Rochester Democrat & Chronicle
When companies need tools to make big things smaller, they turn to NYMAT Machine Tool Corp.
The Fairport-based firm sells cutting equipment to, and services existing machinery for, a broad base of industrial customers.
“Our machines are used primarily to cut metal, but they’re also for plastics, ceramics and more,” said NYMAT President Brian Cregg. “They’re just like very large drills, the size of a vehicle or bigger.”
NYMAT doesn’t make the tools. More than 90 percent are manufactured by Haas Automation, a California firm with two dozen or so factory outlets in the U.S. NYMAT has Haas outlets in Fairport, St. Louis, Kansas City and the Wichita area. Cregg is proud that the Haas tools are made in America.
The machinery is used for tasks as varied as creating airplanes, auto components, military-radio mountings and pacemakers. NYMAT’s customers include heavy hitters like General Electric, Lockheed-Martin, and General Motors, and local manufacturers like Eastman Kodak, Xerox and Gleason Corp. The machine costs range from $29,000 for a small lathe to several hundred thousand dollars for more complex gear.
“We’ll have Fortune 500 companies, their suppliers and their suppliers’ suppliers,” Cregg said of the clients. “We’ll have one- or two-people machine shops. Our biggest customers are small machine shops. That smaller machine is a very large part of what we do.”
Cregg’s father, Mike Cregg, started the business with a partner, Mark Todd, in 1981. The elder Cregg held engineering jobs before he became a machine-tool salesman and then opened NYMAT. Todd still works there as a salesman. Mike Cregg serves as an adviser but now concentrates on a new passion, Shooters Sports Bar in Fairport, which he owns.
The NYMAT company name resembles an acronym but actually means nothing (like Kodak). Brian Cregg said he assumed NYMAT was supposed to stand for “New York Machine and Tool,” but that name had already been taken.
NYMAT started as a sales company that represented various machine-tool manufacturers. The service component was enhanced in the 1990s and now makes up about half of NYMAT’s personnel and resources, Cregg said, with 18 field-based technicians.
“It’s not a big revenue driver, but we service machines to maintain relationships with customers,” he said. NYMAT has worked almost exclusively with Haas since 1996. Hass created the factory outlet concept to establish a dedicated distribution line and a consistent way to serve customers, Cregg said.
Because NYMAT is “so embedded” with the Haas brand, phone calls made to NYMAT are answered with the greeting “Haas.”
Brian Cregg studied engineering, worked as a consultant and joined the organization in 2010. He took over NYMAT’s service component the following year and started overseeing day-to-day operations in 2013.
“It was one of the smoothest family-business transitions you’ve ever seen,” Cregg said. “If you heard my dad, he would say he was able to grow (the company) to a certain point. When I came in, I was able to make the next steps.” Revenue has increased by 50 percent since 2010, he added.
NYMAT works with community colleges to help train future employees and deals with talented business leaders who created start-ups after they were downsized from places like Kodak, Cregg said.
“What’s really neat is to see all the entrepreneurs coming up with new products or redefining themselves,” he said. “A lot of our customers have gone through a lot to revolutionize themselves.”
Alan Morrell is a Rochester-based freelance writer.
NYMAT Machine Tool Corp.
Location: 2650 Baird Road, Fairport
Executives: Brian Cregg, president; Thomas Halter, chief financial officer.