J.A.M. Taylor Tool Co. Limited
Founded in 1918 by J.A.M Taylor in Toronto, J.A.M Taylor Tool Co. Limited is a family owned manufacturer of quality cutting tools focusing on the manufacture of taps, reamers and dies. The company originally served as a manufacturers’ agent for British and American tool companies, and later purchased its own factory and manufactured taps for the growing Canadian industrial market. In 1965 the company built its own facility in Cambridge, Ont. where, after several expansions, the company resides to this day. Its 25,000 square foot facility with 25 employees serves approximately 750 clients. The company continues to expand its manufacturing and products list and thrives due to a focus on product quality and customer service.
Taylor Tool manufactures a full range of special and standard, right and left hand taps, round and hexagon rethreading dies in American, British, metric, pipe, locknut and acme threads, and also special and standard reamers. The company has expanded its tap, reamer and die capabilities. The company expertise also provides clients with “bar stock” services, creating specialty tools based on customer specifications and blueprints. Taylor Tool’s reputation for quality specials has extended the company reach beyond Canada, into the U.S., Europe, Asia and worldwide.
The fourth generation of the Taylor family continues to be devoted to quality and exceptional service. The Canadian Business Journal spoke with Todd Hinde, Executive Vice President, and Colleen Gray, Office Manager, about the tool manufacturing industry, Taylor Tool’s presence in the market, and company plans for further expansion.
Hinde explained that specialized cutting tool manufacturing is a challenging market segment due to offshore competition. However, as to the economic downturn, the manufacturers who managed to survive it are the ones that are doing things right. “Going through the downturn, we focused on the things that we needed to improve or change. We asked ourselves how we could make our service better than that of the competition, and what do we have within Taylor Tool that will make our customers want to come back. These are the things that helped us through the downturn.”
Taps, reamers and dies are established tools in set industries, but the product evolution continues with new manufacturing tools, machinery, materials and production techniques. Taylor Tool’s focus is on ongoing product improvement by implementing new innovations and ideas. The company continuously increases the product quality by bringing in new technologies and procedures to streamline the manufacturing operations. “For example, we opt to replace three or four older machines that did various tasks with technologies that execute the same tasks in a single process. We are able to run more efficiently to meet the markets demands.
“The materials being used in the tooling industry have changed dramatically. There are many new metals and composites engineered for specific industries. For example, titanium is used in the medical industry and composites in the aerospace industry. The materials being used are very unique and issues can arise while machining them. This really stretches the imagination for engineering solutions in the industry,” states Hinde.
To discover the right innovation that the customers will appreciate, the company visits tradeshows, looks at the competition, and works closely with its customers. “We find that working with the customers, seeing first-hand what they are facing, and creating custom solutions with them is the best way to innovate in the market,” says Hinde.
To this Gray added, “We get approached by our distributors when their customers have an issue. We are more than happy to work with our distributors to help address these issues and provide a solution to our end users.”
New Market Opportunities
While the company focuses on providing cutting edge solutions and technological innovation it expects to enter new market areas as well. “We are looking into entering into high-performance taps, we continue to develop our distribution network in countries such as Russia, and we are strengthening our presence in the U.S. We expect these market moves to take us into the second century of Taylor Tool,” states Gray.
“The biggest issue in the U.S. market has been the fact that we are present in this market through private label – manufacturing tools for other brands. We want to change this and start building our brand recognition there. While the company’s current goal is brand recognition in the U.S. market, the company has future plans of global exposure. “Owning our own brand will give us advantage when we move to market our brand globally. We want to start in the U.S. market because of its proximity and familiarity. Once we refine that model we can expand into other international territories. The opportunities for global growth will be much more pronounced through our own brand rather than creating quality tools for brands that do not promote the Taylor Tool label,” says Hinde.