NPK Vice President, Sales, Jay Noel (L) and President, Dan Tyrrell (R) congratulate District Manager, Ken Skala (C) on 25 years with the company.
NPK Construction Equipment Inc., District Manager, Ken Skala, recently celebrated his 25th year with the com- pany. Skala’s longevity with NPK is not entirely unique as approximately 25 percent of the company’s employees have been a part of the team for more than of 20 years.
That fact is a point of pride for com- pany President Dan Tyrrell.
“For a company that’s only been around for 30 years, we have a phe- nomenal amount of dedicated long term employees with extensive experi- ence on our staff,” he said.
Skala’s involvement with construc- tion equipment began when he was just 14 years old working summer jobs at his uncle’s small coal mining operation in Johnstown, Pa. Skala’s experience in the industry also extends back to more than a decade of working at equipment dealerships prior to taking the job at NPK. Skala joined NPK in 1990 when the company was experiencing a rapid expansion in terms of both business and personnel. At the time, Skala was being recruited by NPK but, happy at his existing job with a local dealership, he didn’t have an interest in changing employers. He was invited to an NPK company celebration barbecue and on seeing the culture of the company, decided it was time to make the move. He found that from customers to employees, management at the compa- ny was, and continues to be dedicated to treating people right.
Skala was brought in to develop the company’s service department as a sep- arate and distinct operating unit. Before Skala’s involvement, NPK’s service responsibilities were handled as an aspect of the engineering depart- ment. Skala’s experience at the dealer level informed his approach toward customer service and under his leader- ship, the service department focused on enhanced dealer relationships. As serv- ice manager, Skala often traveled with NPK’s sales personnel to get direct feedback on the needs and concerns of their customers.
“NPK’s philosophy throughout the company is that customer service is the number one priority,” he said. Skala sites the company’s receptionist as a prime example, explaining that rather than processing inbound calls with an answering machine, calls to the compa- ny are answered by a live person equipped to assist the caller in getting to the appropriate person or depart- ment.
After 18 years with the service department, Skala moved to the sales side of the operations, taking on a terri- tory that encompasses eastern Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, western Maryland, western New York, western Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
NPK Vice President of Sales Jay Noel has worked with Skala for most of his time with the company. As the district manager working the territory now covered by Skala, the two traveled together as sales representative and service representative. Noel feels that Skala has made an excellent transition from service to sales for the company.
“Ken’s technical background gives him a great deal of credibility with his customers” adding, “he knows the product as well as anybody in the industry,” he said.
According to Noel, Skala has done an outstanding job in adding quality companies to NPK’s dealer network and, with training skills gained from years as service manager, Skala has developed strong relationships with dealer salesmen as a valuable resource in the field.