Laclede Chain Manufacturing Grows Customer Service Capabilities in Southwest U.S. Through Strategic Hire

January 25, 2020

FENTON, MO.—Laclede Chain Manufacturing has recently expanded its customer service capabilities by hiring Austan Smith as Southwest Territory Manager. This is a new position in the company, and Smith will be serving customers across California, Arizona, and parts of Nevada.

As Laclede’s vital relationships in the Southwest region have continued to grow, there became a growing need for more personalized service and expertise to serve distributors, OEM’s, and end-users in the area. Smith brings many years of successful distribution sales experience in the industrial automation industry to his role at Laclede Chain.

Smith’s experience in distribution has given him great insight on how he can best serve Laclede’s customers. “Instead of going to our customers and just showing them the newest things, I want to learn about their business and see where they are trying to grow,” said Smith. “Having been on their side in my previous role, I understand the challenges distributors face every day.”

One of the ways Smith is partnering with Laclede Chain’s customers in his region is by providing training and education. He recently led a chain inspection and safety course for a rapidly growing customer who had a large group of new employees. Smith also encouraged the customer to invite their customers to help them develop their own relationships with the market they serve.

“In the manufacturing world, things are constantly changing,” Smith said. “Standards are being updated; we’re finding out ways to do things better. Learning about the latest best practices in safety is hugely important to protecting profitability. I’m looking forward to providing more education and training opportunities to my customers that will help them grow.”

In addition to educating customers, Smith’s role will include analyzing market trends to identify which items should be stocked in inventory and also identifying new potential customers in the region. “I hope to grow the territory and be a good resource for our customers,” Smith said. “I’m excited to be part of the Laclede Chain team.”

About Laclede Chain Manufacturing: Laclede Chain Manufacturing has over 250,000 square feet of manufacturing and distribution space in four locations across the United States. The company is the oldest domestic chain manufacturer in the United States and has over 200 employees across its system