IT WAS A FIRST FOR EDM MANUFACTURER AGIE LTD. of Lincolnshire, Ill., when a customer in Washington State bought a $175,000 machine without ever seeing it. The decision to purchase was based largely on a CD demonstration that's part of a new proprietary, computer-based 3D sales tool.
Developed by Dunlap Marketing Communications Group, the tool, called 3Detail, incorporates 3D models, animation, and interactivity to demonstrate complex industrial products, such as Agie's new EDMs. The organization works with commonly available background materials such as product photos and specifications and uses detailed computer models rendered into photo-realistic image sequences. These programmed sequences lets users interact with and visualize product features and operations.
Two main goals of 3Detail are to enhance the skill level of salespeople selling complex equipment and, in some instances, replace demonstration units in the field. Replacing these units means companies don't have to tie up hundreds of thousands of dollars in product inventory that is seldom salable when returned to stock.
According to Lloyd Dunlap, Dunlap Group president, "It has become increasingly impractical from a cost standpoint to maintain demonstration units in far-flung outposts and equally prohibitive to bring prospective customers to regional demonstration facilities."
"3Detail has already shifted the competitive balance in Agie's favor," says Scott Kowalski, national sales manager at Agie. "Now if the customer decides he does want to see a live demo, it will be to confirm a buying decision that is already 95% made. That's an investment any manufacturer is happy to make."
Dunlap Marketing Communications Group