On a special mission with the pickup truck
After a long hiatus, Komax Corporation in Brookfield is back on the road visiting customers with its pickup truck. In the context of the newly staged Are You Ready tour, Managing Director John Olsen reveals what the Komax roadshow is all about, how it is received by customers, and why this idea is owed to his great grandfather.
The famous line "You gotta know the territory" comes from the opening scene of the musical "The Music Man," depicting salesmen traveling across the country by train. “It's probably the kind of train my great grandfather rode in the early 1910s with a model cutting machine to sell his wares”, says John Olsen, Managing Director of Komax Corporation in Brookfield. Over time, the demand for cut-to-length wires with possible stripped ends increased, "until this customer request led to the world's first wire processing machine and thus laid the foundation for our industry," Olsen continues. And he certainly should know best, because the managing director of the former Artos Engineering Company can look back on a long and profound family history in the wire processing industry: “My great grandfather, Haakon Olsen, developed the first wire cutting and stripping machine together with his engineering partner Karl Andren shortly after Artos was founded in 1911. He famously stated that he could sell at least 10 of these wire processing machines.” John Olsen himself joined the company as the fourth generation in 1988, taking over as President in 2005 until it became part of the Komax Group in 2019.
The legendary story of Olsen's great-grandfather was the impetus for Artos' first mobile roadshow in 2009. "At the time, travel budgets were being cut as customers were still recovering from the Great Recession of 2008," he recalls. At the time, Artos had just developed its Crimp-to-Crimp solution Cr. 11 and needed a strategy for marketing the product. "So we took inspiration from the past, reinvented the traveling roadshow, loaded our machine, and got to know the territory in a Chevrolet pick-up truck and a modified trailer." With pleasing results: The personal visits were extremely well received by customers. "Initially, often only a small group of engineers were interested in our products, but it was not uncommon for several groups of ten or more to end up crowding into the trailer to see a live demonstration." Many of the visitors hadn’t had much opportunity to attend trade shows, he explains, so they really appreciated being able to see cutting-edge technology firsthand.
Back with fresh energy
After a two-year break due to the pandemic, the newly designed Komax roadshow will be back on tour next month, crisscrossing America. Under the banner "Are you ready?”, The Komax Corporation’s sales team will introduce customers to the vision of SMART FACTORY by KOMAX and share innovations in automated wire processing and digital products. "We look forward to meeting again with many old friends and making sure we know our territory", says Olsen. And assures: "With our roadshow, we not only bring the future of wire processing right to customers' doorsteps, but also provide the latest information on our products and services, answer individual questions, and offer the world's highest-class solutions across the industry. From a single source."
John has acquired over 33 years of experience in the wire processing industry. Currently leading our Brookfield, WI, USA location in the development of the Artos product line, John also leads the development of the Komax Application (AP) Business for North American markets.