Interview with Brent McClendon at LIGNA
9 Jul 2019
How did you become aware of our trade fair and what expectations did you or your association have of LIGNA?
Several of our wood pallet manufacturing members encouraged us to attend and exhibit our Pallet Design SystemTM (PDS) software program. The software is already used globally, but now that we’ve added eight international languages to the user interface and report features, our producers felt that LIGNA would be the perfect venue to more officially launch our global expansion.
We entered LIGNA with the expectation that we would meet a few European pallet manufacturers, and learn more about their use of pallet design software and desired features. We expected it to be sort of a ‘focus group’ and general research opportunity. We had no idea that we would receive overwhelming interest, with 50 pallet manufacturers from 27 countries stopping by for product demonstrations and detailed conversations on how the software program can improve their operational efficiencies and sales opportunities. We were quite pleased that many immediately downloaded the free trial version ( https://trial.palletdesignsystem.com/ ).
How did you prepare for your visit?
We prepared for LIGNA by reaching out to current European PDS users, and significant pre-marketing activities, including heavy social media promotions. These efforts were rewarded both in advance, and on-site, through the comments we heard from visitors to our booth.
How did you like LIGNA?
LIGNA far exceeded our expectations, in terms of booth traffic and conversations with the right people and companies, but also in what we learned from walking the full show and meeting with other exhibitors. Fascinating technical advancements in the wood sector, especially related to automation.
We heard a lot of questions about automation at our booth, as designing a pallet by hand or through the use of a CAD system can be time-consuming and prone or errors. Visitors were looking for ways to use technology to help design and produce the optimum pallet. People liked how PDS scientifically determines the safe load-carrying capacity, performance and material quantity needed, making the most efficient and cost-effective pallet to help advance circular economy goals. Additionally, all the documentation produced with PDS was viewed as useful for making presentations to customers.
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