Building on Their Roots as an Independent Distributor
Prior to starting H & M Pipe Beveling Machine Company in 1934, Charles Harter owned and operated a chain of five welding supply stores and two oxygen separation plants. As a gases and welding distributor, at a time when our country was producing crude oil at a record pace, Harter was motivated by the desire to meet his customers’ need for the solutions to the challenge of working more quickly and efficiently.
The industry lacked a method to quickly and accurately cut and bevel pipe before welding it. Time, just as it is now, was money for Harter’s customers who were laying pipe across the country.
Harter realized that a small, lightweight, portable machine could cut the pipe to length and place a bevel on the wall thickness in one, efficient revolution. His desire to serve his customers and a good measure of creativity gave birth to a company.
Upon Charles’ death, his wife Mary took on the role of President until 1979, when she was succeeded by niece Margaret J Stallard until 2011. Today, Stallard’s daughter, Mary Bones heads up a company that is steeped in a culture driven by and entrepreneurial put-the-customer-first spirit. The product first conceived by a welding distributor 80 years ago has since been used in high projects which include the Alaskan oil pipeline and the foundation of the World Trade Center in New York City after the terrorist event in 1993.
The Tradition of Industry Leadership Continues
Determined to continue its tradition of industry leadership, H & M continues to establish new, higher standards for pipe cutting and beveling. An example of setting the highest standards in the industry is the company’s warranty policy. A one-year factory warranty covers everything the company manufactures. Additionally, an exclusive five-year service warranty guarantees all H & M models 0-4 standard beveling machines.
Another standard for excellence is the response customers receive when they call the company. When calling H & M, your call will never be answered by an automated voice asking you to press three or four numbers, only to leave a message for the person who can respond to your questions. Vice President of Sales and Marketing Ryan Day says, “If you call us, you speak with a live human being every time. Normally you will have the answer to your questions within seconds, not minutes.”
More recently the company broke away from a 40-year tradition of marketing their product through wholesale distribution. Ryan says, “This change is beneficial to the distributor and his customer. We have been able to streamline efficiencies with improved order fulfillment by providing quicker turnaround and a knowledgeable sales team that will make joint sales calls with the distributor. And we’ve put added incentives like free freight in place.”
The traditions that Charles Harter put in place over 80 years ago are still continuing to build on the highest industry standard for quality and service.