Improved productivity and profitability. It’s more than just a phrase, it’s a brand promise that TORQ takes pride in delivering to our customers on a daily basis. Making this happen takes a collective and dedicated effort of detailed planning, meticulous organization, a team-first mentality and unparalleled customer service. Jeff Fischer, our warehouse manager, is the literal personification of these ideals – and is celebrating his 20-year anniversary with the company.
“I never ask a team member to do anything that I would not do myself,” says Fischer, who came to Metroplex/BG Services to manage a single 5,000-square-foot warehouse in St. Charles, Missouri in 2001. “When I started here, I did a little bit of everything, from organizing the inventory to operating the forklift to pulling products. Back then, territory sales managers made their own deliveries – it was a different time and we all learned a lot.”
Building an atmosphere of personal and professional growth.
Through his two decades of service, Fischer watched the company expand and he has played a big role in that collective growth. Today, he manages three distribution centers in Bloomington, Illinois, and Cape Girardeau, and Columbia, Missouri. He also works closely with the warehouse managers in the Kansas City and Arkansas locations, and he manages a team that includes three drivers, an equipment specialist, and an assistant manager.
“Let’s just say the territory sales managers would never be able to make all their deliveries today,” says Fischer with a smile as he ponders the growth he has witnessed since he joined the organization. “Today we have an automated inventory order system and a detailed delivery strategy that allows us to be more efficient, productive, and profitable for our clients and our company.”
While Fischer has seen the company go through name changes – from MetroPlex and BG Services to the new TORQ branding – he feels these were positive and necessary steps. “As we have grown, so have our capabilities and offerings,” he says. “Although we are recognized for selling BG Products, we now deliver so much more to our customers – wheel weights, washer fluid, brake cleaner, and detailing products. We want to open our customers’ eyes to the possibilities.”
Excellent customer service is Job 1.
During his TORQ career, Fischer has spearheaded an effort to ensure that every customer receives the excellent service and care they deserve. Made up primarily of automotive service center clients who have to make every minute of the day count, keeping up with shop supplies is often not a top priority for them. This, says Fischer, is where TORQ shows its value and literally delivers tangible, money-saving and headache-reducing benefits.
“Often these service center managers don’t order something until they run out of it – they are just too busy focused on their own clients,” says Fischer. “What we have developed here at TORQ is a system where we deliver supplies to clients when they need it and not when they don’t. We conduct assessments with each of our clients and really get to know them, how they operate, and how we can best serve them.”
One of the rewards for this effort is getting to personally hear from satisfied clients. Says Fischer, “One service center manager told us the other day, ‘We don’t even have to think about shop supplies – you guys are taking care of that part and making my day easier.’ That’s a real compliment and one that drives us to do even more for the people we serve.”
Leading a team-first approach.
Beyond a well-organized warehouse and delivery protocols, Fischer strongly believes that TORQ’s greatest strength is its people. He’s widely recognized for the example he sets for his team and fellow employees and has been called “the rock of the warehouse.” He also gives credit to his parents for instilling in him a solid work ethic and a dedication to excellence. Speaking of family, Fischer takes pride in his personalized approach to his work.
“I always think of our team as a family and try to treat them in that way,” he says. “We work together, solve challenges together, and will do anything for each other. TORQ leadership has really set the tone for this and I think it is what helps us attract – and keep – great employees.” Fischer also credits a TORQ “Helping People Grow” initiative for the team-first approach that exists within the company.
“I believe that building a strong team begins by caring about people as individuals,” he says. “This initiative is a way of getting to know our team members better, what they are interested in and what they want to achieve.” Fischer adds that these goals aren’t always work-related. “Sometimes people tell us they want to be healthier or find a better work-life balance. We help them discover ways to do that because these just aren’t fellow employees – they are people we really care about. This is how we get the best from each other.”
Business is always personal.
Fischer believes TORQ’s personalized approach to its team members and clients has positive, far-reaching results and he takes pride in being one of the longest tenured employees who has seen a low-turnover rate of employees during his TORQ career. “The only way you will not grow within this organization is if you do not want to because this company is always here to help you,” he says. “Look at me – I have been here for 20 years.”
Looking back on his time at TORQ and his career, Fischer says there is no secret ingredient to his success. “I’m a person that is dedicated to what I do and that is just the way I was born and raised,” he says. “On the job and in life, it’s not always going to be easy but when you put forth a good attitude and effort, it will always be worth it.”