Senior Account Manager
Brighton Tru-Edge[/text_output][line id=”” class=”” style=””]
Looking back over his career, Schaefer remembers a lot of changes over the years at Brighton, including the evolution of his role with the company.
Schaefer started with Brighton in August 1977 as a third-shift shop scheduler and progressed to his current role of senior account manager. Schaefer works with Director of Sales Rich Wonder on the daily customer service efforts of the sales team, and he’s responsible for serving approximately 100 accounts.
He has seen Brighton grow with the benefit of advancing technology for welding, digital X-rays for testing and the addition of pickling and annealing processes, including enhanced annealing to accommodate larger diameter heads. The impact of technology outside the shop – such as email and the Brighton Tru-Edge website – have also had an impact on how the company does business.
“Of course technology has made huge strides over the years,” Schaefer says. “When I first started at Brighton, we spent about 75% to 80% of our day on the phone. Now most purchasing agents prefer to do business by email.”
The industry itself has undergone significant change over the past four decades. The quality of materials has been upgraded, especially the offering of duplex stainless steel. Different energy generation processes have gained prominence, leading to the development of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and the increased role of natural gas, as well as growing numbers of wind turbines and solar panels in use. Industry wide, leadership teams have become more diversified in their backgrounds and demographics.
There are new challenges facing the industry, too. The unpredictability of today’s market combined with the limited availability of skilled labor can be challenging for many of Brighton’s customers. But there is one constant, Schaefer says, the overall value that Brighton Tru-Edge can deliver for cold-formed heads and other fabricated products offers customers an advantage.[/text_output]
The experience and service that Schaefer and his colleagues on the sales team offer also contributes to Brighton Tru-Edge’s value for customers. Quick response time on quotes – often in mere hours rather than days – helps customers get their bids in on time and makes customers more competitive. The Brighton Tru-Edge team’s attention to detail helps uncover potential issues in a timely manner and allows for a resolution that serves the customer’s best interest.
“I develop successful relationships with our customers by being a good listener and understanding their needs. Solid preparation and a strong work ethic are essential,” Schaefer says.
Schaefer has been involved with some memorable projects through the years. In fact, that’s one of his favorite parts of working for a company like Brighton – being part of actually making a product for customers instead of only providing a service. Projects Schaefer has worked on have included 198.5 inch-diameter aluminum heads for NASA, thousands of heads for rail cars transporting oil and hundreds of stainless steel heads for furnaces that heat silica crystals for solar panels.
One of his favorite projects, though, has been to share his expertise with new members of Brighton’s sales team and to guide them in their professional development.
“I especially enjoy training new salespeople and helping them learn the importance of understanding what Brighton is all about from the ground up and how that can serve our customers,” Schaefer says. “I very much enjoy the daily interactions with my fellow workers and customers.”
Schaefer is part of Brighton’s inside sales staff that collectively has 88 years of experience. Read more about how Brighton has a wealth of experience in sales and customer service.[/text_output]