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E.K. Blessing Announces New Initiatives

hoff • Upfront • March 14, 2014
E.K. Blessing is expanding its product line and introducing a unique dealer service program, while shifting some production to established manufacturing partners. The result of this strategic shift in production is a reduction in Blessing's Elkhart work force.  The company will continue to operate its Elkhart facility with a primary focus on design, sales, and distribution functions. 
According to president Steven Wasser,
We will continue to design great instruments in conjunction with partners like Cliff Blackburn and Fred Powell.  These instruments will be produced using some of our patented designs and proprietary technology.  The source of production for these instruments will be a combination of our own Elkhart plant along with well-established partnerships we have with instrument producers located in Germany, Asia, and the USA. This approach to manufacturing is designed to produce the highest possible quality at very competitive prices.
Blessing's Sonaré Pro Brass division has just introduced the new Sonaré 812 C trumpet to a very receptive market.  The entire trumpet section of a major symphony orchestra in California has placed an order for this new instrument, which includes Sonaré's patented MicroLok adjustable valve guide and a new, specially designed Fred Powell leadpipe.  Blessing has also been asked to design and produce a line of professional trumpets and trombones for a major retailer which will incorporate some additional proprietary designs.
In an industry where dealers are historically asked by their suppliers to place large master orders, Blessing has observed a shift in the ordering pattern. Steve Allen, Blessing's Sales Manager, explained:
We've noticed an increase in last minute orders with a requirement for quick delivery.  Yet, in a technological world where people are accustomed to shopping on the internet and buying with the click of a mouse, the wind instrument industry seems tied to the last century.  Blessing is now offering the same on-line ease of ordering and rapid shipment to its dealers that characterizes much of the on-line retail industry.  Our new e-commerce program for dealers – "Brass Expedited Express" or the BEE program – puts our stock on-line, accepts an on-line PO, and guarantees shipment within 48 hours or the shipping is free.  The BEE goes live on or about March 1.
Blessing has been known for producing brass instruments since 1906. The strategic initiatives now being implemented are intended to assure that the enterprise will continue strong for the next 108 years with Elkhart, Indiana as its base of operations.
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