(l to r) Jimmy Engen spends time with customer Dean Rzeszut, asphalt plant supervisor with the City of Denver, Public Works, in Colorado.
With a territory that includes Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, and the upper peninsula of Michigan, it's not surprising that regional sales manager Jimmy Engen spends most of his time on the road. One of Jimmy's top skills is problem solving, so keeping his customers happy with plants in working order is icing on the cake.
To cover his expansive territory, Jimmy spends a good deal of time on the phone and behind the wheel. "A typical week requires flexibility to change directions to meet your customer's needs. I'll be headed one way and then a customer will call, 'hey can you come look at this?' so I change direction. I don't mind the drive time—it's a lot of windshield time in my world—but that's typical," said Engen. The average travel time between plants in his territory is roughly two hours.
Bringing Experience to the Table
Three key ingredients can determine the success of a company: products, employees, and customers. Jimmy's product knowledge and customer service capabilities gained over several years make him a valuable asset. "I worked for a lot of different manufacturers. I have probably 10 or 12 years of field service experience, fabrication experience, a wide clutter of everything," shared Engen. "I use my experience to better the process for my customers."
Knowing the value of quality field service is a key to keeping customers smiling. "Being in field service, you deal with the customer on a one-to-one basis," said Engen. "Finding a timely solution makes the customer happy every time."
Perks of the Job
For Jimmy, working at Astec is not just about a paycheck. It's having the freedom to do the job the way it needs doing in order to satisfy his customers—who are the perks of the job. "That's what I like—meeting people and getting to talk with them about their hobbies and goals. Even though the asphalt industry is a big world, it's a strong community. There are a lot of great people in the business that you get to meet on a regular basis."
Another perk for Engen in his territory are three sister companies of Astec, Inc.: Dillman Equipment in Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin; Telsmith in Mequon, Wisconsin; and KPI-JCI/Astec Mobile Screens in Yankton, South Dakota.
The Man Behind the Windshield
An outdoorsman at heart, Jimmy spends his free time at his ranch, riding the trails on horseback. "It's peaceful on the back of a horse because you can ride into the timber—into the woods—a lot of places 4-wheelers can't, and you get to see more wildlife," said Engen. While he does enjoy a bit of fishing, he admits his lack of skill to hook "the big one."
From diesel mechanic to rodeo bull riding, Jimmy has stories to share with his customers. "I've spent time logging, riding snowmobiles and dirt bikes, and I've poured concrete and worked at an asphalt plant in every state except Alaska and Hawaii. I'm a fan of the Vikings and the Browns, of Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and a huge fan of John Wayne and Johnny Cash. But most of all, it's about putting in a good day's work taking care of my customers and then enjoying what life has to offer."BACK TO ISSUE