One-on-One with a New Jersey CEO

Acquisitions, awards, supply chain and manufacturing insights from GreatStar Tools USA.
Click on the image for the video interview.

GreatStar Tools USA’s acquisition of SK Professional Tools recently propelled Gary DuBoff and his team into the news.

“We’re excited about SK Tools,” DuBoff said. “It’s in line with our strategy of becoming a collection of premier brands. SK has a well-known brand for mechanics tools, very loyal customer base, fits with everything we were looking for from an acquisition perspective and we just went for it."

At Saddle Brook, N.J.-based Great Star, a division of Hangzhou GreatStar Industrial, SK joins a stable of brands that include Arrow Fastener, Pony Jorgensen, Shop-Vac and others.

DuBoff received a 2019 Executive of the Year honoree of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association for his efforts to keep jobs in New Jersey. And in this One-on-One Series video interview with HBSDealer, DuBoff described the benefits to domestic manufacturing, especially during a pandemic-induced supply chain scramble.

Other comments of note:

• On plans to keep SK in the U.S.: “I’ve read many different things about the SK acquisition and a number of them are negative. The first thing everyone says is how another great U.S. brand [is moving to China]. Nothing could be further from the truth. [Hangzhou GreatStar Industrial] has no desire to buy brands in the US and move them to China. They are proud to own American brands and leave them in America.

• On managing multiple brands: “We are of the opinion that each business unit should operate somewhat autonomously. They know their business better than anybody else does. Our model has been to bring in a really talented leadership team and let them run the business.

• On supply chain challenges: “As an industry I think we’re kind of settling into the idea that this is the new normal. Freight rates are going up. What were container costs of $3,500 to $4,000 — we paid as much as $25,000 not all that long ago. But I think overall, all of us are learning to adapt. It’s an ever-changing situation, but to some degree, it has kind of stabilized since March 2020 when Covid hit.”

Watch the full video here