April 17, 2014

Emphasis is on quality at Kingman company

Pat Robinson’s goal – to double the size of his business in six years – is admittedly ambitious. But he believes it can be done.

Pat Robinson’s goal – to double the size of his business in six years – is admittedly ambitious. But he believes it can be done.

Robinson is president of Mize and Co. in Kingman. The company’s biggest primary products are wire and cable, but it also makes wire harnesses, jumper cables, electrical terminals and grease fittings, among other products.

Mize and Co. began in 1936 with a big emphasis on handling and selling surplus products, but it has changed dramatically over the years, said Robinson, who joined the company in 1999 as the controller and became president in 2007.

“People demand more consistent quality than you can provide with surplus stuff,” Robinson said. “We look into different vendors, ways to keep high quality while maintaining competitive prices. We’re always looking for new or different suppliers that can help us do that.

“We’re a distributor. We do assembly work, and most of what we do is take a product and modify it a bit more and give it a packaging change. We need to make ourselves easy to do business with in order to have customers not go around us to our suppliers.”

Robert Mize Sr. founded the company in Harper as a government surplus reseller. He then branched out to rubber tire patches and grease fittings.

The company moved to Anthony in the early 1950s and then to Kingman Airport Industrial Park in 1976.

In 1986, brothers Robert Mize Jr. and Max Mize took over the company. Max Mize bought his brother’s share in 1998. In 2007, Max Mize retired to Florida, but he still owns the company.

One of the biggest challenges in the industry is finding new customers when there is consolidation, Robinson said, because larger customers may want to start buying parts directly from suppliers to lower costs.

“We try to keep the perception of value, of services high enough to overcome potential cost savings by going around us,” Robinson said. “We’re here so they don’t have to buy large quantities.

“Sometimes the easy way looks like the most profitable way in the short term, but it won’t end up that way,” he said. “Have the confidence to treat others like you’d want to be treated and to do the right thing.”

In 2013, the company purchased about 3 million feet of wire and cable, or about 568 miles’ worth, Robinson said.

The company’s exports are about 2 percent of its sales, Robinson said. Half of those goes to Canada, while the rest goes to such places as Guatemala, Cost Rica, Trinidad and Antigua, among others.

The company has 23 employees.

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