EVS Metal is pleased to publish another installation in our series of spotlight articles highlighting employees and their departments. We hope these help illustrate EVS’ capabilities as a manufacturer and sheet metal fabricator, and the value our people bring to the table each and every day.
This week, we’re speaking with Dave from our Texas metal fabrication facility.
Q&A with Dave, Forming Business Development Lead, EVS Metal TX
EVS Metal: How long have you been with EVS, and how long have you worked in metal fabrication overall?
Dave: 22 years in metal fab, of which 12 have been with EVS
EVS: Did you start your metal fabrication career on the shop floor or other similar position, or have you always been in sales?
Dave: I was originally hired into metal fab as the facility manager of the startup Austin warehousing branch of a large Dallas company. I was the only employee for over a year until the purchase of another facility, which initiated the actual production of fabricated items. I was then made shipping manager, before moving over to inventory manager. After that, I moved to the purchasing department, before becoming the outsourcing manager, and then finally to sales. All of this was over a 9-year period.
EVS: Describe your career trajectory — how did you start, any specific education/training/experience, what different positions have you held etc.
Dave: During my college years, I started my own landscaping business which eventually became full time for a brief period. I eventually made it into a part-time enterprise before selling the company after a 10-year run. Concurrently, I worked full time in the sales department for KLBJ radio in Austin for a year, which was my first introduction to sales. I also worked in sales in the insurance, trucking, and hi-tech industries in the Austin area. Having been a business owner has been very helpful to my sales career because it has made me very comfortable asking for work.
EVS: What does a typical day at EVS look like for you?
Dave: A typical day at EVS involves a lot of time management. I usually spend the first couple hours a day communicating with customers regarding their immediate needs, gradually shifting towards spending time on new projects/prospects later in the day which require more in-depth attention. Being available to address a large number of details involving multiple projects across many departments consumes a large amount of time as well and gets broken up throughout the day.
EVS: What do you like most about your job in business development?
Dave: My job affords me a good deal of independence and allows me to make things happen, which requires a solid understanding of human nature, as well as project timing based on the experience I have to date. It allows me to look at situations in a nonlinear way and determine my own best courses of action to follow.
EVS: How does sales development differ from business development?
Dave: In my opinion, while business development covers all aspects of running a business, sales development is all about the relationships we create with potential customers, whether we are currently doing business or not.
EVS: What are the biggest differences between positions in sales vs sales engineering? How do the two work together?
Dave: Sales vs. sales engineering is a good question. Sales engineering is focusing on the work here and now and diving into the minutiae of a project. More insulated. Having sales engineering experience makes me a better advisor to my customers when it comes to offering them advice. Sales, in general, is focusing on the big picture and means making a solid, professional impression on every potential opportunity, even if we are unlikely to engage at the time. I have a number of customers I have worked with for many years that have been on-again / off-again or moved from different companies, projects, and positions, but we still have great relationships.
EVS: How would you describe EVS’ company culture?
Dave: I can only intelligently speak for EVS TX culture, but I would describe it as a family — we really do get along the vast majority of the time, even if there are always going to be days when we get on each other’s nerves, which I would say is normal for any “family.” I try to foster an atmosphere of treating our customers like family and try to treat my coworkers like friends.
EVS: What do you look for in co-workers?
Dave: Anyone who is positively oriented, open-minded, and willing to change, as well as the desire to take on new projects and assume new responsibilities.
EVS: Are there any special processes available at EVS that are fairly unique for the industry that are of special interest to EVS’ customers or potential customers?
Dave: EVS makes a huge effort to keep our fabrication equipment modern, which helps promote efficiency and allows us to keep costs down for the company. This means we can pass the savings down to our customers in the form of excellent pricing.
EVS: Are there any common questions you get from customers that seem fairly universal?
Dave: The first thing just about every customer wants to know is price and lead time. This is why the answer to the question above is so important.
EVS: What has been the most complex challenge you have encountered in your position?
Dave: I have a more general answer to this, as my position requires a fairly complex challenge day in and day out, and that is trying to get all the gears to mesh across departments. This means working with and motivating multiple departments to focus on attracting and retaining new customers and growth opportunities. Usually, there are time-sensitive factors involved and it is a matter of making sure all of the teams are on the same page so they can agree on priorities and coordinate together in the most efficient manner. This requires a lot of patience and communication, which depending on the day, everyone has more or less of which to give. I also have to stay constantly aware of how other fabricators are performing in our arena so that we can remain competitive over the long term.
EVS: 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?
Dave: EVS continues to take the right steps to stay on the forefront of the industry trends. This allows us to project the most dynamic and professional appearance to our customer base possible.
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 ITAR-compliant, quick-turn prototypes to high-volume production runs. Request a personalized metal fabrication quote online or call 1-888-9EVSMET to speak with a specialist today.