With the exception of Victoria's Secret, most catalog covers have all the allure of steam tables in compelling engineers to open them up. But Rob Birse, marketing manager for electronics catalog distributor Allied, wanted to change that "Okay, it's a catalog. I'll put it on the shelf until I need it" mentality. "Obviously our catalog is our main sales tool, and we felt we needed to create a bigger impact when it arrives on our customers' desks," he explains. By making the cover rich with detail, we felt we would achieve a higher degree of curiosity and get him or her into the catalog." When we interviewed Birse in August, before the new catalog was unveiled, he was being coy about any details on the cover design, only hinting that it would mimic a consumer magazine like Men's Health, which uses life-style photography to attract and inspire readers. He was also quick to point out that the cover isn't the only transformation of Allied's 2003/2004 catalog. In addition to more color photographs of product, he noted that the index has improved, claiming that it will now be ten times easier for an engineer to find the right product. The catalog also contains more data than in the past, which is only the start of what Birse promises to be an explosion in the amount of technical data Allied's catalog will feature.
The Beam Store from Suitable Technologies is managed by remote workers from places as diverse as New York and Sydney, Australia. Employees attend to store visitors through Beam Smart Presence Systems (SPSs) from the company. The systems combine mobility and video conferencing and allow people to communicate directly from a remote location via a screen as well as move around as if they are actually in the room.
An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.