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While at SMTA Ohio Expo recently, I learned about a unique rep company, the Murray Percival Company. Process Support Specialist Matt Bonweg filled me in on the interesting history and philosophy of this rather special manufacturers' rep company.
Patty Goldman: Matt, tell me a little bit about Murray Percival.
Matt Bonweg: Murray Percival Company is a capital equipment rep group as well as an MRO distributor. We’re a third-generation family business, started in 1960.
It was started by Murray Sr. and now is run by his two sons, Murray Percival Jr. and Mark Percival. The staff of 18 employees includes their sister, Pam, who is the controller and three of Murray Sr.’s grandchildren. We are a little different than most reps and distributors as the family atmosphere brings with it very deep core values based on honesty and integrity.
We don't just sell customers a product. We offer the experience of people like myself, a process engineer, who came from the industry. We work with customers to identify the right solutions for their needs. If we don't have the correct solution, then we still try to help them out and point them in the right direction. With my background in the industry, I know a lot of my competitors who have called on me for many years and I have no problem recommending any of them if they have a better solution for one of my customers. It's all about doing what's right. That's what we really strive to do with every single opportunity that we have. The customer is going to remember that and come back to us later on down the road.
Goldman: What kind of products does Murray Percival sell and how does that work?
Bonweg: We basically offer anything and everything needed to assemble a circuit board. Starting in the stock room with cabinets, shelving boxes and bins to store materials, then on to the manufacturing floor where we provide the printers, pick and place machines, ovens, cleaners, AOI inspection systems, and conveyors to put them all together. For inspection and final assembly, we start with the work bench and supply everything you might find on the bench including ESD products, soldering systems, microscopes, hand tools, dispensing bottles, cleaners, solder and so on. Looking at our line card you will see that the lines we represent are some of the better known manufacturers in the industry.
Goldman: Equipment lines and the solder itself?
Bonweg: Absolutely, which is where the distribution side comes into this. Long ago, Murray Sr. started representing Electrovert Speedline for wave solder machines. Everything was great. He was helping customers out and then he realized, "You know, I could be doing more for them. They have a wave solder machine and they've got to put solder and flux in it, and since they've got to get that solder from somebody, why isn't that somebody me?”
So that's where it all started to come together, that we should be offering a single source solution to our customers. Kind of the one stop shop so customers don’t need to waste their valuable time hunting for solutions and products. Our distribution product offerings are vast. We represent more than 70 different manufacturers between capital and distribution. We consider our many vendors as partners and it is our job to not only deliver their products to our customers, but their vast knowledge as well, in order to provide solutions to our customers.
Our web store is very extensive; there's a lot of time and effort that goes into it. We also put a lot of time and effort into what we call our "We Know How" site. It is a collaboration of white papers, articles, videos and brochures offering many solutions and process help. The site is very intuitive and is laid out by process topics and brands. Whether it’s rework and repair, inspection, cleaning, anything like that, you will find loads of material. You can find plenty of places to buy products on our websites, but we back that up with plenty of online information and a knowledgeable technical staff, like myself, who can support our customers in the field, expanding on the information found online.
Goldman: You could pretty much do a turn-key factory by the sounds of it.
Bonweg: Absolutely. We like to think so. We have some customers that will attest to that as well. We just recently did a survey where we asked customers why they do business with us and we heard comments such as, "I feel like I have a support team, not just someone taking orders," and "The service and support we get from our Murray Percival rep is outstanding compared to others." There were many other quotes with words such as support, response, experience, expertise, relationship, and this list goes on.
One of the key performance indicators we look at in our monthly communication meeting is new customers, which we are adding daily. These new customers are not coming to us because we have something they can’t get anywhere else, they are coming to us because of how we do business, they want to experience the Murray Percival difference, which is driven by our core values. When you have a moment visit our website, look for "The Power of One" logo to learn more.
Goldman: It seems you are a regional supplier—or do you reach across the entire country?
Bonweg: We do reach out across the country. As I mentioned, we are adding customers daily which is directly a result of our online store. When a new customer gives us an opportunity to show them how we service our customers we rarely fail to meet their expectations. Even though we may not have sales associates across the country we are able to support these customers over the phone and through e-mail. Most of the manufacturers we represent have regional sales associates in the field or manufacturer’s representatives we can count on to perform any field work that is necessary. For instance, if a customer needs someone to look at a process or demonstrate a product in their facility we are able to utilize these resources to do so.
Goldman: Well, Matt, it has certainly been interesting talking with you and hearing about Murray Percival, a really unique company. I'll bet you really like working there. Thanks so much for your time.
Bonweg: I appreciate your interest in our company and an opportunity to tell our story. It is absolutely a great company to work for with the family atmosphere and culture. I personally am having a blast doing what I am doing. I love to help people and get a chance to do that every day. There is always something to do for our customers, which is great because I like to stay busy.