Q & A with Tom Ervin

Q & A with Tom Ervin

Tom’s a father of three girls and he’s a master at problem solving.

Meet Tom Ervin, Outside Sales Rep for Superior Industrial Supply. Tom has been with Superior for 14 years and is proud to serve the Southern Illinois region. His background prior to joining the team includes several years in the automotive industry. We wanted to know more about Tom, so we asked him to share a little about himself.

Q: Tell us about your experience prior to working at Superior Industrial Supply.

A: I come from a strong automotive background. Since I was 16, I worked at auto parts stores and auto garages as a technician. I’ve always been passionate about cars and still am. About 14 years ago, I was approached by a friend who worked at Superior, and he told me I should apply there for a position. From then, I worked the counter making hydraulic hoses and serving our “will call” and walk-in customers. Today, I am the Outside Sales Rep for Southern Illinois.

Q: What do you enjoy most about working at Superior?

A: With Superior, you get a great team of professionals that are always there for you. If I have questions, I know I can rely on people, like Rich or Rodney for example, to offer their product knowledge and experience. Plus, there’s tremendous opportunity to grow with the company. Most of all though, I would say it’s my customers. I enjoy the comradery and the brotherhood I see when I walk into these shops. And, I get to be a part of it.

Q: Is there a specific skill set that you believe is helpful to both your customers and the Superior team?

A: My automotive background gives me a lot of insight, especially with fasteners. I came into the business with a lot of knowledge about the various fasteners that our customers need, as well as experience with different aerosols, lubricants, PB blasters and brake cleaners. I think it also helped me understand the hydraulics side of operations when I first started working at Superior. Now, I have a visual understanding and can identify different types of hydraulics fittings just by looking at them.

It’s not just knowing the product that’s important; it’s knowing how to use the product and if it actually works. You only get that information through experience.

Q: What interests you most about this industry?

A: I really enjoy getting to be around the automotive and heavy equipment side of our business. Being able to go out to a job site and help customers identify the hydraulic hoses they need on a bulldozer or excavator. I like being out there with my customers in the field, helping them find solutions. There was one customer in particular that was having trouble with a hydraulic hose on a hot water pressure washer system he had. Like clockwork, he kept having a hose fail at the fitting and couldn’t figure out why. Throughout the years, I learned that this specific type of fitting wears out very quickly under hot water pressure. I asked him if he needed to have this fitting that had a swivel fitting with a nylon gasket. He told me he didn’t need a constant swivel, only for hook-up. So, we changed it to a two-piece fitting without the nylon inside and he hasn’t had a problem in two years. I really enjoy helping my customers find solutions that save them money and eliminate downtime.

Q: What do you do in your free time?

A: My love for cars includes smashing them up. You can find me at local demolition derbies. We do our county fair every year and mainly areas around Illinois, but I’ve been known to travel to Ohio and Kentucky. Mainly, I spend time with my beautiful family. I’ve been married for 11 years and have three daughters, two of which are twins and the baby will be two in January.

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