TheHytrolStory_19 (1)

Even as Tom, Sam, and Ralph began their spiritual journey to guide Hytrol, things during 1971, however, weren’t all rosy. Delays in order processing, delays in shipping, and other communication issues between Hytrol and the distributors continued to plague the company. Everyone realized some kind of new program was needed to bring the distributor organization closer to Hytrol. It was decided to form a “Hytrol Distributor Council” which would be comprised of a select group of Hytrol distributors plus the Hytrol board and managers. In April of 1971, four distributor representatives were brought to Jonesboro for the first Hytrol Distributor Council meeting. Those attending were Jim McKee president of McKee Stewart Equipment Company, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; John Schippers, president of Hytrol of California, Los Angeles, California; Frank Sites, vice-president of Electro Mechanical Handling, Lynchburg & Richmond, Virginia; and Jim Gullberg, president of Handling Systems Corporation, Detroit, Michigan. Hytrol officers and department heads attending included Tom Loberg, Sam Leone, Ralph Pocobello, Leon Hansen (then manager of production), Fred Greenlee (manager of engineering), and others. The theme and objective for the first Hytrol Distributor Council was: “To promote a closer relationship between Hytrol aims and planning with distributor needs.” Tom opened the meeting with an optimistic note for Hytrol’s future. He reminded the distributor representatives of the important role they would play in the future of Hytrol. Tom desired that the distributors be frank and open in communicating their needs to Hytrol. The discussions covered a variety of issues. Not surprisingly, shipments, product quality and improvements, and communication between Hytrol’s sales and the distributor salespeople were major concerns. Jim Gullberg made one statement that had an impact on everyone when he said, “We want to make HYTROL a ‘household’ word in the material handling industry.” The meeting ended on a positive note. The Hytrol staff acquired a better understanding of the distributors’ needs. The distributor representatives went home with the knowledge that Hytrol was concerned with the problem issues. Each felt confident that, working together, problems could be solved. 18 r o o t s o f t h e h y t r o l d i s t r i b u t o r c o u n c i l