Materials handling: Berner International expands materials handling business
Michael Farber has been named sales manager of Berner’s Industrial Dealer Sales Group.
Berner International Corp., a leading U.S. manufacturer of air curtains and other industrial equipment, has expanded its Industrial Dealer Sales Group to support continuing expansion into the materials handling segment.
Michael Farber has been named sales manager of the new group. Farber’s goals are to expand the division by increasing Berner’s materials handling and industrial door dealer network, exhibiting at trade shows and overseeing new product development. He is a 15-year veteran of the industrial equipment and manufacturing industry, most recently in operations and materials handling at ASRC Energy Services, Anchorage, Alaska, which operates globally in the aerospace, construction and energy sectors.
In an interview, Farber told Modern that one of his first orders of business is to reacquaint himself with the materials handling industry and get up to speed with all of the mergers and acquisitions that have occurred in the marketplace, not only on the manufacturing side, but on the suppliers’ side and the dealer segment as well.
Then it’s down to business. So how is business? “Right now business is a better than it has been, which seems to be commonplace,” Farber said. “This year is better than last year and we’re expecting next will be even better.”
Indicators are supporting Farber’s optimism. He said, “We’re seeing some pockets of activity regionally. Things seem to be picking up in the Midwest and in the Northeast. And, as hard hit as Michigan was, there even seems to be some surge of activity in that region.”
Farber said he measures activity in two ways – orders written and orders quoted. “Being the consummate salesman, I get excited about quotes,” said Farber. “That means people are thinking about buying.”
Farber is also excited about exhibiting Berner products at ProMat 2011, which is sponsored by the Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA). According to Farber, this is the first time in recent years that Berner is exhibiting at ProMat, which will run March 21-24, 2011 at McCormick Place in Chicago. The fact that the event is co-locating with Automate 2011 (formerly the International Robots, Vision & Motion Control Show) is a bonus. Farber said, “Co-locating the two events is a great idea. The more people walking through and showing any kind of interest is beneficial to the exhibitors.”
Farber also told Modern that the company has gravitated to the commercial side, but he’ll direct a shift back to the industrial marketplace. In any application, it’s all about having the right tools, he said. Berner’s current product line includes air curtains, strip doors and specialty door heaters. “It’s important for potential customers to realize that air doors aren’t just for the front of a grocery store, they can provide energy savings at dock doors and typically have an ROI of less than two years,” Farber said.