G.L. Huyett is a low overhead manufacturer and distributor located in Minneapolis. Founded in 1899, G.L. Huyett is one of the oldest continuously operating businesses in North America. Throughout its long, rich history, G.L. Huyett has inspired a company culture of excellence, employing hardworking and friendly team members with a “Can Do” attitude to deliver quality services to customers when they need it. Placing value on making communities better both within and around the organization, G.L. Huyett’s mission is, ” To profitably exceed expectations using three principles: be honest, work hard, and live by the golden rule.” This outstanding level of care was on display at the National Industrial Fastener & Mill Supply Expo (NIFMSE) in Las Vegas this year. For their warmth, G.L. Huyett was recognized as “Best Group” in this year’s Fastener Show Best Booth Awards. We interviewed G.L. Huyett’s CEO, Timothy O’Keeffe, about the company’s booth, team, and company.

How many years has your company been attending the NIFMSE and why do you find attendance there to be so valuable?
We have been attending since 1998, more or less.  Our first booth was a Wild West themed saloon in which we drug tumbleweeds into the Paris Convention Center from washouts in the grater Las Vegas vicinity.  We were among the first booths to serve beer.  We value the show as an opportunity to connect with customers, suppliers, representatives, and stakeholders in one place at one time, and to try and fortify those connections through personal contact.

What was the inspiration behind your booth?
The inspiration of our booth is “oasis” as in “lounge”.  People do a lot of walking and we design our booth as a place for people to rest and meet one another in a semi-private environment.  This year we added a Nashville recording artist to provide some light entertainment.  We believe that it was well received.

When it comes to employees and customers, how do you encourage and cultivate healthy relationships?
First and foremost we invest in people and processes that support relationships that align to our Culture of Excellence.  We have a highly trained field sales force who are conditioned to support distribution with solution selling.  We have business processes including e-commerce and “The Pack List That Can Change Your Life™” where we attempt to lean out non-value-added transaction costs, such that the focus can be on our people helping our customer’s people and their customers.   We hold ourselves accountable by providing our customers a Customer Scorecard that illustrates our own performance in the account in the areas of Quality, Service Level, and Experience.  We do not cook the books with those numbers, so if we are performing poorly, we have to own the result in front of our customers, which stimulates commitment to improvement.  We provide the same kinds of tools internally to our employees with a profit sharing-based performance management system.

What is on the horizon for G.L. Huyett?
We hope to leverage what we believe are so-called “platform” features in our firm-  culture, process, and specialties in e-commerce, technology, human resources, and advertising; such that we can scale the firm through acquisition of complementary businesses and product lines.  We bring a family-style culture with a professional management regimen that has been well received to date by the other firms that we have purchased.  We often buy from founders and entrepreneurs who care for their employees.  We provide a logical opportunity to extend the founder’s legacy into the future.  That is a distinct different approach from private equity, where the mission in buying a company is to sell it, and thus the management mandate is numbers and profit, without regard for building long term value and stakeholder enrichment.


Visit www.huyett.com to learn more about G.L Huyett and check out their products!

Thank you to Mr. O’Keeffe for his time and insight. We would also like to thank G.L. Huyett as a whole, especially their NIFMSE team, for continuing to go above and beyond for everyone. 

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