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Totalcomp Scales & Components is a comprehensive wholesale distributor of industrial scales, parts and accessories. We provide a full range of industrial scales in the United States, Canada, Latin America and around the world. Totalcomp's Fair Lawn, New Jersey headquarters is comprised of 27,000 square feet of office and warehouse space.
Whether your weighing feed at dairy farms, trucks at quarries, baggage at airports or food at a pizza shop, we can keep you stocked with the equipment and parts you need to keep them up and running. With high-quality, precision scales to fit every application and every budget level, not to mention superior service, Totalcomp has you covered.
The Totalcomp Story
The concept for a Totalcomp Story came from Nate Sachs, a Vistage speaker. His company is Blueprints for Tomorrow. He suggested that we let people know who we are and he offered serveral points.
1. Put into writing who you are from a business prospective.
1. Tell why you are different.
2. Why you are special.
3. Why you are worth working with.
4. Why you are worth working for.
2. When completed, share it
1. It will become a great morale booster for your employees
2. An even better tool to attract the best future employees
3. Let the reader know
1. What you stand for
2. What your company stands for
3. What about your business are you proud of
4. Why and when did you decide to start this business
Totalcomp started in 1979 with the idea of saving the scale dealer time when buying a load cell. At that time a dealer would wait 12 to 14 weeks to get a load cell. During the 1970's, the manufacturers did not stock load cells. They were made to order. The dealers would have to buy extra load cells and keep them in stock or have their customer keep them in stock. This way the load cells would be available in case they were needed for a repair or to replace a load cell that failed.
There were only three major manufacturers at that time. Revere, BLH and Transducers. New companies that had just started were Interface and Sensortronics. None of these companies stocked load cells. They made them to order for the scale companies and scale dealers. Rudolph Kolaci (Rudy), our current president, was a salesperson for Revere Corporation and sold load cells to Howe Richardson Scale Co in Clifton, NJ. Howe Richardson bought both Revere Corporation and Transducers Inc load cells. The Howe Richardson purchasing agent was Ray Vito. He suggested to Rudy that someone should start a company that stocked load cells. Ray said that Howe Richardson would pay a premium for load cells from stock when they needed them in a hurry. That was the nugget of an idea to start a new company.
Rudy thought that Ray had a good idea and he decided to form a new company. The name he selected was Totalcomp Inc. It originally was to be Total Electronic Components. Then a shorter punchier name was thought to be better. The name went through several changes, such as TotElComp then TotAlComp and finally Totalcomp. In 1981, when we started selling scales in addition to load cells and indicators, we changed our name to Totalcomp Scales & Components. But the legal name still is Totalcomp, Inc.
The company was to be a partnership with Rudy and Andrew Young as the two owners. At the last moment before the incorporation documents were filed, Andrew Young backed out of the deal. Rudy then decided to move forward as the sole owner. In hindsight, it turned out to be the best for Rudy. He realized that there was a high percentage of partnerships that did not suceed. This probably would have led to one partner buying out the other partner's share. This twist of fate probably saved Totalcomp a lot of time and money.
The First Ring
Nory Camacho worked in the Order Entry department during the early 1980's. She was born in Cuba and was very sweet. Everyone liked her. She answered the phone on the 3rd or 4th ring. She could have answered it right away, but she waited a while before picking up the phone. When Rudy asked her why she didn't answer on the first ring, Nory said that the people that are calling will think that Totalcomp is a very successful company if we are very busy, have a lot of customers, have many people wanting to talk to us. She thought that they would rather talk to a successful company rather than a new company that had nothing better to do than wait for the phone to ring and be able to answer it immediately.
After a bit of contemplation, Rudy decided to answer the phone when it rings, immediately. This way the customer will not have to wait, or feel that he is wasting his time. We had no telephone operator or receptionist, the customer was able to place an order with the first person that answered the phone. A customer's time should not be wasted.
A Real Person
The phone is always answered by a real person. Our customers deserve the best treatment that we can give them. That means that they never get a machine unless we are closed.
What Gets Done First?
When a company is new and small, everyone has to do everything. Sometimes if you are alone, you are put in a position where you have to decide what gets done first, what comes second, third and so forth. Consider that you are alone and you are preparing a quote on the computer and UPS shows up with a delivery, the mail carrier wants money for a postage due letter and the phone rings with two calls at the same time. Four different things. What do you do first?
The answer to this question may not be obvious. What is the most beneficial for the company? And what is the most beneficial for the customer?
The answer is to look at it from the customer's point of view. The customer would want you to take his order. This makes sense, because without an order the company will not exist. A sale has to be made to make a profit and be able to pay the bills and salaries. The item at the top of the list has to be to answer the phone to see if it is a customer. After you find out who is on the first call you can put it on hold and answer the second call. The customer gets taken care of first. If it is not a customer get their name and number and call them back when you have finished with the tasks at hand. Customers get priority service. Others can be called back with a return phone call. The UPS driver and Postal carrier are handled next and the quote is done after that.
The order of precedence is
1. Answer the phone, take the order
2. Ship the order, today if possible
3. Reorder replacement stock
4. Everything else
Scales & Components
In 1981 we sold load cells, hardware, indicators, printers and other components. Mike Bisanti suggested that we sell scales. Mike was hired as a technician to wire interconnecting cables between indicators and printers. He also did purchasing and sales. It was his idea that the scales should be small so they could be easily stocked and handled. He didn't want floor scales like the 4'x4' that we now sell. We had no room for a fork lift and we wanted to stick with the smaller scales that are easily handled and take up little space. Our first scales were the Ohaus triple beams and then the A&D bench scales like EK and EW.
Catalogs are our field salesmen
Our first catalog in 1979 was 16 pages in black and white. It was mailed once a year to all of our prospective customers. Each year new products were added and the pages grew. After a number of years, the pages exceeded 250 and we decided to split the catalog in two. We had a Components catalog and a Scales & Balances catalog. The Components catalog kept growing and when it exceeded 200 pages, it was split into two. One catalog for Load Cells and the other for Components. We now have three catalogs.
In 2006 we published a Force Measurement catalog. This was initiated by Ron Kriegl who was in charge of New Product Development. Ron worked out an agreement with Mark 10 Force Measurement Company on Long Island in New York. We only printed one issue of the Force Measurement catalog. Several years later it was merged into the Scales & Balances catalog.
Catalogs are mailed to customers to act as a salesman in the customer's office. The catalog will be on the shelf and handy for reference when the customers need a price or specifications on a scale or part. The typical question that a customer would ask should be answered in the catalog. That is why we always include prices. All the common specifications are listed for each part and in 2005 we started to include dimensions for each load cell. Within two years the task was completed and the questions were quickly answered by the catalog in the customer's office rather than having the customer calling for dimensions.
All meetings start with a joke
Jokes are an important part of our Totalcomp culture. Each meeting of employees is started with a joke. Rudy Kolaci, President, usually gives the joke. Employees look forward to it. Cheryl Munzer, Manager of the Order Entry department has meetings with her staff and they start their meetings with a joke as well.
Totalcomp Inventory Management System, "TIMS" is the customized inventory control system that Totalcomp developed to instantly locate any part in the warehouse. Each item has a bar code label that is attached to the outside of the carton or packaging. The shelf that this item is on is identified by the aisle number, the section number and the shelf number. Each shelf has a bar code label that identifies the aisle, section and shelf. When the warehouse employee puts an item on a shelf, he uses a bar code reader to scan the shelf bar code and then the item bar code. The data is sent wirelesly to the main computer and the location is stored for future retrieval when it is needed. The pick list that is printed for an order will have the aisle, section and shelf of the item to be picked. This improvement has reduced the time to find a specific item such as a load cell with a serial number by 90%. Lost and missing items are a thing of the past.
Easter is one of the holidays that are celebrated at Totalcomp. One year, Easter was celebrated by hiding plastic Easter eggs throughout the office and warehouse. Each egg contained a few pieces of candy and one or two dollar bills. Some had five and ten dollar bills in them. Everyone was having so much fun searching high and low. Some eggs were taped on the underside of the conference room table, hidden behind terminals and others were hidden in the artificial plants around the office. Not to forget the warehouse, where a "Golden Egg" was hidden with a fifty dollar bill inside. Then things began to wind down. People began to go back to work, then an announcement was made, there were another twenty eggs hidden. Everyone started the search again. The person that found the Golden Egg will never forget that Easter Egg hunt!
Easter is usually celebrated with a contest to guess the weight of a ham and the count of candy in the large candy jar. The closest guess to the actual ham weight wins the ham. The closest guess to the count of pieces of candy wins $20 and the employees share in all the candies until they are all eaten.
Halloween is celebrated by wearing costumes, if they choose. If we have a strong showing and more than half the employees wear costumes, we have prizes for different catagories. Everyone in the company votes for the winners and there are cash prizes. One year we had costumes such as ghouls, cowboys, witches and others. Barbara Tortorete was a tube of Crest toothpaste. Mary Lou Romaglia and Debbie Castaldo were a pair of large fuzzy dice.
Halloween also is a time for a candy jar that is opened and shared by all employees. First we have to guess the number of pieces of candy in the jar. The jar is rather large, 11" high and 10" dia. It is filled to the brim with assorted candies. Guess how many pieces and win $20. After all the guesses are done and a winner is announced, the jar is opened and you better stand back! Everyone is picking out their favorite candies! Then after the candy is enjoyed, we have apple cider and donuts.
Of all the holidays, this is a favorite. A ham or turkey is purchased and everyone guesses the weight. Whoever guesses closest to the correct weight wins the ham or turkey. Two cheese cakes are purchased and everyone is given a raffle ticket and the winning numbers are drawn. Two families will have cheese cake for dessert after their Thanksgiving dinner. Fruits and nuts are purchased and put in a decorated basket. If you guess the closest to the decorated basket weight, you win $20. Everyone then enjoys the fruit and nuts.
The office is decorated with a Christmas tree and all the trimmings. Hanging from the ceiling are 100 snow flakes, artificial, of course, that have now overflowed into our president Rudy's office. Piles of grab bag gifts are under the tree. Everyone gathers in the front office and the grab bag gifts are distributed and each beautifully wrapped gift is opened. Each employee receives a monitary gift as well as a gift such as a fleece jacket, hooded sweatshirt, all weather jacket lined with fleece, and all have the company logo.
Employees all chip in and a gift for Rudy is bought. Wine bottle opener, tickets for a local movie show, good for several movies, and airplane glider ride, are some gifts given in the past.
At the end of the day each employee leaves 2 hours early, with pay.
Birthdays are celebrated by having the birthday person bring some goodies into the office for their birthday celebration. Most people participate and it makes their day shine. Their work station is decorated for that day by their co-workers.
Rudy, our president, has a summer party at his Fair Lawn home on the third Saturday of June which is catered by the Market Basket and there is always a band for your enjoyment. The food and beverages are terrific and it is nice to get together outside the office for some fun.
Although we have not recently done this, we have in the past had an employee supported Barbeque. The way that it worked was the company would supply the hamburgers and hot dogs and employees would volunteer to bring in additional items such as chips, salads, sliced onions & tomatoes, watermelon, and any other treats to make the day special. The picnic was a 2 hour lunch with the understanding that if paged you would take the phone call and help the customer. Clean up was a team effort as well. The picnic was a nice break to the normal routine and a great way to start off the summer.
Baby photo contest was open to anyone who wanted to participate. Each would bring in a photo of themselves as a child or baby. The photos were posted on an easel in the front office. On the last day, all employees guessed which name went with each photo. The employee who guessed the most correct was the winner of $50. The photos were pretty interesting. There were some professtional and some family photos. Theresa Cali was the winner, guessing all photos correctly.
Personal hobby contest let us learn more about our co-workers that we spend so much time with, but how well do we really know them. James Paulovich came up with the idea for a Personal hobby contest. The challenge was to ask each person to list a craft or hobby that would surprise their fellow co-workers. There were many different hobbies like: collecting wheat pennies, bowling on Wii, going to baseball games, watching videos at home, gardening, painting by numbers and bicycling. It was a fun morning in which everyone got to learn more about their co-workers and the winner received a prize, which was being able to leave 15 minutes early and park up front in the visitors spot for five days.
These contests helped us learn that we do not fully know our fellow co-workers, and gave us a little insight into their personal lives.
Personal Success Story
Totalcomp lets you treat it as your own. Bill Olah had that thought in mind when he implemented many modifications to our catalogs with new items and load cell interchange lists. These changes helped our customers and made our catalog more valuable than before. At that time, several years ago, Bill created a load cell interchange book for load cells on Mettler-Toledo and Fairbanks that our sales department still uses every day.
Bill Olah also thinks that Totalcomp is cool in that you can create your own job and alter it to the way you like it. Bill was promoted to Vice President of New Products and Marketing in January 2012.
We get requests for our desk calendars every year. They are very usefull and handy. They sit on your desk without having to hang it on a wall. Handy phone numbers can be written on the base. Receipts can be stored in the easel and there is room for writing appointments in the rectangle next to the date. The calendar for 2012 has the pets of Totalcomp employees that included dogs, cats and a chicken. There is also an entertaining caption explaining what is special about the pet.
Josie Belski - My boss, Rudy, is special because he is always smiling, most of the time. Every few months, the salesmen have a meeting and we all have pizza or chicken or sandwiches which are great. No other small business has this. We also have a picnic every summer that's like an outdoor wedding.
Mike Faraon - Our customers love to call us because they get a real live person on the phone, not an automated machine. The machine will take a few minutes to get to a real person and that is wasted time for the customers.
Cheryl Munzer - Every Christmas we have an office party and I think that's cool. You get to have fun, eat, and have a grab bag gift and get a special card and gift from the boss, Rudy.
Nick Piro - During the Christmas holiday, I made a Jib-Jab video of a bunch of the employees singing "Rocking Around the Christmas Tree". That brought a lot of laughs and smiles.
Oscar Zavaleta - I can have difference of opinion with the person sitting next to me in the office. We can discuss how we think that the other is wrong and still enjoy a coke together while taking a break.
Alison Weiss - Totalcomp is one of the few companies that does NOT discriminate against older people. We realize that they are the hardest workers and very dedicated to the job and company. They add to our success.
James Paulovich - The story of how the company was started in Rudy's house shows that the American dream is still alive. All you need is a good idea and be able to execute it..
Bill Olah - I got married while working for Totalcomp. After having two children for quite a while. I wondered whether to have a third child. I asked Rudy for his thoughts and he suggested that another child would "keep you young". I had another child and he was right.. My new child keeps me young.
Sam Jalahej - Totalcomp has a different and special culture. Sometimes, we have to search for a long time to find a new hire that fits our culture. When Rudy brought his dog Jan to work, I weighed her on our postal scale. She weighed 5/8 oz which is small, even for a Yorkshire Terrier. Now she's all grown up, but I can still call her a puppy, because she only weighs 5 lbs.
Mission, Vision, Values
One day James Paulovich asked Rudy Kolaci what direction the company was headed. After thinking about it for a day or so, Rudy asked James to head up a committee composed of all the managers to develop a statement for our Mission and Vision. Bob Duncan, the chair of Rudys Vistage group was asked to help James and his committee to work on the statement. Bob helped conduct two meetings of the committee to brainstorm and develop ideas for a Mission and a Vision. He explained that the Mission is what you are currently doing for your customers and the industry. The Vision is what you will be doing in the future, such as next month and next year.
Bob also suggested that the company has a set of Values that are followed by the employees of the company. The committee would not work on the list of Values. These would have to be developed by Rudy Kolaci alone. He is the leader of the company and he should set the values that the company follows.
The committee was composed of James Paulovich, Barbara Tortorete, Mary Lou Romaglia, Cheryl Munzer, Janet Socola, Ed Urcia, Sam Jalahej and Bob Duncan.
When the work was completed, the Mission, Vision and Values were published on the website and all the printed literature. They were also made into posters which were put in the reception area for everyone to see.
Serve, Supply, and Inform You With Totalcompetence.
Embrace Change While Maintaining Values.
Honest in all of our dealings.
Helpful to our customers & each other.
Happy in both home and office.
Healthy in all aspects of our lives.