Moore Gear is definitely a family operation, despite the fact that there hasn’t been anyone by that name on the premises for nearly half a century. “My father bought the company from Mr. Moore’s widow in the late fifties, and since it had been around for decades by then, he decided to keep the name,” according to Bill Haag Sr., president. “Besides, it’s no big ego trip for me to have my name on the building. I’m not that fragile.”
Haag says he’s secure in the fact that his father purchased the company and turned it around, that he and his wife Margie have carried that legacy forward, and that his son, Bill Haag, Jr., is also a member of the company’s ranks, handling sales and estimating along with his wife Ria. “Bill has planned on joining the company since he was about three years old,” Haag says, “kind of like ‘my grandfather and my father were gear guys, and I want to be one, too.’ So we take special pride in the company’s growth and success.”
That growth began when Haag’s father left his position with a gear manufacturing company he’d co-founded in Saint Paul, Minnesota, to run Moore Gear full time. “He’d originally bought it as an investment, but the closer he looked at it, the more he didn’t like the way things were being run,” Haag explains. “The few machines the company had were so old they basically belonged in the Smithsonian, so he began an initiative to start purchasing state of the art equipment, and that’s something we’ve continued doing to this day.”
Finding themselves hemmed in with no room to grow, the Haags decided to move from their original location in Saint Louis to Hermann, Missouri, in 1987. Not only did that allow them to help design the facility, but to make sure there was plenty of room to grow — as they have. “We had 21,000 square feet in the beginning, and after five or six years we increased that space by 50 percent, so that we had 32,000 square feet,” Haag says. “And we’ve just purchased a 13,000 square-foot building on an adjoining property, and we’ll be adding another 7,000 to the original building. That’ll give our shipping and receiving department more room so that they don’t have to double-handle product, and it will make our throughput much more efficient. Plus we have about four and a half acres to build on when the time comes, but that’ll be for Bill, Jr., to worry about — unless we grow far faster than I anticipate in the next 10 or 15 years.”
That may well happen, if only to house the company’s capital equipment investments. “Dad wouldn’t even recognize the place these days,” Haag says, “because we have an extremely aggressive approach toward purchasing the latest state of the art equipment. Everything is CNC, including saws, turning equipment, machining centers, gear hobbers, hob sharpeners, rack machines, measurement systems — you name it, it’s all top notch.”
As are the company’s customers, who are mostly found in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and who run the gamut from consumer goods to heavy equipment manufacturers, including agricultural and industrial concerns. All sales and marketing functions for the 50-employee company are performed in house, which allows for a close relationship with its customers. “And that’s important, because whether we’re making one piece or 30,000 of them, it’s all about what the customer needs. It’s meeting that requirement that drives our activities, whether we’re talking about pricing, the quality of the part, or on-time delivery. We pride ourselves on having a terrific on-time delivery schedule, in fact.”
Still, it’s utilizing the latest in equipment technologies in which Moore Gear takes particular pride. “We believe that if you’re not setting the pace in terms of making the most of the machine technology that’s available, then you’re going to end up eating everybody else’s dust,” Haag says. “And we have no intention of doing that.”
MORE INFO To learn more about Moore Gear & Manufacturing Co., Inc., call 573-486-5415 or go to www.mooregear.com.