The EVS Metal Blog

Sales Engineering for Metal Fabrication: Q&A with Jim

Jim EVS Metal Sales Engineer

EVS Metal is fortunate to attract some of the best and most accomplished individuals in the metalworking industry; our outstanding staff is truly our most important asset.  However, it is understandably difficult for customers to get a feel for the level of dedication our team brings to work every day without reading it in their own words. Therefore, we are pleased to publish another installation in our ongoing series of spotlight articles highlighting employees and their departments in order to help fully illustrate both EVS’ capabilities as a manufacturer and precision metal fabricator, and the value our people bring to the table each and every day.

This week, we are spotlighting Jim, Sales Engineer at our Pennsylvania facility.

Spotlight on Sales Engineering: Q&A with Jim, SE, EVS Metal Pennsylvania

EVS Metal: How did you become interested in a career in the metal fabrication industry?

Jim: I started with a temp agency. Luckily, I liked what I was doing, and was brought on full time after 2 months.

EVS: What has your career trajectory looked like? Did you have any specific jobs or departments in mind after you realized that you enjoyed metal fabrication and wanted to make it your career?

Jim: I started as a spray painter, and liked the different challenges I faced each day with the variety of parts coming through the department. This was all hands-on experience, by the way. I didn’t have any formal training when I started! I learned everything on the job.

My next position was as a production supervisor for the painting, shipping masking, silk screening, and assembly depts. I held this position for 12 years and my knowledge of different areas grew exponentially over that period. I was also given an opportunity for supervisory training, along with advanced Excel classes and forklift certification.

My ultimate goal was to move into sales, where I have been for over 20 years. I was actually with the same company for 33 years before deciding to move on to EVS, where I’ve been for 2 years now.

EVS: Are there any special processes available at EVS that are fairly unique for the industry or are of special interest to EVS’ customers or a potential customer?

Jim: EVS does an incredible job at maintaining truly “state of the art” facilities. This is a major attraction to customers. With more efficient and quicker machinery, we are able to consistently provide shorter lead times and lower pricing.

Some of the more interesting machines and processes we have include our robot press brakes and punch presses, and a sophisticated ERP [MIE Trak Pro] that is integrated with a quoting program that allows us to turn quotes around very efficiently. This is something customers who need a part turned around quickly appreciate, in particular.

EVS: What does a typical day at EVS look like for you?

Jim: I’m on the road a lot, visiting current and potential customers. However, when I’m not, I spend most of my day tracking current leads, quoting new opportunities, and documenting my progress.

EVS Metal: What is your primary job function or functions?

Jim: Finding/responding to opportunities for metal fabrication projects, quoting them, and then turning them into orders. Customer relationship management is also a key part of my work.

EVS Metal: What do you like most about your job as a sales engineer?

Jim: The variety of parts being reviewed makes each day a little bit different than the last, which makes it very difficult to get bored! I’m also fortunate to be able to work from home when I’m not on the road, and that gives me quite a bit of flexibility with my schedule. And although I technically work out of the Pennsylvania facility, I also support our New Jersey location which provides a built-in second source for new opportunities.

EVS Metal: What qualities make a successful sales engineer?

Jim: In my opinion, you won’t be successful in sales if you do not know the product or service well.  Moving my way up through the shop and having many years of experience allows me to offer design suggestions to the customer right from the start, instead of having to go back to the shop and gather the information. Had I just started in sales, with no experience on the shop floor, I wouldn’t be half as credible to customers. 

EVS Metal: What do you think makes a good co-worker?

Jim: Knowledge and understanding of EVS’ capabilities, the ability and desire to help and support other staff members, and a personal drive to succeed.

EVS Metal: How would you describe EVS’ company culture?

Jim: Supportive! With four locations, there is always help just a phone call away and everyone is very generous with their times and knowledge.

EVS Metal: Are there any common questions you get from customers that seem fairly universal?

Jim: By far, the most asked question is “do you deliver?” The answer is yes — we do! Many customers are pleasantly surprised to learn that we even have our own fleet of trucks we use to deliver product within a 300-mile radius of our facilities. We also get quite a few inquiries around our powder-coating capabilities (yes — which we are able to do, in-house); whether we’re ISO: 9001 certified (yes again — to 2015 standards, as a matter of fact); and whether or not we have laser cutting machines (also a yes — all by Amada, and they are some of the most sophisticated lasers available).

EVS Metal: What has been the most complex challenge you have encountered in your position?

Jim: There’s no way to sugarcoat it — there is a lot of competition in this industry, and there are sheet metal fabrication companies in just about every town. The key to differentiation, in my eyes, is the way in which a company does business. Offering personal support and staying on top of the accounts is what makes the difference between a loyal customer and one that will drop you the minute he has a better price.

EVS Metal: What has been your most rewarding project at EVS?

Jim: Being awarded an order from a company that I chased for over 10 years (!), including while I was with my previous employer.

EVS Metal: How do you see the metal fabrication industry growing or changing over the next few years? How do you see EVS Metal changing to accommodate/address these things?

Jim: The industry changes constantly as progress and advances are made in machinery and processes. EVS had made investing in “state of the art” machinery, capabilities and facilities a priority. This focus on continuous improvement will allow EVS to continue to grow well into the future.

About EVS Metal

EVS Metal is an American precision metal fabricator headquartered in Riverdale, NJ. Our machinists and operators utilize the latest technology to cut, bend and finish stand-alone items as well as parts for integration or assembly into more complex products. EVS Metal’s four ISO 9001:2015-certified locations comprise over 250,000 square feet of vertically-integrated manufacturing space and feature the most modern equipment available, from lasers and CNC machining centers to automated powder coating lines.

We serve a diverse customer base across North America, providing a range of services from quick-turn prototypes to high-volume production runs. Request a personalized metal fabrication quote online or call (973) 839-4432 to speak with a specialist today.

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