Behind the Scenes at Automatics & Machinery with Owner Steve Beck

Check out our new Behind The Scenes Series! We’re starting off with an interview with the owner, Steve Beck:

Realigning my business after years of specializing was difficult, but with a great team it has worked out.

My Path in the Used Machine Tools Industry

I sold a variety of new and used machines in the early 80’s and found CNC Swiss to be fascinating (this was in the early years of CNC machine tools). When I saw these new types of computerized machine tools I knew I was looking at my future.

Fresh out of college and with a Finance degree from University of the Pacific, I took a job at Burroughs Corporation. For three years I was a district & regional financial analyst, business software installer, specialist in MRP/MRP2 (JIT) manufacturing, shop floor terminals, work flow analyst and certified in American & Production Control Society (APICS). With this background I was invited to join a large California used machinery dealer. So, I went from a computer company to direct sales and a new direction.

In these early years with Morton Machinery in southern California, I sold all sorts of machinery and support equipment. This encompassed automatic screw machines (which developed into my company name Automatics & Machinery), CNC Swiss Lathes, Lathes, Mills, Boring Mills, Grinders, Fabrication machines and a host of other machine tools as well. I also sold new Summit Machines (CNC and manual horizontal and vertical boring mills, lathes, mills, etc.).

I also learned all of the aspects of the used machinery business at Morton. It was and is more diverse than you might expect. It requires you to do everything from buy, sell, rig, prep, paint and transport (nationally & internationally) machines to also provide banking, finance, collections, customer service, human resources to our customers and employees.

To be successful in the selling used machines, you needed to be able to cross reference machinery from a number of OEM’s. This allowed you to offer a wider variety of similar machines to a wide base of end users. It was up to me to develop spreadsheets comparing makes, models, controls, capabilities and know values of each type of machine I sold. I started to focus on what I saw as an emerging area in machining: high production automatic screw machines and CNC high precision machines.

The Creation of Automatics & Machinery

I established Automatics & Machinery in 1989, became a Marubeni Citizen-Cincom CNC Swiss dealer in 1989-90. I also became the “go-to” company for used Citizen, Star, Tsugami, and Tornos machines. Even though I was virtually alone in the company, I was highly focused in this new high precision, production based machinery. My specialty was, and still is, CNC Swiss Lathes and small diameter turning centers.

Developing a strategy took a great deal of work to get recognized as the elite dealer for CNC Swiss; so, I advertised & advertised. Automatics & Machinery became to go to place to buy and sell CNC Swiss and automatic screw machines. Getting there took work, but staying there takes the same effort. I was constantly building relationships for trade-ins, purchases and direct sales took long hours and all this was done without the ease of the internet! I spent many long hours at the fax machines sending notices and advertisements – Ouch!

Finding one’s passion made all this time spent worthwhile. As Automatics grew and technology developed, we always looked for better more efficient ways to stay in contact with suppliers and clients. It also made the transition from California to Colorado much easier.

Why We Are Still the Best

I have always worked to develop a wider base by selling more types of machines so Automatics & Machinery can continue to grow. We now have six extremely educated salespeople who buy, sell, appraise & working on auction deals, daily. We have specialists in used CNC Swiss, CNC Turning, CNC Machining, bar feeds and more.

A&M has expanded into New Machine Tool dealer as well!

In the mountain states Automatics & Machinery represents Ganesh Machinery: vertical machining centers, turning centers, CNC Swiss, CNC Swiss Chucker (non-guide bushing); LK Machinery: Horizontal machining centers, drill tap centers; JMT USA: Fabricating machinery (shears, brakes, rolls, ironworkers); Cutting Systems: plasma & Oxyfuel cutting; IPG Photonics: Laser Cube cutting machines; Cosen & DoAll Saws; Mist Collection, high pressure coolant systems, tooling and more.

We continue to have our sales team specialize in a variety of areas (and all of us cross train so we always have someone here for our customers to talk to):

  • Mike Reeves: Haas machinery and CNC Machine Tools
  • James Owen: Nakamura Tome, Kitamura, Matsuura CNC and manual machinery of all kinds;
  • Nick Johnson: Anca, Schneeburger, Walters, Star CNC Tool & Cutter Grinders, Okuma, Hardinge machinery;
  • Sue Zeller: Star, Tsugami, Tornos, NexTurn, Hanwha CNC Swiss Lathes, Bar Feeds and Bar Loaders;
  • Kristen Reeves: Citizen, KSI, Nomura, Ganesh Machinery & LK Machinery CNC Turning & Machining Centers;
  • Steve Beck: CNC Swiss, Bar Feeds, Bar Loaders, Multi-Axis CNC Turning & Machining Centers.

Even with a team that has an average of 17 years in used machinery sales and a vast knowledge base in their specialty, we are still advertising and developing new ways to educate our current and future customers on how much we can assist them with all their machinery acquisition or surplus sales, as well as, auction and liquidation requirements.

We have the experience to give you the best options. Used machinery is either about budgets, delivery, giving the buyer options and the ability to compare multiple OEM machines, across a number of generations and delivers a quality product.

We are experts in finding the right machines for the right buyers, identifying a good auction application and, ultimately, we help our customer save money.

So, YES, Automatics & Machinery buys, sells, auctions, and appraises all types of CNC Machinery and each of our salespeople specialize in a number of areas. We can help you, our customer, with any buy, sell, and real estate or auction requirements. Call on us at (303) 651-6545 to help YOU!