Specialty Fabrics Review December 2019 - 6

BRIEFINGS

FORETHOUGHT

Future history

O

Galynn Nordstrom
senior editor

n Sept. 12, 1912, 14 manufacturers of canvas and awnings from the
central part of the U.S. met at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver
to form a new trade association: the National Tent & Awning
Manufacturers Association. By 1915, membership had grown
sufficiently that the group decided to form a central executive office to
coordinate its activities. The new president of the organization, W.K.
Jacobs, owned the Minnesota Tent & Awning Company, located in the
Endicott Building in St. Paul, Minn. The office for the association was
located in the same building.
One of the purposes of the new headquarters office was to house the
association's new national trade magazine, the National Tent & Awning
Manufacturer's Review. At IFAI Expo 2015 in Anaheim, we celebrated the
100th anniversary of the Review-which has had several names throughout
the years, but has always been the Review.
When IFAI Expo visited Boston in 2012, celebrating the 100th year of
IFAI, we spent our first night there listening to election returns, with Mitt
Romney's election night headquarters across the street. Next year, on the
eve of another presidential election, we'll celebrate IFAI's third centennial
event, as IFAI Expo itself reaches the century mark (we're counting from
the 1918 conference in Detroit, but there were two years during WWII
with no show held). Starting with the January 2020 issue, I'll be turning
the last page of the magazine into a "Future History" report, tracing the

PERSPECTIVE

From custom to customer
Kent Lammers, CEO and president of Polo Custom Products
in Topeka, Kan., sees both challenges and opportunities with
the pace of technology and customer contact today. Keeping
pace with customer expectations is transforming clients into
full-fledged business partners, he says, with benefits on both
sides; but it's also true that even for manufacturers of custom
products, customers have been trained to expect speed
to marketplace that could pose challenges even for producers of commodities.
To meet these increasing demands, Polo offers supply chain management that
can tackle all the steps from concept through fulfillment. "We offer more than just
a product. It's a partnership, and we've embraced that," says Lammers.
If you'd like to nominate a fellow IFAI manufacturer member for coverage in a
future "Perspective" article, please contact Galynn Nordstrom, senior editor, at
gdnordstrom@ifai.com.

6 REVIEW DECEMBER 2019

I am passionate about
what design can do-how
far it can support the new
ideas and the new ways of
living of this 21st Century.
Good design accelerates
this exciting future where
manufacturing is local,
materials and processes
are crafted cradle to
cradle, and business
models are both socially
and financially driven.
~Yves Behar

history of IFAI Expo as it evolved along
with the specialty fabrics industry, decade
by decade.
And for the rest of the magazine, in
the coming months we're also going to
be taking a hard look at what we cover
editorially, and how we cover it. Our
editorial mission, although personally
I can only attest to the last 20 years of it,
has always been centered on:
* Helping our readers do their jobs
better and make their companies more
successful. This includes everything from
global supply issues and industry trends to
the latest new products and services to the
details of how to build a better product.
* As a corollary to that, to provide readers
with ideas about other possible products and
markets for potential expansion.
Ultimately, our goal on the Review is
to be the voice of IFAI and the industry,
bringing together readers in dozens
of different markets with hundreds of
different products as members of one
industry, with common issues and needs.
Periodically (pun intended, sort of),
we undertake reader research to make sure
that we're giving you what you need in this
magazine, to keep Review meaningful and
useful for the next 100 years.
Any suggestions?



Specialty Fabrics Review December 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Specialty Fabrics Review December 2019

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