Four Partners Join Komet Service Program
By James Sawyer
The Komet Service program for North America that was announced at IMTS 2012 is bearing fruit. Three partners already have been brought on board and one more company join the program in July.
The program is not a franchise arrangement whereby a dealer or distributor simply sells Komet’s precision tools for bore machining, reaming, and threading. Rather, it is a licensing arrangement through which, said Thomas Whennen, manager of Komet Service for North America (Schaumburg, IL), “customers can find everything under one roof: the ability to get Komet tools, as well as other tool brands, refurbished and re-coated; have access to standard and simple special carbide tools; and enjoy Komet’s excellent field support.”
The partnerships also will present the partners with an opportunity for growth through an expansion of their product and service portfolio as well as a co-branded marketing program. Each partner is required to have the ability to manufacture simple special carbide tools. While this may seem as if Komet is setting up companies to compete with itself in the carbide tool arena, the goal of the requirement is enhanced customer service. Whennen noted that Komet makes carbide tools in Europe but not in North America. Being partnered with companies that can make these tools for nearby customers will eliminate the need to wait to have an order shipped from across the Atlantic. Komet sees its payback coming from an enhanced brand presence and customer proximity in North America through an extensive network of local partners.
Komet Group first established the Service program in Europe, where it now has 17 partners.
The first North American partner came on board officially in February 2013. Founded in 1984, CountyLine Tool (East Peoria, IL) is a cutting tool manufacturing and refurbishment specialist. The second partner, founded in 1904 as an industrial machinery manufacturer, is Ekstrom Carlson (Rockford, IL). Its current focus is on manufacturing custom solid carbide tools and providing tool refurbishment services. It also offers spindle and live tool repair services, and coolant spray mist products. Founded in 1994, Tri-State Tool Grinding, the third partner, prides itself in offering top quality work, reasonable pricing and on-time delivery to manufacturers in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. Their customers are mostly in the automotive and aerospace industries.
“It’s a win-win-win situation for all” said Whennen. The name of the fourth company to join the partnership will be announced this summer.