Rob Smaron has been part of the National Tube Supply (NTS) family for an impressive 25 years! In 1994, he started at NTS as one of five sales representatives working out of a trailer. He has played an essential part in our national growth over the last 25 years, with a particular focus in our Moreno Valley, CA location. We recently sat down with him to learn about his perspective over the years, the growth of his facility and more.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I grew up in Chicago and graduated from Illinois State University. After graduating, I got my first sales job selling Filter Queens door-to-door. Now, I have an amazing wife who I met in 2001, we are celebrating our 10-year anniversary this year. I also have an amazing 12-year-old daughter who I can brag about all day. I enjoy spending time with my family, the last few years we have visited a few national parks, which we all loved. I also consider myself a fantasy football guru.
2. Can you tell us about your experience and career growth at NTS?
I started in the industry with an electric resistance welded pipe (ERW) mill in 1992 when I answered a newspaper ad. I still remember the ad: ”steel company searching for college grad to teach business to…” I spent almost two years there as a tube planner, deciding which coils to slit to make various sizes of ERW tubing. One day,an elder salesman who I befriended gave my name to someone at NTS. I started working with them in 1994 at the inside sales desk, and now 25 years later, I’m the Branch Manager of the Moreno Valley, CA location. My day-to-day activities include working with my inside and outside sales staff to provide direction and guidance where I can. Our daily goal is to provide excellent service to our customers to exceed their expectations so they call us again tomorrow. I am lucky to have an excellent group of people in Moreno Valley. I also work closely with our merchandising group in University Park to make sure our stock levels are adequate for servicing our customers.
Back in 1994, NTS was still located in Hammond, IN and the sales group worked out of a trailer. We only had one product line of hot finished (HF) seamless tubing. I would say we’ve come a long way since then. When we added drawn over mandrel (DOM) to our product line, we really started to see some significant growth, particularly in the automotive and oil industries in the western region of the U.S. In 2002, I moved to California to build on our opportunities there and after the initial success we had, we opened the Moreno Valley facility in 2010. This location has grown year after year since we opened, enjoying our best year in 2018. The facility has grown from a few employees and one warehouse shift to 17 full-time employees, two warehouse shifts and our house truck fleet that we added in 2013.
4. What do you see for the future of the company?
I see NTS continuing to grow as a leader in the mechanical tube and fluid power markets. The west is a vast territory and I believe there is still a lot of opportunities to be explored to increase our position as a major player in the marketplace. The philosophy of exceptional customer service has never changed since the day I started and implementing that mindset within our team here will help us achieve the next stage of growth.
At NTS, we always take the approach of listening. Any distributor can supply a tube, but we ask what else we can do to make it easier for our customers. Although price is always an important factor, customers want reliability. Our customers know we will always go above and beyond service expectations. We also have a vast inventory at NTS but we are always looking for opportunities to add new sizes and we add them based on what our customers actually need, rather than what we think they need.