Over the past few years Ohio Power Tool has been growing at a nice rate while making it a priority to maintain the same level of product knowledge and customer service. We were lucky enough to be honored earlier this year as one of the Fast 50 (50 fastest growing companies in Columbus). More recently we have been honored as the Small Family Business of the Year. The Conway Family Business Center classifies small business as less than 20 employees and we were nominated with several other great Columbus companies. The profile below was featured in Business First.
Ohio Power Tool Inc.
Address: 1042 Dublin Road, Columbus
Web site: ohiopowertool.com
Business description: Sales and repair of power tools and equipment
Top principal/officer: James D. Amstutz
No. of generations/Year founded: 2/1983
Family members working for business: James, Suzanne and Jay Amstutz
2007 revenue: Would not disclose
What has been the depth of your succession planning? In the process of evaluating succession plan options since our son, Jay, has recently started working with us.
If you have developed a strategic plan, what has it meant to how the company operates? Excellent customer service, top-quality brands, and employee knowledge of product have always been part of our mission. Web site presence has been our strategy to stay competitive the past few years, and with our son Jay’s marketing background and Web site development experience, we have exceeded our goals.
What challenges does turmoil in the financial markets bring to your company in 2009? The current financial market has prompted us to be more discriminating in extending credit to our customers. We are also seeking better terms from our vendors and not taking on any debt. It will also provide opportunities to excel where other companies may struggle.
Describe the greatest challenge in working with family members and what you have learned from the experience: The greatest challenge is probably taking family members for granted. A lot is expected at the workplace with everyone helping where needed, which sometimes interferes with family life. Another aspect is spending too much time working and thinking about business during times that should be devoted to family only. We’ve been fortunate that we’ve been able to work together while respecting and recognizing our individual skills and talents that complement the work environment. My advice would be to define specific roles for the family members that they are happy with and respect those boundaries.
When family problems weave their way into the work place, how are they resolved? Our philosophy has been to discuss things at home and try to resolve things on a personal level, rather than involve the workplace.
Articulate the benefits of working with family members: The greatest benefit is that we are all seeking a common goal, which is to see the company succeed. We also offer each other support and encouragement during rough times, as well as require accountability with all our decisions.
Are you more or less optimistic about the coming year for your company? We had a record year in 2007, and as of October of this year, we have exceeded 2007 sales. Because of our marketing and Web site, we are reaching more customers and are optimistic that sales will continue to grow through 2009. Even though the economy may slow down, we are continuing to gain a market share of the tool industry.