Tribute Customer of the Quarter – Rubber & Accessories, Inc.
Rubber and Accessories, Inc. was started in 1972 by Harry Robb, Jr. and Buzz Hooper. Jackie Robb Britt, the daughter of Harry, remembers her father being away from home a lot of the time as the business was taking root. The company made it and now has two branches – Lakeland Florida where the corporate office is housed and Tucker Georgia. Jackie says the business is a “Full line distributor of Industrial Products”. Full line at Rubber and Accessories means both branches carry hose, gasket, the accessories that go with them and, of course, belting. And don’t forget the fabrication of hose or belting assemblies to meet your needs. The company serves customers throughout the US, Central & South America and the Caribbean.
Jackie Robb Britt, the main Tribute contact, has been with Rubber and Accessories for 11 years. Her father told her to get her education, and some work experience, before hiring her in his business. And she did. She is the Chief Financial Officer of the company at this time. But don’t get the wrong idea – she agrees that it was the right thing to get experience from a non-family business. She is very proud of the company and her father’s continuing involvement in the business. Jackie does not have children of her own, but she is hoping some nieces or nephews will want to continue in the family business when they are older.
Many of you may know Jackie from her involvement with NIBA – The Belting Association - over the past 11 years. She tells the story that when she started to work for the company, she was told in the first week to get on a NIBA committee and within 9 months she was on one! She has continued to work in and with NIBA and had the honor of being elected president for 2008. The gavel was passed to her at the September meeting but her official office began January 1, 2008. She is very excited about her involvement and makes it very clear that NIBA offers more benefits than many people know and they are trying to get that information out. NIBA is the belting industry authority. NIBA feels that a major challenge to the distributor is training, so the organization is providing training which focuses on the industry standard and not on specific manufacturers. It allows members to interact with a worldwide membership – filling a need not met by other organizations. She also stresses the changes with the yearly conference – more available training, resources, and interfacing with 600 to 700 other members!
When asked about the relationship between Tribute software and the Rubber and Accessories business, Jackie said she is a big fan of Tribute. They have used Tribute software for the past 10 years and continue to find it to be a huge help in their business. Her favorite feature is the fact that ‘everything is linked’ – quote to sales order to invoice. As Jackie quotes, “If I know a small piece, I can find the whole picture.” Jackie also mentioned the value of the customer item cross reference (ICCM). As she explains it, the cross reference allows “thousands of customers to talk in their own language” but be serviced and supported by the Rubber and Accessories sales staff.
In closing the interview, I asked Jackie if she had any thing she would like to say to the readers. In a very enthusiastic rush she said “Get involved! Speak the same language as your customer. Have the right people, the right computer system, the right organization and get involved!” I believe that sums up Rubber and Accessories, Inc. and their people – involved in their industry and proud of it!
Jackie Britt was featured (and on the cover) as one of Distribution’s Future Leaders in Industrial Distribution Magazine in March 2006.