The years 1965 and 1966 were good to Hytrol. Sales continued to set new records. The sales team at “Leone’s Stockyard,” with Sam at the head, continued to be very busy. Jonesboro’s manufacturing plant cranked out the conveyors under Ralph’s guidance. Tom still came up with new ideas for conveyors and accessories. Once a week, either Tom or Chuck would travel to St. Louis for a visit and meeting to see how things were going. Sam would visit Jonesboro every month or so. In this way, Tom and his staff kept in touch and maintained a freshness that continued to spark new ideas. Tom and Sam were also pleased when, as Hytrol grew, so did the distributor firms. Some were small when they first began with Hytrol and these same companies were on their way to becoming major material handling distributors. And since the distributors were part of the Hytrol Family, it always warmed Tom’s heart to see them do well. And, as Tom placed his trust in them, the distributors also knew they could trust Tom. Years before, he had made a vow never to sell direct to the customer, but only through the distributor network. Hytrol was the first conveyor manufacturer to use this system, and it worked beautifully. And there were several reasons why. For Hytrol to maintain an efficient, strong, and trusting distributor network, Tom knew the distributor would need to be the company’s sales force. And with the distributors out there selling the conveyor, Hytrol could concentrate on manufacturing it. As an added benefit, conveyor prices could be kept low since Hytrol didn’t have to worry about maintaining a large and costly sales force. Tom and Sam, as they went about setting up new dealers and distributors, saw how each Hytrol distributor knew their localized area and could provide better service to the local customer. Even in places that were serviced by more than one distributor, these distributors were diversified. Each one showed an expertise in different industrial applications. One might be more familiar in electronics, while another was well-versed in selling to furniture manufacturers. And these distributors worked together, recommending one another when the situation warranted. They could never be confident in Hytrol if Hytrol were selling directly to the customer. There 12 n e v e r s e l l d i r e c t - p e r i o d !