Top of Mind in Arkansas

February 26, 2021 | Troy Clark

Last fall a great customer shot me an email, “Troy, if you can find me another Haas ST30SSY , just like the other one you sold me, I’d have interest.” Say no more! When one of your best customers asks anything of you – you jump to it!

This customer is very special to me. I have been to his plant, met his team and sold almost a million dollars of machinery in and out of his plant over the years. A few years ago when the US Mint produced special quarters celebrating each state of the union, I contacted him because my daughter couldn’t locate the quarter with Arkansas on it. He found one, taped it to a note and mailed it to me that week. That’s the type of customer I’m talking about! I had to take care of this guy.

My team immediately put our process into action. That specific wanted for that specific Haas got placed on our bi-weekly wanted email to all of our customers, and announced to all our dealer colleagues as an urgent need. I searched all advertising outlets and scoured all sale promotions and found a few Haas ST30Y or ST35Y machines that came close. But nothing was an exact fit. Each time I sent an offering, my Arkansas customer (let’s call him “Customer A”) would kindly advise that he could compromise, but really wanted an exact match to the machine I has previously sold to him.

The ST30SSY model has several variations from the standard ST30Y, and manufacturers often require identical machines so that feeds and speeds, depth of cut, tooling, cycle time, repairs, everything – can be identical so that the same part can be made on both machines in identical fashion. The SSY has a larger capacity turret, higher RPM, smaller bar capacity, slightly smaller swing envelope. All these add up to a vastly different machine when comparing the standard ST30Y and the ST30SSY.

A few months later, after no success finding Customer A the right machine – Enter a buying customer from Alabama (let’s call him “Customer B”). This buyer had interest in our Okuma LB3000MYWII (see previous post “Okuma Hat Trick”). But when it became clear they were buying a different Okuma machine, I asked the question I always ask, “Is there any other way we can be of service to you?” And unbelievably he answered, “Well, yes, any chance you could sell a Haas ST30SSY for us?” Unbelievable… except that it happens more often than you think… so I believed it.

Top of mind. It’s a great book by John Hall. And it’s a real thing. Customer A thought of us because of our long term relationship and service to his company. I thought of Customer A when Customer B asked the question months later because of my efforts to locate the very machine Customer B now needed me to sell for him. In the end each customer’s need was addressed, floor space was recaptured, capital was created, and the right machine was secured and delivered to our customer in Arkansas.

We have the best customers and now this 2012 Haas ST30SSY has a second life at a new shop and it’s sitting across the isle from it’s identical cousin. Like Hannibal Smith from the 80’s show “The A-Team” used to say, “I love it when a plan comes together!”