Association of Equipment Manufacturers buys business analytics firm

Milwaukee-based international trade group expands data offerings

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Milwaukee-based international trade group Association of Equipment Manufacturers has acquired Minneapolis-based data processing and business analytics company Hargrove & Associates Inc. The transaction closed Dec. 31 for an undisclosed price.

HAI has operated market data programs for AEM since 1989. It also provides similar services for other major trade associations by collecting individual confidential sales data from manufacturers to formulate comprehensive market information the members use to make business decisions. It has about 12 employees, all of whom will be retained at the existing Minneapolis office. The branch will operate independently, said Dennis Slater, president of AEM.

“It’s really going to operate as a separate business,” Slater said. “Because this data’s so important to our members, we thought it was important…to have the separation of a different office, different people working on this.”

AEM also owns and operates several industry trade shows and lobbies legislators about issues important to the industry. The organization said the purchase will allow it to offer its members additional statistics services including advanced data analytics, which have become increasingly important in the competitive manufacturing industry.

“Particularly the bigger companies in the organization, this is where they get their reports on market share and sales,” Slater said. “There’s other opportunities there to do more with this than just report the sale of the equipment. With HAI being a smaller company, we knew they would need some help from us on that.”

AEM represents more than 950 companies in the off-road equipment manufacturing industry, which serve the agriculture and construction sectors. It has about 100 employees, 90 of whom are in its Milwaukee office, and the rest at offices in Washington, D.C. and Beijing, China.

“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,” said Claire Hargrove, president of HAI, in a statement. “We foresee no changes to how HAI currently works with its customer base or handling of data. HAI will continue to maintain sole access and handling of company data. AEM staff will not handle or have access to company data.”

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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