You Want Tooling with That?
Almost as soon as they opened the doors at Revolution Machine Tools, the company put in place a fully equipped and functioning Parts and Tooling Department ready to support the Sales and Service teams. Selling a press brake without tooling would be like selling a car without tires—it might look pretty, but it’s not going to serve the customer very well since it simply can’t perform what it was designed to do.
Every time an RMT sales consultant places an order for a new metalworking machine on behalf of a customer, they arrange for a standard or custom tooling package to be included when it is shipped from the factory. When additional tooling is needed—or consumables or replacement parts—that is where the RMT Parts and Tooling Department steps in.
The Man in the Chair
In visiting the headquarters of Revolution Machine Tools in North Salt Lake, Utah, one can find the Parts and Tooling Department nestled behind the sales office. The long shelves are lined with assorted parts for a variety of metal fabrication machines, as well as press brake punches and dies and other tooling.
In the chair behind the main desk sits Dominick Costanza—Dom for short—the current RMT Parts and Tooling Manager. “I’m just from Utah,” Dom responds when asked about his background. “Born and raised here in Utah, from Draper.” Dom was working in logistics and equipment sales before getting into parts and tooling sales over a decade ago at another company. It was through his work there that he became acquainted with Kyle Jorgenson, the founder of Revolution Machine Tools. When Kyle was looking to expand the RMT Parts Department in 2019, he knew Dom would be a good fit, and brought him on as a parts salesman. Dom was promoted to his current post as department manager later that year.
Approximately 90% of Dom’s time is spent in working directly with RMT products and customers, though that percentage is increasing as more RMT machines flood the metalworking market. “The sheer number is growing and so it takes a lot of time,” Dom observes.
He doesn’t neglect the general requests from metal fabricators that make up the other 10%, however. “We can chase down whatever parts they need,” Dom says. “Of course, we always prioritize RMT stuff, but we can search and try to find just about everything, or suitable replacements for most types of machines. We work closely with the Service Department and so we can get replacements cross referenced.”
Regarding the types of calls he receives, Dom reflects, “One of the weirdest things is when somebody calls in for something that hasn’t been in production for 75 years. Then we try to just find replacements or find somebody that can make the part and get it to them. We do have that ability, if we can’t get it—if it’s a mechanical part sometimes we can make it in-house, or send it out to somebody, or I do it at home, so we can try to get people up and going as quick as possible.”
An ER for Ailing Machines
“This is an emergency room,” Dom says of his department. “That’s how we treat it, as an emergency room. Somebody’s machine goes down, we get them stuff as quickly as we can.”
No matter how good a part is—and Revolution Machine Tools builds its machines using the best parts in the industry—it will eventually fail. “Every machine is going to break down,” Dom says. “It doesn’t matter if it’s new, old, or what make or model—it’s going to break at some point, and you have to have a way of making sure you can get it back up online. That’s why we’re an emergency room, because we know that that’s going to happen, no matter the quality. We try to help and accommodate as best we can.”
Like an ER doctor, Dom performs triage when several requests come in at the same time. “‘Are you down or are you able to limp along?’ That’s one of the questions you ask,” Dom says. “‘Are you down and you cannot function or is it still functional?’”
Prioritizing is essential. “If I’ve got somebody with a laser down, that’s obviously going to take precedence over somebody with a 9×12 saw that’s down,” Dom says. “We try to treat everyone the same though, even if it’s a 9×12 saw or a half-a-million-dollar laser, we try to treat everybody the same and get to it as fast as we can.”
“Make, model, serial number, first off the bat,” Dom says of what he requires when someone calls in. “That’s the first thing you need anytime you call anybody. Then what’s going on with it, what’s happening, what do you need?” Sometimes the customer has no idea what he needs. “If I have to pull Service in, I’ll pull Service in and have them diagnose,” Dom notes. “I don’t want to sell them something that they don’t need. I don’t want to do that.”
A Resource for Fabricators
While ordering some things like consumables can be done without talking to a specialist like Dom, with most items that’s usually not the best approach. “It doesn’t work that way with a lot of other parts, it really doesn’t,” Dom says. “They need to talk to somebody; they need to figure out what’s going on. A guy called yesterday, as a matter of fact. He said he needed new bearings, and I told him, ‘Well, you probably don’t. You probably just need to take it apart, clean them out, grease it, put it back together. Because the only way you’d need a bearing is if somebody overpowered it and then cracked the race or broke the cage.’ He was very happy.”
Dom’s philosophy is that regardless of the request, you always direct the customer to a source. “I try not to turn away any calls if I can—even if it’s something that we don’t sell, I’ll typically call the customer back and say, ‘Look this is something that we don’t deal with, but this is someone that you can talk to.’”
When asked what tips he’d give to machine owners so they wouldn’t have to call him, Dom replied firmly, “Do your maintenance. You can’t just run it, and run it, and run it, and run it. You’ve got to make sure you’re doing your maintenance, cleaning stuff up, don’t let stuff build up, keep it clean. That’s the biggest thing. Do your maintenance, whatever it is on there [the machine’s maintenance schedule], make sure you’re doing all that stuff and you’ll have less problems.”
Dom’s message for metal fabricators is simple: “If you’re broke down and you need to get going quickly, call us. We’ll help out any way we can—parts, service, whatever. We’ll do our very best to get you going again.”