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Thu 9 Sep 2010 04:00 AM

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Diversify or specialise?

As you read this the holy month will be coming to an end and the weather will be beginning to be slightly less scorching, so what better time to reflect on the progress the industry has made in the region over the past three years?

Diversify or specialise?

As you read this the holy month will be coming to an end and the weather will be beginning to be slightly less scorching, so what better time to reflect on the progress the industry has made in the region over the past three years?

Well, it is certainly different. In October 2007 there were deals being signed for a hundred machines at a time - though not at the first Big 5 PMV Expo - which by all accounts was a pretty quiet affair.

Today, the market is far more about servicing existing customers rather than constantly finding new ones - which works in our favour of course.

One question that I'm always asked by both readers and dealers alike is whether the boom will return. Truthfully, I haven't got a clue. It probably will one day, but a housing bubble is always just that. Other local markets such as Qatar might look tempting for an enterprising soul who is looking to set up, say, a plant hire business.

These fringe markets are very small and while there may have be opportunities there in the past, most of the action will have already been taken by the people those who have been there for years - as is the case in Qatar.

So what is to be done? I guess everyone needs to specialise. There are a great number of firms in the region who come under the ‘jack of all trades, master of none' category, and inroads are to be made where firms know one particular process or type of machine inside and out - particularly in these days of high technology and on-board telemetry.

Admittedly, this seems at odds with our top list this month, where we highlight a few firms that offer ‘total solutions' - everything under one roof in other words.

However, what can be offered by an independent specialist is at odds with the product line-up of a huge machine-building conglomerate.

On that note, it is time for me to sign off.

Greg Whitaker, is the editor of PMV Middle East.

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