Member Profile: Quis Machinery (May/June 2018)

A Survivor and Forward Thinker, and Completely Dedicated to What is Best for The Customer

Quis Machinery, Inc. was started in Statesville, NC in 1953 by Francis R. Quis.  In 1979, Frank Quis, Jr. purchased the distributorship from his father and moved it to Southern Pines, NC three years later. Both Frank and his father served various furniture plants and other woodworking producers in North and South Carolina for the first few years. They eventually expanded their coverage to include Virginia offering machinery for solid wood, upholstered furniture, kitchen cabinet, millwork, and plastics industries.JDing4

“Originally, we built the company up to six employees but the recent economic downturn reduced our employment to three,” explained Frank Quis. “As of October 2013, however, we were very excited about adding Jason Dingess to our staff.”

JDing5“Frank and I talked for six months prior to me starting at the distributorship,” explained Dingess. “There were a lot of things that clicked between us and we just connected.” It was a slow period in the economy and CR Onsrud was a major line for Quis when Dingess started. Jason had already worked as a custom furniture maker for the past six years and, before that, he was in capital equipment sales. “I really liked what Frank had built with his company and I wanted to learn and understand this industry better.” Dingess reached out and was mentored by one of Onsrud’s best to understand and specialize in CNC router technology.

Within the next six months, both Frank and Jason came to an agreement to have Jason buy Quis Machinery. “We made an incredible transition. It was a win/win!” said Dingess. Jason became the President/Owner of Quis Machinery on January 1, 2017.

Dingess went with Quis to a Woodworking Industry Conference (WIC) in 2014 and met with James Scarlett and Chris Timmer of Scarlett Inc., Grand Rapids, Michigan. “They helped me tremendously! I can’t say enough about them,” stated Dingess. “They have a great reputation in the industry and they also represent CR Onsrud.” He continued saying that the dialog and transparency between the two distributorships is excellent. He made the statement that by working together, both companies get further than if they competed against one another. Even at the wood products manufacturer’s level, Dingess stated that if woodworkers collaborate together, the better they can help each other.

He continued by explaining that it is the distributor’s goal to bring more value to the customer and their process. To be a resource, to be invested in each other. “Frank has done this for the past 30 years. If he sees an application that can use a machine or process we don’t sell, he will tell the customer to look in to it and where to find it.” Dingess believes it is the distributor’s responsibility to help the customer. He says that the key is to ask questions on what their goals are now and in the future.

How does Dingess see Quis Machinery growing?

“We want to grow in terms of breadth, in terms of territory, and in terms of depth,” stated Dingess. He said that they want to expand beyond just woodworking and include plastics and other materials that need processing. Their product lines work well in other industries. They look at collaborating with other dealers on various other projects. “We’re interested in what’s best for the customer.” And that statement, in itself, explains what is unique about Quis Machinery.

Quis presently has three salespeople and is adding another. In addition, they are looking for a service technician. From what Jason said, they had an excellent 2017. But, he also added, that his customers had a great year as well.

When asked about technology, Dingess said that the past economy affected their customers and most of them had to downsize to survive. Now, with business improving, they need to find methods in which to handle the increased sales and production needs with the same crew that is still in place. In fact, Quis Machinery placed 36 CR Onsrud CNC Routers into production in their customer facilities in 2017, becoming CR Onsrud’s #1 Dealer for 2017.

“Not only are we introducing and bringing new technology to our customers’ facilities for them to invest in,JDing7 we, too, have to invest in our own technology.” Dingess referred to their new improved customer-based software which has created new work methods for the salesperson. The software captures the information from the customer visit, documents highlights, and establishes timelines for follow-up. This process quickly allows the sales person to travel and get in front of the next customer’s facility.

What are customers looking for and thinking about for the future?

Dingess said that customers want peace of mind. They want a quick return on their investment. More justification. They want peace of mind that their employees are safe and breathing clean, fresh air. And, he added, customers want peace of mind to be able to produce the necessary, new volumes in orders while struggling to find additional skilled labor.

Do customers, and Dingess for that matter, think the industry will continue to grow?

“I believe our customers, along with us, think that 2018 is going to be great. A rising tide raises all ships, and that is what happened in 2017,” stated Dingess.

He believes the good companies are taking their profits and investing it into their people, their processes, and improvements. “If 2018 continues to grow, we will have companies who will be more efficient, leaner, and more profitable. Whatever their goals are, I believe companies are either growing or they are on a path to fail.”

Dingess said the future forecast looks very good and stated that the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association (WMIA) has been a great support to its members. “The Association’s management team is incredible,” said Dingess. “They have helped us promote our distributorship at IWF giving us exhibitor-level access and other spiffs that help us distinguish ourselves on the exhibit floor.” He commented on the support of the Association for networking opportunities being unmatched and how they have helped member companies grow. “Our relationship with other distributors is strong because of the WMIA, which has also helped our customers.”

The WMIA helps us know more about the industry giving us access to industry information. And I am better for my customers because I am able to go to the WIC and learn from various sponsored sessions.” Dingess said that the Association is where members can share, a perfect example of collaborative efforts, and make sure that the time spent together can be leveraged at the customer level.

Jason Dingess is bullish on the future of Quis Machinery and the industries they serve, and delivering what is best for the customers in those industries!

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