If manufacturing companies want to survive and thrive in today’s competitive environment, their management teams need to welcome change and embrace new opportunities.
Howard Garfinkel, CEO of Brooklyn Heights-based Superior Tool Co., takes great pride in his 60-year-old company’s strong industry reputation and its history of innovation. The company manufactures pipe working and plumbing tools that are sold to hardware and home improvement retailers, industrial distributors and plumbing wholesalers.
A forward-thinking company, Superior Tool recently designed and developed its UltraCut Cordless Power Tubing Cutter, a product expected to become available at more than 1,300 Lowe’s stores this winter. The old-style tubing cutters made work tedious and awkward; the UltraCut is fast, powerful and small enough to fit into tight quarters for hard-to-reach plumbing jobs.
The company “assembled a management team consisting of engineering, sourcing, production, marketing and sales professionals that geared up for the first production run of the UltraCut in October,” Garfinkel says. “Our subsidiary, Neighborhood Manufacturing, added employees to assemble the final product.”
The UltraCut uses AnyFuel power technology, nickel-metal hydride cells that provide better performance and environmental friendliness than common nickel-cadmium cells. While the product’s electrical components, other than the capacitors, come from Asia, the rest of the tool is made in Cleveland. In addition to filling a much-needed niche in the plumbing tool market, the UltraCut was honored in Plant Engineering Magazine as a finalist in its 2006 Product of the Year competition.
By adopting AnyFuel technology, Superior Tool will be able to create cordless versions of tools and appliances that have traditionally been manual. The company plans to license AnyFuel to manufacturers in many industries, including those marketing through hardware/home center, plumbing and housewares channels. “The UltraCut is a complex technical product that has forced the company to develop certain skill sets it previously did not have,” he says. “These range all the way through the product cycle: marketing, design, manufacturing, quality and everything we do.”
HOW TO REACH: Superior Tool Co., www.superiortool.com or (216) 398-8600