July 6th, 2022
Slide’s team has built strong, long-term relationships with many of our customers over the years. Sometimes these connections grow to true friendships extending far beyond a typical business/client alliance.
For this article, we have decided to take a bit of a departure from our regular informational industry news and advice and share some true-life interactions that four of us have had the pleasure to experience when business relationships became special bonds.
Business Development Manager & Mold Making Maestro
“I’ve known Ted and Mary Jo Hand of DW Sales (Slide distributor) for the past 13 years and we’ve become friends over the time we have done business together both at my previous job and now with Slide. When I work with their team in the Detroit area we always have a nice dinner, and in the summer season they invite me over to their lake house for a sunset boat ride. It seems like there’s always so much to share that we never discuss business, but just catch up on how each other’s families are doing and what’s new in our lives. It’s very nice to be considered a friend by these wonderful people and makes our business interactions that much more meaningful as well.”
“There’s a local (Traverse City) end user who I worked with as a customer in my previous job, so when I started working at Slide I sent him our catalog knowing he might find some of our products useful in his shop. In a follow-up phone call he said he didn't use Slide items but I was welcome to drop off a couple of samples that I thought might be beneficial to him. Recently he reached out and mentioned he was having some rusting issues on a mold that they needed to put into production, and he thought of me to see if I could help out. I went into his shop that same day and walked him through the steps of proper cleaning and rust prevention strategies so this issue could be avoided in the future. He used the samples I’d provided and then subsequently purchased a couple of cases from Slide. It's always nice to be able to transition customers from my previous job selling different industrial goods to now being a Slide customer.”
President & Sales Manager
“Here is my story about a personal relationship with a distributor, going back maybe 15 years. We had a distributor in NC named Jim Cunningham. He was much older than me, and frankly we had very little reason to have much in common other than Slide and that partnership. He was just a great guy and would do anything for you. I traveled and worked with him in the Carolinas a number of times, did the normal stay in a hotel and ate at some local restaurant.
On one trip, Jim refused to let me sleep in local lodging and insisted that I sleep at his house in the guest room. It created some angst as the trip approached. But when I arrived there, it was such a neat experience that it opened me up to the friendships we could and do develop with our partners.
The first night Jim and his wife Tess prepared for me a dish of fried okra. I had shared with Jim that fried okra, a traditional southern dish, was something I really missed after moving from Georgia to Chicago. I simply had trouble finding okra in the local stores. So Jim and Tess made a huge plate of my favorite veggie to enjoy for dinner.
They also took the time to share that Tess’ family was named Nimitz, and that her uncle was Admiral Charles Nimitz of WW II fame. They had books and articles about him they were very proud to show and share. So, I got not only a great meal, but also a history lesson from that memorable trip. And I think we sold some Slide also…”
“I consider many distributors/reps friends at this point in my career. I always go to dinner with Roberto Martinez and his wife when I’m in El Paso, played top golf with RS Hughes Inside Manager Jonathan Saucedo (who was in El Paso but now back in Anaheim). I made calls in Houston on behalf of Bobby Buyer (RS Hughes Rep) when I was in that area but he was out due to surgery and needed some support.”
“I also have an example of a relationship with a distributor rep that made him comfortable enough to phone me after hours requesting my help. Gregg Miller (Hughes rep Dallas) called me about 6:30 on a Friday afternoon. I was at the airport about to board my plane to fly home from Harlingen, TX. His customer, Amphenol, needed a Slide product they don’t buy often, the DFL. Gregg had to order some, but in the meantime, he asked if I had any on hand to offer them. I had a couple cans available for samples, so I brought them to the customer first thing Monday morning to get them by until their order arrived.”
Factory Rep, Greaser of Ejector Pins & Purging Expert
“Here is my story about a relationship with a customer in Indianapolis called Catalyst PDG. They have been a good Slide customer for quite some time – a custom molder who uses all our processing aids for production. Other than being aware that they were a customer, there were no real relations. Then one day the company’s production manager, Ian and I discovered that coincidentally both of our daughters had tried out and earned a spot on the same softball travel team. This led to a friendship extending outside the business portion of our relationship, enjoying watching our daughters play softball together, traveling out of state and spending many fine hours together on these trips.
We continue to share treasured experiences with our daughters, from preparing for graduation, to choosing schools, and the overall joys of watching our little girls growing up. Ian’s wife also works at Catalyst and we have become friends as well.
This story is probably one of my favorites because it was just fate that created a stronger bond to the business side of our friendship. The bittersweet but satisfying part of this story is that our daughters’ travel softball careers came to an end this year as they go off to college, but knowing our friendships will continue is very comforting.”
Sharing these customer interactions gives us special pause to realize how everyday work ties can turn into a lifetime of fond memories and create friendships from unexpected places. Here at Slide Products we value all of our customers and distributors. Please contact your local rep for more information about all of our top-notch products.