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Issue 17 November/December 2018
Mitchell Rona, #GlobalSourcerer, Reflects on 30 years in the Business

Mitchell Rona, aka #GlobalSourcerer, has just celebrated his 30th year with SIGMA. As head of Global Procurement for SIGMA's waterworks and OEM customers, he's experienced first-hand three decades of roller coaster changes in the industry. His reflections are captured here:

1. Today, we're an industry that moves FAST.
 
Technology and high-speed communication has made the world a smaller place. Customers understandably expect more immediacy both in communication and delivery schedules. 4G technology has replaced the slow boat to China.
 
2. As an industry, we're now much FITTER.
 
In spite of the challenges facing China, China is still the dominant manufacturing force in the world. While other Asian economies are emerging as powerhouse manufacturers, China, our main manufacturing partner, is fitter than ever. Chinese manufacturers are more responsive and sophisticated than they've ever been. Competitors have a steep hill to climb to catch them!
 
3. Thirty years on, our processes are LEANER to match those of our customers.
 
In the last decade, we've seen increasing sophistication among our customers, which we too have mirrored. A younger generation of customers has come through with higher expectations of their suppliers. I'm pleased to say that this new generation recognizes that SIGMA is a viable company to partner with. At the end of the day, we are seen as providing a total service offering that is still vibrant.
OEM Case Study: Gorilla Bow


Movie blockbuster The Hunger Games starring Jennifer Lawrence created a surge of interest in the ancient sport of archery. The movie was also one of the sources of inspiration behind the Gorilla Bow, a unique piece of fitness equipment that was created by SIGMA OEM salesman Tom Whittington and a business partner Chris Caouette.
 
Tom and Chris were both keen archers and realized that archery is a surefire way to increase upper body strength. After brainstorming the idea and consulting friends, family, and fitness pros, they developed a prototype of the Gorilla Bow. By incorporating traditional latex resistance bands in their design, they created a portable exercise machine capable of delivering a total body workout equivalent to working out with weight machines loaded with anywhere from 10lb to 300lbs.
 
Tom, who is himself an avid fitness buff, explains: "We built the first prototype in Chris's garage using aluminum conduit pipe and a pipe bender. We assembled it using wood, fiberglass and small metal brackets bought at Home Depot. We proved the concept by using the product and getting rave feedback, but ended up breaking this prototype in the process. It was a lousy prototype come to think of it, but it provided proof of concept. For our second prototype, we tested the bow out in a couple of gyms and developed a series of total body fitness exercises for the bow. The reviews were all very positive. We then found a local machine shop to produce the claw, which anchors the resistance bands at either end of the bow and incorporated aluminum aircraft pipe that was bent into shape and welded by a fabricator."
 
The partnership then undertook even more test studies by seeding the prototype product with gyms and fitness pros. Once they were happy with the model, they worked with SIGMA OEM to put the product into full-scale production. Working with SIGMA OEM in China, Tom was able to use the die cast process to produce the claw. Further, by avoiding machining and going the route of die cast molding instead, Tom was able to save 75% on his machining costs.  "The product has really taken off," says Tom, "We do most of our advertising on Facebook, YouTube and Google Ads, and are now an Amazon Prime approved retailer. At our peak we are moving 50 units a day. Not only have we had interest in the Gorilla Bow from the fitness market, but also healthcare professionals have been in touch and are using the bow in their physical therapy practices."
 
At $149.99, the Gorilla Bow represents good value for money, and unlike free weights it is portable. Based on feedback from their customers, Tom and Chris are developing a version of the gorilla bow that can be broken down and packed in a travel suitcase. Once again they plan to work with SIGMA OEM on its manufacture.   "Another good thing about working with SIGMA is that they handle all manufacturing, quality and logistics and we receive our product just in time, thus taking the worry out supplier management and freeing up our time to work on marketing and sales. Fortunately, up to now, we have not been able to keep stock in the SIGMA warehouses as we're selling 50 Gorilla Bows a day and can't ship them out of the warehouse fast enough - but it's good to know we have that option if we need it. It is peace of mind knowing SIGMA has taken the worry out of sourcing my product."

For further information see www.sigmaoem.com or tom@gorillabow.com
Bright Spark Award:  Paul Curry  

Paul Curry, Sr., Sales Manager, Container Solutions Co (CSC) is the latest recipient of the SIGMA Bright Spark Award. Paul has grown the CSC business from a small product group in SIGMA OEM to its own company, operating under the umbrella of SIGMA OEM. Now, CSC has grown a level where we will sell over 1000 bins this year! Paul has single handedly developed a sales strategy for this business and is the main reason CSC sales have rapidly grown in just two short years since its launch in 2016. Paul's extensive background as an entrepreneur and salesman throughout his career gave him the tools to navigate this new business and make a big impact in the industry.
 
The SIGMA Bright Spark Award recognizes an individual or group that has used innovation, creativity, and leadership to make a difference at the company.
 
We congratulation Paul on the Bright Spark Award and wish him continued success.

For more information about Container Solutions Co (CSC) go to  https://www.containersolutionsco.com/ or pcurry@sigmaco.com.
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