Heads Up and Hands On: Gary Holland Takes Care of Customers

IMG_0791When we decided to open a dedicated service center in Conroe, Texas to service our oil country customers, it didn’t take us long to select Gary Holland as our OCTG (Oil Country Tubular Goods) Service Manager. Gary had been servicing our workholding as a service representative for Concept Tool & Gauge out of Arkansas for 17 years, so he was well acquainted with SMW Autoblok, our products and the needs of oil country customers. 

“I thought the service center was a wonderful idea,” Gary said. “It was a way to help my customers reduce service times and the chance for me to join a great company that I was already quite close to.”

A dedicated service center was a new concept for SMW Autoblok, so Gary spent a year overseeing the design and build of the facility and pulling all the details together. The center went operational in 2015, and customers are delighted with the fast service being provided.

IMG_0299Every Day Unique

There’s no such thing as a typical day for Gary. Along with taking customer calls, scheduling service and ordering parts, he is out in the field making repairs as part of the technical team. A “hands on” kind of guy, Gary thinks that is one of the best things about his job. He enjoys the opportunity to stretch his skills and apply solutions that aren’t covered in any book or training, no matter how thorough. “I pretty much know when I get to work, I’ll be challenged before the sun goes down,” he said.

Sometimes customers can’t wait for sunrise. “We’re on call 24/7, so I’ve opened up the shop at midnight to pull a part,” he recalled. “That’s just part of the service we provide.”

A Company Man

Gary is proud to be part of a company he has known and admired for many years. He enjoys the family atmosphere and the fact that every member of the company will do anything to help out a customer. “I’ve known most of the people I work with for more than 20 years, so I already felt like part of the team even before I drew my first paycheck.”

Off the Clock

Since he’s on call 24/7, “off the clock” is a relative term. In fact, Gary just got back from his first full vacation since the service center opened. He and his wife spent a week on a tour of Sacramento, Reno, Lake Tahoe and San Francisco.

Back at home, Gary’s grandkids (four and one on the way) keep the couple busy. They live nearby and love going out on Gary’s boat to fish for catfish and bass. Gary also loves motorcycles. He has never been far from a bike for most of his adult life. His last ride was a Honda VTX 1800. He sold it when he moved to Houston to open the service center. It seems for some reason he just couldn’t find time to ride it!