Getting to know Premier Manufacturing
By Derek Quys, International Sales Manager
Please briefly describe the history of Premier Manufacturing.
The year 2016 marks the 92nd anniversary of Premier Manufacturing, Co. Established in 1924, Premier Manufacturing developed tooling for various types of cast components. The original founder recognized the growing need to hook trailers together, and so began the manufacture of trailer hitches.
Nine decades later, Premier has evolved into one of the select number of companies that designs and produces a substantial offering of trailer couplings (hitches) and related components.
Please briefly describe your company’s sales structure: What do you sell, who are your customers, etc.?
We are an Oregon-based producer of couplings (hitches), drawbar eyes, dolly jacks, hinge and front-end assemblies for the medium- and heavy-duty transportation industry. We have a vast distribution network of thousands. Our market presence is felt throughout United States, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, as well as other International emerging markets.
Our sales pipeline includes the end-user, manufacturer (OEM) and distributor. We are actively involved in providing solutions to our end-user customers. Assisting them in making sure their specs are fulfilled with the OEMs. We also have a very strong distribution network that support all the needs of our end-user customers.
What separates Premier Manufacturing from competitors in its marketplace?
Contact us and you will see. Whether you reach out to us electronically or over the phone, you never have to wait long. Someone is always there to help.
We are the experts in our field. Our attention to details sets us apart from any of our competitors, domestic or otherwise. The key to our success is that we provide solutions to the transportation industry, medium and heavy duty alike. Operations flow smoothly thanks to an excellent customer service department supported by geographically located sales personnel.
How do you believe customers perceive your business?
Our reputation is that we are a high-quality manufacturer with outstanding service. Our product quality and innovations is what we are also known for. One standout is Premalloy, Premier’s own alloy with unique properties that actually get harder during its use. In many applications, this product will not wear out during the service life of the vehicle.
How and why do your customers stay loyal to your business?
We respect their business and business model. Not all companies conduct business the same way. Therefore, it is important for a supplier to be cognizant of the needs of their consumer and try to adapt to them. Of course it is not reasonable to be able to do everything needed, but if a company is open-minded and works hard to appease their customer base, you will have a loyal customer. For instance, we have customers still with us today that have started since the early 1950s.
What is one thing most customers/suppliers don’t know about Premier Manufacturing that would surprise/impress them? (i.e., tell us something about Premier Manufacturing we don’t know)
Our values and integrity reach behind the scenes. Our upper management group is actively involved in charitable events including youth groups.
We also employ companies that have underprivileged people working for them. They make our pallets, small kits, labels, etc. We do this even though it may cost us more than doing it ourselves. Sometime you just can’t put a price on doing the right things.
We have helped many employees that have personal scenarios/issues that may be out of their control. We have stepped in to help them financially or otherwise.
What makes Premier Manufacturing a great place to work?
We really value our employees. Our COO, Paul Grycko, had this to say: “We still run a family-style business and the well-being of each of our employees is extremely important to us.”
As a result of this philosophy, we have a professional workforce that is hardworking, dedicated and capable of operating independently. This improves productivity because everyone is pushing for the success of the company.
How vital is it to have quality employees entering your business from younger generations, and how are you trying to recruit these younger professionals?
Although we do not turn our backs on individuals who have a longer tenure in our industry, we do embrace the out-of-the-box thinking that a younger generation might bring. Our philosophy is to find professional, hardworking, enthusiastic people.
We recruit these people from within our organization, through word of mouth, LinkedIn, recommendations from other industry associates, etc.
Do you feel Premier Manufacturing is in the position to change with the times? If so how?
I do. Although we are a fairly well established company, our management team really embraces forward thinking. As a matter of fact, we encourage all staff members to extend themselves to achieve new opportunities within our organization.