Mac distributors are “Driven” to succeed in 2024

March 30, 2024
Mac Tools distributors gathered for a weekend filled with new products, training events ,and some celebrity guest appearances.

The 2024 Mac Tools Fair attracted over 900 distributors, representing over 1,100 routes. According to Rob Ronan, vice president of channel marketing at Stanley Black & Decker, this means over 90 percent of Macs distributors were active at this year’s tool fair in some way.

Additionally, of the many distributors in attendance, 117 were new distributors attending the show for the first time. In honor of the newcomers, Mac set up a special event just for them.

“We gave them early entrance to the floor to get a preview and lay of the land … it went really well,” Ronan says. “We got some time to make some new friends and relationships and teach them a thing or two, which was awesome.”

The tool fair was hosted in Orlando, Florida from Feb. 29 through March 2.

Training for success

To set the tone for 2024, the Mac Tools team wanted to create a theme for the show that would inspire their distributors all year long.

“We were looking for phrases that we thought would help them grow their business — something for them to hold on to for the rest of the year,” explains Katie Pease, brand manager for Stanley Black & Decker. “We easily landed on ‘Driven’ as it goes with all points of the business and from the aspect that we really want them to be … driven to succeed in 2024.”

The tool fair provided various training opportunities to help steer distributors toward success. Over the three-day event, training sessions were held on diagnostics – both an introductory and advanced course – software training, technology improvements, and other relevant industry topics.

Ronan notes that one important update they made this year was holding their ADAS training on the show floor.

“[It was] a great feature for our distributors to essentially be on the floor, seeing the floor, experiencing the floor, and still learning,” he says.

Though all the training courses were well attended, the diagnostics classes, particularly the advanced training, had the biggest pull, as there wound up being standing room only for those sessions.

New on the tool truck

The show offered a host of new products for distributors to peruse. Ronan notes that the specialty tools and hardlines categories were a particular focus for Mac this year.

“Automotive specialty is a category that we just have started to dive back into really heavily and we saw a lot of positive feedback,” he says.

The “star” of last year’s show, the R.B.R.T. (rounded bolt removal technology) tool line has expanded to include SAE & Metric Socket Sets. The new sets offer up to 61 percent more torque than Mac’s existing Precision Torque sockets and are available as 1/4”, 3/8”, 1/2” drive SAE standard, SAE deep, metric standard, and metric deep sets.

Another exciting release at the show was the Strikable Prying Screwdriver Set. A screwdriver and a pry bar all in one, the set is designed with tough materials and reinforced handles for durability.

Additionally, the purple colorway has claimed a few more Mac products. The Capped Comfort-Handle Curved-Head Pry Bar Sets are now available in purple, as well as the 2-pc Silicone Tray Set. Arguably, the most notable addition to the purple family is Mac’s toolboxes. Not only can distributors offer purple as a color choice for the overall toolbox, but also as a color choice for the trim.

On and off the show floor

It wasn’t just new products that had distributors excited to get out on the show floor. Mac invited some special guests to sign autographs for the attendees. Mac Tools driver, Doug Kalitta, winner of the 2023 NHRA Top Fuel Championship; Chip Foose, automobile designer and artist; and Tommy Pike, from the TV show Custom Carolina, were there to be a part of the Mac Tools event.

 Though this event only lasts three days, Mac has created a home away from home for all their distributors at the new Mac Tools headquarters and training center in Dublin, Ohio. The building is decked out with Mac products, trucks, and even the Mac Tools dragster racecar. But on top of that distributors can go there to learn how to run their business. Ronan notes that visiting the headquarters is “a fantastic experience that I'd say is only getting better.”

 Next year’s Tool Fair will take place in Washington D.C.

To view more photos of the event, check out the Mac Tools Fair 2024 photo gallery.

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