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AEM buys data analytics firm, but it will continue to serve

MILWAUKEE, Wis. — Improved data analysis for members of the Assoc. of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) was a key factor behind the group’s purchase of Hargrove & Associates, Inc. (HAI), according AEM’s president.

Hargrove, based in Minneapolis, is a data processing and business analytics firm. AEM has been a client of the company since 1989.

“There’s so much happening with data today,” said Dennis Slater, AEM president. “Instead of being business partners, the business is now a part of us. In the end, with so much data from so many points, we’re investing in a platform that makes all of that easier to read.

“Now that we have the core business, this gives us the chance to sit down and talk about opportunities with the additional resources. We’ll be talking longer-term to make the product better.”

The purchase was announced in early January, marking the first time AEM has acquired a for-profit business, Slater said. HAI will remain a standalone company. He declined to disclose the purchase price.

Equipment manufacturers join AEM for advocacy of the industry, trade shows and the availability of market data, he said. The organization represents more than 950 companies and more than 200 product lines in agriculture and construction worldwide.

“Speed and delivery (of data) is crucial,” Slater explained. “Timely information is important. It also has to be totally accurate.”

The information HAI compiles comes from the manufacturers, which report data shipments or sales, he said. The amount of information a manufacturer receives depends on how sophisticated a report they request.

“They can get sales by ZIP code, state by state,” Slater noted. “The report can show your total sales or shipments. You know your numbers and you can put that up against the whole industry and see your market share. You can see how your company compared to other manufacturers in the country and around the world.”

The market reports allow manufacturers to see how the sales of specific products are trending. “They can better understand the market and start to guess the hot spots,” he pointed out. “You can see how you’re competing and where the market is growing. For many of our members, these reports are the first reason they would join AEM.”

HAI will continue to provide reports for other organizations, Slater said, adding AEM recognizes they’re an important part of Hargrove’s business. And Claire Hargrove, HAI president, said her company foresees no change in how it currently works with its customer base or manages the data.

“HAI will continue to maintain sole access and handling of company data,” she explained. “AEM staff will not handle or have access to company data. We are looking forward to how this deepening of our 30-year working relationship with AEM will position both of our groups for exciting growth and technological opportunities, while maintaining our strong commitment to the data program so valued by the equipment industry.”

HAI’s analytics service is important to AEM’s membership, Slater said. “It means everything to the companies. Insights gained by our members through participation in AEM’s statistic program give them an advantage in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.

“Through investment in HAI, we look to sharpen this competitive advantage.”