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30 years of Integrity

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A lot has changed since Rick and Jackie Mand started Integrity Saw & Tool in their basement back in 1986.

The most obvious difference today, in IST’s 30th year, is the 18,000-square-foot climate-controlled facility that opened earlier this year. The significantly larger space not only gives IST the room to grow along with its customers, but also reflects an evolution in the industry as a whole.

Paul Reetz, who bought the company from the Mands in 2000, listed the speed at which orders are turned around and the tight tolerances of tooling needs as two of the biggest changes he has seen during his tenure.

“When I started, we generally had prints from customers that we hand-sketched on Post-it notes or napkins and were allowed two weeks to make the tools,” Reetz said. “Now we have detailed prints from engineers that nearly require a degree to decipher, and the customer wants the tool within a day or two.”

Fortunately for Integrity — as well as its customers — the company has fostered a workforce that has grown to meet demands and exceed expectations. IST’s ISO certification (earned in 2014) and inspection departments guarantee the highest quality tooling within the industry.

The past seven years, in particular, have seen tremendous gains:

  • The company increased from 18 to 31 highly skilled employees.
  • Sales have been up more than 60%, even in a down economy.
  • Lead times decreased from 2 weeks to 24 hours (or less!) for uncoated tools.
  • Customer returns are down to 0.9%.
  • The on-time delivery rate is 98.2%, and IST is working to make it even higher.

Another interesting change: although it was before his time at IST, Reetz has heard tell of a certain vending machine that dispensed cans of beer.

“I’m pretty sure the insurance guy had a problem with that,” Reetz noted with a smile.

Contraband beverages aside, some things have not changed in the past 30 years — specifically, Integrity’s commitment to putting the customer first.

“Some of my fondest memories of working here are the dozens of times we’ve presented our staff with an ‘impossible’ deadline or ‘impossible’ tool, and through collaboration within our shop, we always find a way to come through for the customer. That’s what makes working here awesome for me,” Reetz said.

“Any competitor can do the easy stuff. Integrity makes the difficult solutions look easy,” he added.

So what’s in store for Integrity Saw & Tool for the next 30 years?

“Continued growth and improvement on what we already do,” Reetz said. “We have a younger workforce that is hungry for success. The customers will dictate some of our future needs, but we will always be looking to improve from where we have been.

“Our future is very exciting!”

So why not raise a glass to IST’s bold legacy and a bright future? (Just don’t do it on the job.)

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