We would like to extend a warm welcome to Kevin Watkins! Kevin will head up Northeast Account Development and will cover the following states: Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
In his role with Kris-Tech, Kevin has been tasked with finding NEW opportunities in the Northeast while also empowering existing customers with the Kris-Tech values and exceptional customer service. The job encompasses all areas of the sale process, from initial request to delivery, all while maintaining Kris-Tech’s hedgehog concept to grow our customer base.
We sat down with Kevin for a few minutes so that Kris-Tech customers can get to know Kevin a little better:
Welcome to Kris-Tech! Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Of course! I’ve actually been in the electrical industry since college, in all aspects of the field. I got my start working for a large electrical contractor in PA named BSI that covered multiple aspects of the trade, everything from Lukens Steel to the Willow Grove Airforce base. I was able to obtain my journeymen’s and from there I advanced to do electrical estimating after 4 years. From there I was recruited to work for Rumsey Electric Supply in Conshohocken, PA. It’s there that I really got my experience in the contractor sales aspect for almost 4 years selling electrical supplies along with Allen Bradley.
During my final years at Rumsey, I became known as the wire ‘guru’ while selling Southwire and the likes of Omni Cable. After making a name for myself in the wire & cable industry, focused on the Philadelphia market, I was recruited by Billows Electric Supply in Philadelphia. This was an inside sales position in the electrical construction and industrial side, eventually, moving on to a new tailored position as their Commodity Manager to cover all aspects of pipe & wire. My role involved maintaining inventory levels in regard to pipe & wire for all 19 locations while at the same time helping the sales team successfully secure orders.
When you are not traveling between the California and New York offices or calling on customers, what do you like to do in your spare time away from the office?
Family is the most important aspect of my career. It’s important to me to always be available for my family, even when I know I have a work trip coming up. I’m big on the outdoors and running. This allows me to really clear my head and get in the right mindset to tackle the tasks ahead. Playing guitar is another hobby of mine that I don’t think I’ll ever put down, I believe music is very important. I’m starting to get into books on tape while I’m traveling to visit customers.
What most excites you about joining the Kris-Tech team as the Northeast Account Developer?
Meeting with Graham, Travis, and Jeff [Executive Team] on my initial visit to Kris-Tech in Rome, NY, I was really blown away by the investment that Graham and the team have put into Kris-Tech. I was amazed by the new high-tech manufacturing facility. I really value true investment and wanting to grow with the demand that’s out there. That response is vital to any company: if you’re not growing, then you’re shrinking. I’m excited about the Kris-Tech team because of our culture and values that we are exposed to each day. The forward momentum is strong at Kris-Tech. I’m just excited to be part of a young team and a sort of ‘re-birth’ of the company. It’s a rare opportunity to be there in the beginning, I’m fortunate to be in that situation.
What geographical locations are you planning to visit first to develop and grow your customer base?
Initially, I’m going to focus on the Greater Philadelphia region since a majority of my contact and knowledge resides here. It doesn’t hurt to know the ‘map’ of vendors & manufacturers and how the game is played in the Philadelphia region. From there I’ll then focus on Western PA and the New York City region; eventually sprawling throughout the Northeast.
You come from an Electrical Distribution background. What do you consider to be the most valuable information that you bring to the K-T team?
I believe my strongest asset that I bring to the Kris-Tech team is from my time as a Commodity Manager. The method and experiences that I’ve gained in that position help mold who I am today. This can only help Kris-Tech understand the needs of the distributor and how to best play that hybrid role of manufacturer/supplier. At Kris-Tech, we value all aspects of the distributor, not just seeking large opportunities. This is important to a purchasing agent at the distributor level because you are reflecting that you truly want to do business with this person; no matter the size of the company and/or request. Relationship building has always been a strong suit of mine. I’ve formed many friends in this industry, I will continue to do the same here at Kris-Tech.
You are joining Kris-Tech from a profound career in the Philadelphia market. What unique traits do you bring to the team from the Philly area?
Over the years on the construction sales side, I’ve been exposed to contractors and sales agents from all areas of the business. I’ve learned how relationships count for much of the success in securing opportunities for and finding opportunities. The landscape of Philadelphia is tightly wound through years of history from contractor to distributor. You’ll find only certain contractors will do business with certain distributors and vice versa. I know the landscape in the Greater Philadelphia very well, so I know how to move about the landscape and develop relationships for Kris-Tech.
Your robust knowledge of the electrical distribution industry – both as a commodity manager and in inside sales – will be highly beneficial to K-T. How will your experience help Kris-Tech continue to reach our goal of being a world class wire manufacturer?
Consistency is key here, along with openness and honesty. Kris-Tech holds themselves very high on the customer value scale, as they should! Being a vertically integrated wire manufacturer from Rome, NY (Copper City USA as they call it) they’ve seen it all in regards to copper manufacturing and industry happenings. That is something that I need to bring home to the distributor. Once you get that experience of doing business with Kris-Tech you’ll understand why it’s now a vital part of how you do business. We have the best lead times in the industry, virtually unmatched, also our delivery and response times speak for themselves. This allows us to become a true asset to the distributor in servicing the end user effectively and accurately.
What else can you share about yourself with our Kris-Tech Customers?
I’m somebody if I’m having fun, that means everyone around me must be also. I really enjoy surrounding myself with good, honest individuals who all have the same goal: to succeed and build strong relationships. Outside of work, I enjoy spending 100% of my time with my family, both at home and outdoors.
If I had to share anything with my customers about me it would be ‘you’re looking at it’. What I mean by that is you will always get the best from me, I promise to exhaust all resources and channels on your requests. I consider it a personal achievement to combat the unexpected and/or meet the difficult lead times. Kris-Tech is the only wire manufacturer that’s been able to provide those tools to me in servicing the electrical industry.
As Kris-Tech continues its Commitment to Excellence, we strive for excellence in everything that we do: service, quality, and relationships. We believe this addition to our Sales Team allows us to deliver on this commitment.
Join us in welcoming Kevin to the team!
You can reach Kevin via email at firstname.lastname@example.org