools for the company.

A new ½” cordless impact features 20V Max battery platform.

The new Precision Torque socket line the company includes sockets that remove fasteners rounded up to 85 percent.

The Mac-Grip screwdriver maximizes torque, reduces slippage and removes fasters quickly. A key feature for the new screwdriver line is the Quad-lobular, four-sided handle which fits inside the hand no matter the orientation it lands in, allowing the user to apply more torque than a tri-lobe handle while providing reduced slippage.

A new accessory platform for the utility cart that was introduced in 2013 allows for storage expansion, adjustability and specialization.

A new oil funnel is designed to fit most Honda vehicles. It is threaded to screw onto the oil valve cover just like an oil cap, allowing the funnel, to stay seated and sealed without leaking as the tech replaces the oil.

The past year also saw new lifts and a 3.5-ton low profile jack.

One of the most dynamic categories was diagnostic tools. Mac Tools experienced double digit growth in scan tools in 2013. In 2014, there will be more new scan tools introduced, including an Android-based scan tool.

One of the most exciting developments noted during the kickoff is the company’s new financing Mac Credit financing program. The company has developed a new program that it believes will make it easier for more customers to obtain credit.

A new truck design was among many exciting new features on the trade show floor. Robert Holmes, vice president of marketing, thanked racer Chip Foose for his role in developing the new truck design. “Today we have a truck design that makes our trucks really stand out,” Holmes said.

Another highlight for 2014 is the new catalog, Catalog 7600. “Last year I promised, and we delivered,” Holmes said. He also noted that the flyers, website, apparel have been upgraded. “It’s all about brand consistency,” Holmes said.

Holmes also thanked distributors for making 2013 a record year for donations to organizations that raise awareness about breast cancer.

On the second day of the Tool Fair, the annual “Macademy Awards” recognized the accomplishments of individual distributors and franchisees.

At the conclusion of the show, distributors won giveaways including cars, trips, lawn equipment vacations, electronic products and more.

See pictures from the Tool Fair.