Blog

July 17, 2014 06:47 AM

Associate Highlight: Allen Jacobs

This week, we are continuing our celebration of dedicated associates by highlighting a 40-year associate, Allen Jacobs. Over the years, Allen has worked in a wide variety of roles at Channellock Inc., and currently works in three different areas that take advantage of his years of experience and knowledge of tool-making. His hard work and dedication makes us proud. 

Name, title at Channellock Inc. and years of service:

Allen Jacobs, Continuous Improvement/R+D/Industrial Engineering. 40 years.

How did you start working at Channellock Inc.?

I had some friends who were working here, and they encouraged me to apply.

What was your first job at the company?

I began at Channellock Inc. as a Production Machine Operator for the 430® Straight Jaw Tongue and Groove Pliers.  

What is your current job?

Currently, I work in three different areas. The first is our Continuous Improvement area where I focus on Scrap and Rework, Labor Efficiency Project Management, Plant Incentives, 5S Lean Terms and Kaizen Events and Training. 

The second area I work in is our Research and Development area where I focus on storing and helping track hours. 

The third area I work in is Industrial Engineering. There, I work on time studies and job descriptions. 

What has been your favorite job?

Although I really enjoyed being the Machine Shop General Supervisor for many years, my current role is my favorite. 

What is the biggest change you’ve witnessed since you started?

The biggest change I have seen is how we have reduced or eliminated so many labor-intensive jobs, such as filing and polishing, with technology. It makes our process much more efficient. 

What is your favorite CHANNELLOCK® tool and why?

I like the CHANNELLOCK® 318 8.5” Side-Cutting Long Nose Plier because you can use it for so many things.

Has anyone else in your family worked here?

My son, Mike, and daughter, Kristie, both worked summer jobs here while going to college.

What is your favorite CHANNELLOCK® memory?

I have really enjoyed working with all the people here over the years. Also, winning the first Falcon Award was definitely one of my favorite moments.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I worked one year on production, one year on set-up and have been in supervision for the rest of my time here. When I started as a supervisor I was 21, and the other youngest production supervisor was 50. Overall, Channellock Inc. has been a great place to work.

Lynn Snyder

Communications and Training Manager

Channellock Inc.

July 3, 2014 06:12 AM

Celebrating 40 Years at Channellock Inc.: William S. DeArment

Channellock Inc. is incredibly fortunate to have many dedicated associates who have been a part of our team for decades. To highlight their hard work, dedication and loyalty, every week this July we are featuring a different associate who has been with us for 40 years or more. This week, we’re kicking it off with our President and CEO William S. DeArment, who recently celebrated a major work anniversary.

Name, title at Channellock Inc. and years of service:

William S. DeArment, Board Chairman, CEO and President. 45 years. 

How did you start working at Channellock Inc.?

While Channellock Inc. is our family owned business, I really did not understand the business until I was in 10th grade because the business was never “brought home” by my father. But in 1967, I attended the (now defunct) National Electrical Show in New York City and I saw what CHANNELLOCK® really was and what the products meant to our customers. That was when it became evident to me that my future was here. 

What was your first job at the company?

In high school, at age 17, I worked in shipping for Mr. George Stiles, the foreman. I ran the skin packaging equipment with Mr. Ed Fleet and applied by hand yellow, slip-on grips to pliers for one of our private-label customers. I also swept the warehouse floors on Friday afternoons. 

What is your current job?

I am currently the President and CEO of the company.

What has been your favorite job?

After 45-plus years, there have been many. I really enjoyed operating production equipment where I was moving metal and adding obvious value to products. I also enjoyed working in the Die Room, where forging dies were hand-sunk by die-sinkers working on Hydrotel machines. Over the years I gained an appreciation for the hand finishing that was required on forging dies and on trimmer dies, work that is now done on CNC equipment. 

As time went on I truly enjoyed calling on CHANNELLOCK® customers and working with a great group of sales representatives. Presenting the features and benefits of our plier products and new products has always been enjoyable. 

What is the biggest change you’ve witnessed here since you started?

Communications and technology advances have changed the most. Fax was new when I started! Imagine the accuracy, time savings and accuracy improvements with the communication technology and social networking of today. 

Process enhancements within our manufacturing departments are ongoing, such as laser-heat treating technology and robotics in the forging, polishing and machining arenas. Computer-aided capabilities are now everywhere, plus we’ve implemented systems advancements from MRP, to Lean manufacturing, to 5-S management. 

From a human relations point of view I have seen a major shift in attitude based on the change from piece-work production orientation to cellular, or group-incentive, systems. These changes have led to a more team-spirited production all supported with fringe benefits and incentive programming. Also, training is a major corporate commitment today. There is much more function-specific training from vendors or more traditional institutional training sources. 

What is your favorite CHANNELLOCK® tool and why?

Definitely the 317 8” side-cutting long nose plier. It’s an all-around great tool. 

Has anyone else in your family worked here?

Yes! Previous family members include my great-grandfather, great uncle, grandfather, father and uncle. Currently, my daughter, Joanie, and sons Jonathan and Ryan are all vitally involved in management of the tool company. My grandson, William, also works as a summer associate here. 

What is your favorite CHANNELLOCK® memory?

There are so many it’s hard to choose just one. I guess a favorite memory occurred at my first National Hardware Show, August of 1969. At the Coliseum in New York City, my father wanted to show me the “show,” walk the aisles, see competitors, industry friends, etc. I was amazed at this huge show; seemingly everyone in the place knew him and greeted him. Then they would ask to get the new 460G, 16” tongue-and-groove plier, which we had recently introduced, but we couldn’t keep up with the demand. At one point, four CHANNELLOCK® distributors were all asking to be sure they received a prompt shipment of this product. At the time it amazed me. Also, watching our children work their way into the tool business and make successful improvements has been a highlight of my career. 

Anything else you’d like to share?

A five generation, family-owned manufacturing business making products in the USA is highly unusual. We take pride in that and do all we can to maintain this company in today’s highly competitive, global economic environment. The real story is that this does not happen without the help of the great people that have gone before us, that are working here today and will work here in the future. It does not happen without focused attention on our business model of making the highest-quality products each day, every day. 

My uncle, George S. DeArment, once said, “There will always be a market for a good pair of pliers,” and he was absolutely right.

Lynn Snyder

Communications and Training Manager

Channellock Inc.

June 27, 2014 10:25 AM

A Look Back at Fix-It Season: What Did You Fix?

As sure as trees bud and flowers blossom, spring is the time of year to get outside and start fixing. This year, after such a brutal winter across much of the U.S., CHANNELLOCK® decided to give our fiercest fans a little help with all the projects that had built up over the fall and winter by offering special deals on many of our tools. We called it Fix-It Season, and thanks to all the dedicated members of CHANNELLOCK® Nation, it was a great success. Judging from all the participants, a lot of projects got fixed!

Fix-it Season began on March 27 and ended on June 22.  In that time, around 5,000 people worked on a wide variety of fix-it projects. Roughly 25 percent of participants worked on an automotive project, while around 24 percent tackled projects focused around their garages. Over the three months, some other common fix-it projects you told us about were fixing or building fences, updating electrical or plumbing systems, repairing decks and even fixing garage doors.  

Some of the most popular tools bought during Fix-It Season were the 87 Rescue Tool (great for cutting through wires, prying open jammed windows and shutting off gas valves), the 132 piece Mechanic's Tool Set (a must have for automotive fixes) and the 440® Straight Jaw Tongue and Groove Plier (great for many plumbing and general household DIY projects). Thank you to all of you who told us about the projects you were working on and the tools you used. We enjoyed hearing about your experience with CHANNELLOCK® tools. 

Now that you’ve taken care of all those projects around your house or business, go enjoy your summer! And be sure to keep an eye out for our annual Gridiron Garage Giveaway in the fall. It’s going to be bigger and better than ever – you won’t want to miss it!

Above you can see a 440® Straight Jaw Tongue and Groove Plier at work!

Lynn Snyder

Communications and Training Manager

Channellock Inc.