Innovation doesn't always go hand-in-hand with problem solving, but when the two come together, the customer always wins.
Innovation doesn't always go hand-in-hand with problem solving, but when the two come together, the customer always wins. Workizer Work Products Inc. has been coming up with innovative solutions since its inception and contractors in the utility, mining and construction markets have definitely noticed.
An Ozark, Mo., based company, Workizer has re-engineered how to cut rock. Its products include specialized pole hole drills, augers, safety equipment and crusher parts. Workizer's custom-engineered augers are manufactured at its facility and are backed by decades of experience, giving the custom designs an advantage. It also is a leader in pole hole drill technology and applications, and builds the pole drill that the electric power industry uses to set transmission and distribution poles when the contractor encounters solid rock, which is too hard to cut out with their normal equipment, according to the company.
“There will always be competition no matter what you are doing, but I am not familiar with anybody who does exactly what we do,” said Dave Workizer, owner and founder of Workizer Work Products. “There are a few other companies that are doing the pole drills, but their techniques are different than what we have engineered here.”
Workizer fabricates a lot of parts and sells them outright to companies. Additionally, it mounts compressors onto utility trucks and builds the supports to hold the hammers. A shock absorber and swivel are already mounted to the drill units as well.
Workizer's process removes the auger on a utility truck and attaches a drill unit in the augers place, creating a self-sufficient, dedicated truck for drilling. With the Workizer customized truck, all the contractor needs to do is drive to where they need to drill a hole, do so, stow the drill away, and move to the next hole without needing to connect and disconnect for each hole.
To meet customer needs, the company also builds trailer-mounted drilling units that can be disconnected after each hole. This way, the customer can pull the trailer during the night to another job site and not have to take the entire truck there. It not only gives the customer flexibility, but also allows the customer to put the drill unit on any truck they want to.
“I feel like we have a strong sales team in part because we always enjoy helping people solve complex challenges,” Workizer said. “We position our company as being a problem solver instead of just selling on price or being another number. We want to bring value to the customer, and we look at what areas people are having issues with, and try to solve their problem. We do this by providing equipment solutions that essentially cut their operation time, which in turn helps their bottom line.”
After starting out working with his father, who was a vice president and general manager of a mining operation, and growing his skill set, Dave and his wife, Peggy, started Workizer Work Products in 1984. Like his father who gave him his start in the business, Dave wanted a family-owned and operated company. Their oldest son, Randy, has been there for 26 years and is the vice president and manager of operations, doing everything Dave does. Their daughter, Robyn, is their office manager and has been there for 15 years, and their granddaughter, Megan, does the office bookkeeping. In addition, Dave's brother Dale, joined recently as customer service manager and their son Chad, works as a computer consultant readily available for computer assistance. Then Dave and Peggy are co-owners, wearing the many hats needed to keep the business running successfully.
The Workizer process of self-contained machines with drills not only brings efficiency, but safety as well. The contractors using the Workizer engineered drill are going to the job and drilling holes in as little as 10 minutes, which might take someone else working on the same hole a day or day and a half with other equipment. That means they are parked right by the highway or a road for close to two days and in harm's way compared to being on the job for a couple minutes.
“It is much easier to sell things if you have a better mousetrap and are saving people money,” Dave said. “You still have to compete out in the marketplace, but it is not somebody just buying on price. National contractors have to bid against each other and if one of them has your piece of equipment and they start to get more of the bids, other people will contact you and it grows the business, which is one of the keys to our success.”
The owner admits that it can take a long time, and it is a process to get everybody on board. “There is a resistance to change, so it is not an easy sale, even though you have all of these added benefits,” Dave added.
Chicago Pneumatic (CP) is Workizer's go-to for his compressor needs as he uses and sells them with their drill application. He has been working with CP since the early 1970s when he was at a mining supply company. Knowing the quality behind the CP compressors first hand, his company has sold them for the past 10 years. They feature both the CPS 750 and CPS 850 portable compressors in their lineup, which was recently introduced to the market.
“We have not had the CPS 750 out there for very long, but it has just been spectacular in terms of performance,” Dave said. “We knew the CPS 750 was a little underpowered for the customer's application, but I also knew that we could do some things to the equipment that we put on it. It performed just as well, if not better than the 900 CFM units that we have used before.”
Workizer likes the CPS 750 because of their simple startup procedure and reliability. Workizer's confidence in CP is pushed even further because of the relationship Dave has with the manufacturer. He has known Eric Massinon, CP's business development manager, for many years and also has worked closely with Paul McClendon, a regional sales manager of CP.
“It really helps to have strong contact people on the inside to address any issues that come up, or potential issues, as well as getting parts,” Dave said. “I put a lot of value in people and to move product, you need to have a good relationship with your customers or potential customers, but you also need to have a strong relationship with your vendors. I have that with both Eric and Paul — they have been a big asset to me over the years.”
The Workizer family has re-engineered how to cut rock with innovative solutions. Those solutions may have created a name for themselves, but creating good relationships and always doing right by the customer keeps them coming back. The business is flourishing and with Dave and Peggy's children already in place to continue the family legacy, the Workizer name will continue to grow for many years to come.