Acquisitions Manager Tom Smith Key to RobotWorx Success
MARION, OHIO -
August 14, 2008
Acquisitions Manager Tom Smith retired on July 25, 2007. Smith had a key role in establishing RobotWorx
as a robot integration
"The main thing he brought was credibility - the credibility to be a real company," RobotWorx
president, Keith Wanner said. "He helped us move past seeing the company as a one-man show."
Smith came on board when RobotWorx was still establishing itself. "I joined on contract in February 2000; we had two desks and computers in a spare bedroom, and a demo robot and trailer."
RobotWorx has evolved dramatically during the past seven years. For Smith, the biggest changes were "shifting our focus from new
to used robots
, the expansion of the Internet, and getting a group of young OSU guys that could and can do anything."
was a tough field, but Wanner focused on using existing robotic systems
, offering low cost
, and treating customers well. He knew if he tried to build robots himself it would be hard to compete. "It's too hard to reinvent - the odds of making it are pretty low," Wanner said.
The two businessmen had previous experience working together at two robotics
companies before joining forces. Wanner founded RobotWorx in 1992, hiring Smith in February 2000. "I needed a job; Keith needed a good paper pusher," Smith said. "We both knew robots were the future and if we got the right leads, treated the customer right, and didn't try to develop the next greatest controller, we could be successful with the Internet and used robots
"Keith is a hands-on, not afraid to get dirty, think-on-your-feet doer who is not afraid to take chances," Smith said. "I am a cross all t's, dot all i's, paper pusher who worries about cash flow and the next project. The two of us made a good pair."
As acquisitions manager, Smith established a firm foundation for the young company. The robot acquisitions department, also known as the purchasing department, is at the heart of RobotWorx operations. "It is one of the hardest things we do," Wanner said. "Because we sell complex, high-tech equipment, it's important to have the expertise."
Today, the 15-year-old robot integration
company specializes in refurbishment
, turnkey solutions, and customized systems with new
and used industrial robots
. Its customer base includes national and international companies from a variety of industries. Smith said he is amazed by RobotWorx' success: "I don't think we (at least me) thought it could be this big."
Smith has fond memories of his time at RobotWorx. The trivia and pictures at his retirement party had him choked up. "I thought about the office where we started working seven years before."
Smith will continue working with RobotWorx as a field contractor. When asked about his retirement plans, he answered with characteristic humor. "I plan to do a little contracting for RobotWorx, play golf, write two books, get an idea I have to be as big as YouTube, see more of my kids and grandkids, and live to be 100."
Contact RobotWorx at 740-251-4312 or visit www.robots.com
for more information.