VPT customer service team

The Vermont Gage Sales and Customer Service Team.Front row L-R: Ashley Minor; Jenni Kenyon, Candy Hope, Monique Beyor, Sarah Machia, Betty Saveall. Back row L-R: Allison Langlais; McKenna Conley; Tina Fortin, Steve Babcock, Emily Morris, Erin Raymond, Robert Kittell.

SWANTON — It is an age-old saying that regardless of the business “sales is sales.”

That does not apply to the sales team at Vermont Precision Tools. They don't just sell a product, high quality gages and specialized tooling, they sell relationships, they sell trust, and they sell the best service in the business.

“Our sales team handles over 300 phone calls each and every day,” said Rob Kittell, who manages the Customer Service Team and who has been with the company for more than two decades. “We’re really not just sales. People know our product, the tools we make. We sell our quality, and we sell the reputation this company has built over the last half century.”

Vermont Gage, a part of VPT, is the largest company of its kind in the nation. It makes measurement tools, which are basically “pass-fail” inspection tests for their products. It’s also the only company of its kind that sells its products exclusively through distributors allowing them to serve 50,000 or so end users.

“It’s all about loyalty,” Tina Fortin said. “Our motto is ‘Quality You Deserve.’ It’s an integrity issue for us. We are the best because we produce the best and everybody knows it.”

“It’s become word of mouth for this company. We have that sort of reputation with our customers,” said Monique Beyor, who has been with the company for 11 and a half years. “But what’s unusual about our company is that the most important relationships we have are right within our own building, with the people on the floor who make the products. Between us we can answer any question a customer has, and we can respond quickly. That’s why we're pretty tough competitors. No one else can do that.”

But the quality of the relationships between the company and its customers, and between sales and its own workforce is only part of VPT’s success. It’s also about the company’s management style.

“We’re really family and team oriented, “Steve Babcock said. “The company is rather good about giving us support from the top down. We're really good at wrapping our arms around each other.”

Management’s support, and its push to create a high-level quality service is a key reason the sales team has stayed together. Unlike other companies that may struggle to keep sales positions filled, the camaraderie at VPT has made a tightly knit group of VPT’s sales team.

“It goes back to one of the founders of the company, Norm Leduc,” Rob said. “He taught us about the absolute value of customer service. He never even liked to hear a phone ring. That meant a customer was waiting too long to be helped.”

The company also has the reputation for providing “on the job” education, which allows employees to be able to better themselves, to learn skills they didn't pick up in school or in another job.

“There is always something to learn here. I took a blueprint class and am now taking a class in Excel,” McKenna Conley said. “I couldn’t have gotten that extra bit of education working anywhere else. And in the several years I've been here, I just keep on learning new things. Where else do you have such an opportunity to grow?”

The experience within VPT’s sales department extends far beyond its plant in Swanton.

“It’s pretty heady at times,” said Monique. “I was on a Boeing aircraft not too long ago and it occurred to me that we made gages for them. That was pretty cool.”

VPT also supplies gages for John Deere, Caterpillar, NASA and SpaceX, just to name a few.

“We make things happen,” Steve said. “You have that option here. Good pay. Good benefits. Great support from the top. I've been here eleven years and the amount of knowledge here is unbelievable. I'm also impressed with the number of women who work here and who are empowered to be what they have become. They are so knowledgeable.”

Tina, who has been with the company for 22 years, said: “I honestly love what I do. Love dealing with the customers. Can't imagine working anywhere else.”

This is paid content. Vermont Precision Tools is part of the Messenger’s Preferred Business Program. Learn more at samessenger.com/preferred_business_program.

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