Tribute Customer of the Quarter – Estabrook Corporation
By Kelly Sutula, Treasurer & Systems Administrator, Estabrook Corporation
The Estabrook Corporation was founded in 1965 by Owen Stiegelmeier who found a niche in the repair and rebuilding of industrial pumps. For twenty years Estabrook operated as an independent repair facility serving primarily the steel industry. In 1985, Estabrook pursued a growth strategy to sell new pumps and parts representing pump manufacturers along with their repair capabilities to provide “cradle to grave” service to the industrial marketplace. Becoming a distributor for pump manufacturers expanded the corporation’s customer base and geographic foot print.
In 1989 Jeffrey Tarr was named President and the growth plan set forward continued to be implemented. The company added product lines and today has grown into a regional industrial sales and service company representing a diverse number of industrial process equipment manufacturers such as ITT Gould’s Pumps, Allis Chalmers, G & L, Gorman Rupp, Warren Rupp, Pulsafeeder, and Yamada. In addition, Estabrook sells mechanical seals, heat exchangers, mixers and vacuum pumps representing the AW Chesterton Company, Alfa Laval, and the Tuthill Corporation. We serve over 2000 customers in Ohio, New York, and parts of both Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
In 1991 Estabrook Assembly Services Incorporated (EASI) was formed. This company was created to provide dispensing equipment for the concrete admixture business. EASI builds equipment that pumps, meters and dispenses chemicals and color for concrete ready mix producers. It is in partnership with the leading admixture company in the world and provides all the equipment for that company in North America.
In 1993 Estabrook expanded into Western New York and opened a repair facility in Penn Yan, New York. In 1994 both companies moved into a new headquarters building located on Bagley Road in Berea, Ohio and a satellite sales office was opened in Belpre, Ohio.
The founder and chairman retired in 2006 leaving his mark on not only the start of two successful businesses but his ideology of hard work, good business sense and commitment to recognizing his employees as an integral part of his business success. In 2007 a 25,000 square foot addition was completed on our headquarters which doubled the size of the facility. Jeffrey Tarr continues to direct the 70 plus employees with the same family oriented philosophy and his commitment to continue to reinvest in the businesses. In 2008 both companies have continued to prosper and the result has been unprecedented sales records for both businesses.
I am the Treasurer and System Administrator of both companies and have worked for the company since 1987. We’ve been on Tribute since 1993 for Estabrook Corporation and switched EASI over to Tribute in 2000. When Dawn Hawkins first proposed Estabrook Corporation be the spotlight customer of the quarter, my immediate thought…and comment was, “I don’t have time”. I think this is one of the challenges we are all facing. More responsibilities, less personnel, everybody wants it now, it’s difficult to juggle all the tasks and find the time. We need more ways to be more efficient and technology has provided that.
I have used software to operate both companies prior to switching over to Tribute, and in both instances, they fell short in two of the most important ways software companies can fall short. They failed to continuously invest in their product and they failed to change with the times. With the continuous changes of our businesses over the years, it is mandatory to have a software package that is going to change with your business and accommodate your changing needs; both areas in which Tribute has excelled. With all the responsibilities and demands on our time, it is with a huge sigh of relief that I know I can rely on the software package that is so integral in running the business.
With such a successful 2008, we have been able to take this opportunity to invest in a new server (talk about time saver!) and switch to the laser forms package. However, the one thing I have learned over the years is, no matter how much technology and software you roll out to the company, without the proper training, the technology and software does not provide its return on investment or the time saving measures it was guaranteed to provide. So my advice to everyone struggling to find time and improve efficiency is “training, training, training”. Don’t just purchase the product. Invest in the product and to do that you must invest in the training! Hope you all have a great 2009!