Staying Current With Today’s Technology

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Technology is constantly changing in our world. It is impacting everything from the boardroom to the shop floor, and the rate of change is faster than ever. In my area of expertise, web communications and social media, it used to be that when you release a new website the look and basic technology stayed current for four to six years. Now the time frame has shortened significantly – and depending on the industry – can be less than a year. Sending out more than one email to customers per week was unheard of only a few years ago. Today the average is 5-8 e-mails per week. And Facebook, something you did on the weekends with friends, is now fast becoming the hottest place to do business.
In this technology driven world of constant change the key is to not run blindly with the trends but to understand the trends and let the data drive your decisions. At AGMA we have changed our electronic presence in line with our members’ needs. We put up a new website in 2010 to provide information about the association in easy-to-navigate pages. We took the time to enhance the website with analytics that provided us hard data on visitor use, landing pages, and so much more. Some of the data was right in line with our thinking, but a couple of trends really surprised us including the number of people interested in our news and jobs sections.

So we took this information to heart and beefed up areas of our electronic communication to follow the data.  AGMA staff now scours general news sources and industry magazines to post relevant news to our site daily. The top ten to twelve articles are then sent out in our general Tuesday news email, AGMA NewsBytes.  In the first half of 2012 we provided links to more than 386 news articles.

We visit all 400+ member websites twice per month to gather relevant member press releases and then post them to the AGMA website and list them in the (every-other Thursday) member e-newsletter, Gear Industry Update. These links do not bring readers to the AGMA site but are links that drive readers directly to our member sites.
In the first six months of 2012 our newsletter included more than 500 member press releases – and our analytics show that they are being read (over 11,000 links clicked). In the coming months, AGMA is moving to a weekly eNewsletter so we can get member’s news out even faster.

It is always a careful balance between watching the trends in the general marketplace and watching the data from our analytics. In recent months we have noted that the number of readers accessing our emails via smartphone or other handheld device has doubled. In May 2012, Nielsen reported that for the first time, U.S. market share of smartphones exceeded the ‘old fashioned’ cell phones. The company stated that smartphones were “in use by 50.4 percent of consumers in the country.” With the projections of iPhone 5 sales at over 8 million units just in the last quarter of this year, AGMA enewsletters will provide the same great information whether you open on a desktop or utilize your new device.

Whether it’s YouTube, Facebook, or your own website, your customers expect to find the information they need when they want, in the format they want.  AGMA strives to do the same – to give the gear industry the latest information in the best way possible.
In the coming months you can look forward to more changes to the AGMA website, and more great information in our electronic communications.

Are you staying current on your gear industry information? Visit the AGMA website, like us on Facebook, or sign up to receive one or both of our e-newsletters by sending me a direct email at doran@agma.org.

AGMA Announces 2013 Training Schedule

Hiring and training personnel are the most important issues facing the gear industry today. AGMA has developed a number of courses with industry experts to meet the needs of gear industry personnel. Registration for all 2013 events will open in October 2012.  These courses are designed to be small – guaranteeing you the opportunity to speak one on one with the instructors and to maximize your learning experience.
For more information on any of these programs, visit www.agma.org.

Feb 6-8
Gear Materials – Selection, Metallurgy, Heat
Treatment, and Quality Control
Clearwater Beach, FL

March 12-14
Gearbox CSI: Forensic Analysis of Gear & Bearing Failures
Baltimore, MD

April 8-12
Basic Training for Gear Manufacturing
Chicago, IL

April 25-27
AGMA/ABMA Annual Meeting
Carlsbad, CA

May 7-9
Gear Manufacturing & Inspection – Methods, Practices, Application & Interpretation for the Design Engineer
Rosemont, IL (O’Hare)

May 21-22
Spring Marketing and Forecasting Conference
Rosemont, IL

June 10-12
Gear Failure Analysis
Big Sky, MT

June 18-20
Detailed Gear Design – Beyond Simple Service Factors
Not for the Faint-Hearted!
Las Vegas, NV

August 19-21
Gear Failure Analysis
Big Sky, MT

Sept 15-17
2013 Fall Technical Meeting
Indianapolis, IN

Sept 17-19
Gear Expo 2013
Indianapolis, IN

Oct 9-11
International Business Conference
Dublin, Ireland

Oct 16-18
Gearbox System Design: The Rest of the Story…
Everything But The Gears and Bearings
Clearwater Beach, FL

Oct 22-23
Fall Marketing and Forecasting Conference
Rosemont, IL

Nov 4-8
Basic Training for Gear Manufacturing
Chicago, IL