Mountz Inc. is celebrating its 50th year in business. Founded back in 1965 by Donald Mountz, the San Jose, California based company is still family owned and operated, with Donald’s son Brad currently at the helm. Brad has successfully maintained his father’s original vision, earning Mountz a reputation as the nation’s premier torque tool supplier.
Mountz supplies a remarkable variety of torque tools, from screwdrivers and wrenches to power assembly tools, test and measurement equipment, bits and accessories – even nuts and bolts through its Mr. Metric division. The company’s tools are available in a wide assortment of measurements, making Mountz a one-stop shop for any torque tool need, no matter how large or small. “Our range is quite broad,” Brad points out. “It is unique in the sense that we cover a lot of different product types that our competitors do not.” The company’s range of tools is utilized by a number of industries including aerospace, automotive, electronics, energy, medical, packaging, and more.
Three different Mountz divisions handle separate categories of specialty products. Mountz, Inc. is known as “the torque tool specialist” and services the world’s largest industrial manufacturing and maintenance companies. Mr. Metric specializes in metric fasteners and is widely considered North America’s industry leader. Mr. Metric is particularly well known for stocking hard to find metric items at competitive prices. MountzPro, meanwhile, supplies tools to the professional market, ensuring that mechanics and other service technicians have the best tool for the job.
Whatever the type of tool, quality is always a defining factor. “Our purpose is to make the world safer through accuracy and precision,” Brad states. “Everything we do is around accuracy or precision, whether it is design or service or manufacturing. That is our core purpose.” While many people give little thought to the process, controlling torque is actually a vitally important component of many operations. A small, unseen fastener may seem insignificant, but if it isn’t properly tightened, a catastrophic failure could occur, putting lives at stake.
Just think about how important it is that each nut and bolt is properly secured on an airplane or nuclear submarine. “Controlling torque is essential for companies to ensure that their product’s quality, safety and reliability isn’t compromised,” Mountz’ website explains. “The failure of a three-cent fastener that isn’t properly tightened can lead to catastrophic or latent failures. Fasteners that are insufficiently fastened can vibrate loose and excessive torque can strip threaded fasteners.”
To ensure quality, Mountz is an ISO 9001 registered and ISO 17025 accredited company. “We have documented quality procedures for how we do business and how we design our torque tools,” shares Brad. “We comply to international standards that define calibration procedures for torque tools and/or repair procedures for torque tools.” Most every tool that the team makes complies with ISO6789:2003 and is constructed from high quality materials, engineered for superior reliability and safety, and backed by an industry leading warranty.
Mountz utilizes a clear set of goals and objectives to help keep the company on the right path. “We have an organized way to go about business,” Brad explains. One of the most important company objectives is customer service. “Customer service is central. We need to listen to and anticipate our customers’ needs, so we try to tie that philosophy into our company.” To keep up with what customers want, the team monitors their feedback on a regular basis. “We measure customer satisfaction daily at our company,” says Brad. A weekly report analyzing the daily feedback is sent out to each employee every Monday. This report includes key information such as customer complaints, customer suggestions, and delivery times. “Every single staff member gets this email and is very well aware of where we are and of any improvements that need to be made.”
Mountz’s dedicated, inside and outside sales force also helps the company achieve customer satisfaction. “We don’t use reps that we just pay a commission; we hire people and put them in the field after a lot of training.” As a result, the sales staff is well prepared to meet each customer’s unique needs. “We try and go about solving customer application problems rather than just offering a one size fits all solution.”
Mountz is committed to its employees as well as to its customers. “We want to build the capability of our people, and so we start with that as the foundation of everything that we do,” Brad says. Employees recognize the support that Mountz offers through career development, profit sharing and training, and tend to stay for the long term, while an employee stock program also helps keep staff on board.
This strong commitment to employees has been recognized with several notable awards. For instance, Mountz was named a Top Workplace in both 2014 and 2015 by Bay Area News Group, which surveyed Silicon Valley’s businesses. The award is based solely on employee feedback, clearly demonstrating Mountz’s employee satisfaction. In 2013, Mountz earned recognition as one of the nation’s “Most Engaging” leaders and employers in the Wonderlic Leadership Invitational. Mountz actually made the top ten, which is quite a significant ranking in an invitational that is open to organizations of all sizes, as well as individuals, throughout America.
Mountz’s commitment to quality and to its employees helped the company weather the recent downturn. “We were profitable throughout the recession,” Brad reports. “We regressed in sales a little bit, but we still remained profitable.” As soon as the economy recovered, Mountz took off. “We grew 42 percent the year we came out of the recession.” The company has managed to maintain steady, single digit growth every year since.
In 2015, the company’s growth is up even more. “This year we are planning 14 percent growth,” Brad predicts “It is primarily accomplished through new product development and expanded sales.” These expanded sales come primarily from international markets, into which Mountz has recently begun venturing. “This is the primary way we have been able to grow.” Brad also credits “employee stability,” particularly in the sales force.
Fortunately, the entire industry seems to be on an upswing. “We are in what I would call a rising tide, and have been since 2009. So I think anybody that is in the industry is experiencing growth because of the rising tide.” However, this growth rate tends to be much lower than Mountz’ 14 percent. The reason, Brad explains, is because the torque tools sector “is not a high growth industry” as a general rule. Hand tools, of which torque tools are a niche, is actually “a negative growth industry,” so the torque tool subsector is doing quite well if it manages 3 percent growth each year. “If you could grow 3 percent in this industry, and you did that every year, you would be considered a pretty dynamic company.”
Looking ahead, the team plans to continue expanding its international sales. The company will maintain a strong focus on new product development to increase sales outside of the U.S. “We think that globalization is a key part of our growth strategy and we need more designs and state of the art products to fuel that international growth,” Brad explains.
The company will not be neglecting its domestic market, however. “Our business is expanding with more development and more growth into foreign markets, but that doesn’t mean that we are saturated in America. We also believe domestically there is plenty of room for growth by carving out new market opportunities.” The team is currently exploring relatively untapped domestic sectors, such as the automotive aftermarket, for lucrative opportunities.
Overall, the outlook looks quite bright, both for Mountz and for the sector as a whole. In fact, the team has just hired eight new employees – a substantial number for a company with only 75 staff members in total. “We are pretty bullish about our future,” Brad remarks. “We are pretty positive that our growth will continue.”