By Dave Fidlin | Jul 24, 2022
San Jose, California
Precision torque tools
Mountz has been at the helm of his family's namesake business for three decades, taking the proverbial baton from his father, Donald, who founded the company in 1965 out of a desire to innovate through his knowledge of torque control.
"I believe, like many entrepreneurs, my dad wanted to do his own thing," Mountz says. "If you really want to boil it down to its roots, it probably has to do with something that's still imprinted in the DNA of our company, which is, 'I want to provide the best quality product and education to a prestigious customer base -- meaning the world's largest companies -- and I want to do it in a way that ensures the maximum amount of customer service.'"
Many legacy companies have different chapters in their stories, with particular notable achievements, and this one is no exception. When his father was at the helm, Mountz says there were great strides in perfecting and refining the company's core products, which include a number of hand, power, and measuring torque tools in a range of varieties and specifications.
When he first took the helm, Mountz says the company was generating $4 million to $5 million in annual revenues; today, that figure has grown to $30 million, with aspirations of growing to $100 million with further expansion opportunities ahead.
"How a company evolves is through great people," Mountz says. "You have to hire and retain really good people that are united around a vision and a direction or mission around the business. Mountz has been very fortunate to have those kinds of people around the company, particularly in a very, very competitive market in Silicon Valley"
In addition to top-tier talent, Mountz says he also attributes the company's continued growth and success to a never-ceasing desire to innovate and maximize production. The company maintains a 10,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in San Jose, though the bulk of operations are in an overseas Korean facility of 80,000 square feet, as well as through sub-contracted arrangements with other companies across the globe. Mountz Inc. also staffs a distribution and service center located in Foley, Alabama.
At the height of the pandemic, business within Mountz Inc. actually grew to the tune of 18 percent because of the company's unique product line and niche-specific clientele, which includes the equipment manufacturing, global contract manufacturing, food processing, and marine power generation industries.
"We do serve critical infrastructure," Mountz says, pointing to PPE support that was a strong driver in 2020. "I think opportunity was available, and we had a product that we could build and put in people's hands."
Challenges: Echoing the sentiments shared by the heads of many companies, Mountz says navigating the uncharted waters that have arisen since the onset of the pandemic has been a top-of-mind issue he and other company leaders grapple with on an ongoing basis.
"Like everybody today, we're in the remnants of COVID. They're very pronounced in the area of the work relationship that people have with their employer," Mountz says. "It's created an entirely new class of employees, which is the hybrid class of working from home and the office."
In a big-picture sense, Mountz says factors beyond the company's control are also under examination, including economic factors that could impact the growth trajectory, such as a potential recession.
"The cost of doing business in Silicon Valley is ever present in our minds," Mountz adds.
Opportunities: While Mountz Inc. has forged strong relationships within the U.S. and in areas beyond the country, the head of the company says he still sees untapped potential in different corners of the globe.
"We certainly feel like international growth is a huge opportunity for us," Mountz says. "It's sort of a wind at the sail kind of thing. The trends are in the right direction, as far as our business continuing to grow."
Additionally, Mountz says the company is committed to making new, customized torque tools based on customer requests and specifications. The introduction of new tools, he says, arise as customers share their needs and wants for a specific torque product.
Needs: While growing a company is an exciting process, Mountz says it also comes with a new set of issues including talent growth within the company as well as ongoing recruitment efforts. In the near future, he says a full-time, in-house human resources department likely will be necessary to correlate with the growth.
"We've invested a lot in developing the next level of leaders in our company," Mountz says. "We have a leadership development program, and we've identified that as a need."
Looking further out into the future, Mountz says outside funding might be necessary to help the company achieve its global expansion efforts and $100 million revenue target. Up until this point, Mountz Inc. has grown within the parameters of its own working capital.