Q&A with Jeff Young

Sales Manager, United Tool Supply Company

0
303

When was United Tool founded?

My father, Rusty Young, started the company in 1973. He’d worked in the machine tool industry for years, and then he decided to go out on his own selling measuring tools. He’s a trained engineer, and he designed our first gage, which is the model 8600 Unite-A-Matic, and since then he’s designed a number of other inspection units that measure different O.D. and I.D. ranges. And what’s great is that these machines are built so well that we’ve seen units that have been in Ford and Chrysler plants for 20 years, where they’ve just been worked to death, and they’re still measuring within a micron or two, which is just unbelievable.

Doesn’t that make it hard to sell new units?

My father, Rusty Young, started the company in 1973. He’d worked in the machine tool industry for years, and then he decided to go out on his own selling measuring tools. He’s a trained engineer, and he designed our first gage, which is the model 8600 Unite-A-Matic, and since then he’s designed a number of other inspection units that measure different O.D. and I.D. ranges. And what’s great is that these machines are built so well that we’ve seen units that have been in Ford and Chrysler plants for 20 years, where they’ve just been worked to death, and they’re still measuring within a micron or two, which is just unbelievable.

Do you have anything new planned?

Quite a few things, actually. Right now we’re in the build stage for a new roll checker that measures run out on a gear. What we’ve seen is that a lot of our customers will buy our gear checker, and then they’ll purchase a roll checker to put right beside it, so we decided that we should offer them both machines. The design work for the new machine has been done, and we’re about to put a few of them in the hands of some of our best customers to get their input before we proceed with production. We’ll let them try it out, get their feedback in terms of what they like about it and where they’d like to see some improvements, and then we’ll incorporate that into the final design before we begin full-scale manufacturing.

But in the past we’ve found that once we get one of our units on the customer’s floor, the operator doesn’t want to let go of it, so they’ll usually end up buying it before the demonstration period is up. We’re also working on a new computer-based data collection system, which is something that many customers are interested in implementing. And we’ve even started manufacturing custom-designed workstations, which is just a little sideline business right now. But General Motors is using them in a new area at their Willow Run facility, and they seem very happy with them because they keep ordering more, so it’ll be interesting to see where that leads. We’re also supplying our customers with master setting gears when the need arises.

When did you join the company?

I’ve been working here since I was 16 years old, and it was my summer job the whole time I was in high school and college. I graduated from the University of Colorado as a business major in 2004, so I’ve been with the company full time for about a year now. With dad’s engineering background, and his experience in sales, and with my business training, I think we make a pretty good team. One of the things we’re really focusing on right now is increasing market awareness, both here in North America as well as in Europe and India, where we’re currently negotiating with some potential sales reps.

Is the majority of your work with the automotive industry?

Yes, but we also get into aerospace and agricultural applications. And we work with companies of all sizes, everyone from Ford, GM, and Chrysler to smaller operations that serve a specific niche. So we’ve been lucky to have come up with some really good designs, and to have good people working here. We’re excited to see what the coming years will bring as we broaden our product line and work to increase awareness of what we’re doing in the marketplace.

MORE INFORMATION  Call (800) 755-0516, or send e-mail to unitedtool1@aol.com. The company’s Web site is www.united-tool.com.