In its first foray into the world of national manufacturing trade shows, West Ohio Tool came away from the Las Vegas SHOT Show 2023 with a big win and all the boxes checked.
The annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show brought thousands of shooting, hunting, military and outdoor trade industry representatives to Las Vegas Jan. 17-20 to the largest trade show of its type in the world, and West Ohio Tool was on hand with two booths.
“It was a big win and a real eye-opening experience,” said West Ohio Tool CEO Kaci King.
The company featured its portfolio of carbide and polycrystalline diamond (PCD) custom drills, reamers, mills, end mills, grooving, and internal forming tools along with its full line of ground-breaking EdgeX4 tools that includes the Helix, Straight, Full Nib and Ball Nose variants. Both displays were very well received with many of the show’s other vendors stopping by to photograph the booths with their custom-made display cases.
The company’s goal for the event was to bring national awareness to the West Ohio Tool brand as a custom cutting tool manufacturer and innovator, and the results were exciting, King said. A global ordnance manufacturer provided glowing feedback on a six-piece test order, and many attendees from across the country still machining with high-speed steel were interested to learn about West Ohio Tool’s carbide and PCD custom tools.
Additionally, the show gave West Ohio Tool an opportunity to educate industry insiders on its retipping and regrinding services, which was a revelation to many in attendance.
“We had the chance to educate manufacturers on how they can save money and increase efficiency by retipping and regrinding their tools and still remain in tolerance as well as how to combine multiple cutting operations into a single process,” King said.
In addition to educating visitors about West Ohio Tool products and services, King said the company was able to zero in on industry pain points through discussions with representatives in attendance. Tool delivery time was among the most common complaints. Some manufacturers indicated they regularly waited four to six months for tool order deliveries. When manufacturers were told West Ohio Tool’s delivery time on custom tool orders was significantly less – up to 75% faster than the industry average – more than a few eyebrows were raised.
With a large contingent of defense contractors in attendance at this year’s show, King is hopeful West Ohio Tool’s appearance there will help boost the expansion into defense manufacturing. While the company has built a solid reputation and following in other manufacturing sectors, King’s efforts to certify the company as a Women Business Enterprise (WBE) and Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) will undoubtedly assist in opening doors to major defense contractor opportunities, further expanding the company’s presence and reach.
Along with creating awareness and educating visitors about service, regrinding and delivery capabilities, King said West Ohio Tool’s prominently displayed “Made in USA” banner drew a lot of attention.
“It was a win on so many levels,” King said. “We discovered that people want U.S. manufacturers, and we were able to really grow awareness about who we are and most importantly, how we can help them.”