As Luck Would Have It
For Jeff Fitzwater, metal working had always been a hobby that he loved. But his hobby would soon turn into a business opportunity he couldn’t pass up. After purchasing a few pieces of equipment and doing some prints and designs on his own, Jeff decided to start up his own custom design, machining and fabrication company in 2005, JS Precision. He first started working on a few outside projects for his employer, ASI, designing and building prototypes to see where parts could be improved before being sent to the machine shop.
But it didn’t stop there. When Jeff’s son mentioned to him that he knew of some friends at an aircraft service company that were needing a new product built, he suggested Jeff give them a call. Now Tulsa Tow Bots is JS Precision’s largest customer, manufacturing such products as aircraft tug components, carriages, and guide shoes.
Making an Idea Come to Life
For JS Precision, it’s not about the number of jobs or the amount of money in revenue. They want to keep their business small and personal.
“Many job shops aren’t interested in projects that start from scratch, or only involve small run parts. That’s what makes us different. Bring us an idea, and we’ll run with it. Our goal is to provide the customer with exactly what they need, even if the idea comes from a drawing on a napkin, “states Jeff.
JS Precision works hard to create a product that will work perfectly for the customer, and they use the best in design software to help them accomplish that. Since January of 2006, Jeff has been using Autodesk Inventor to design his products. With Inventor, Jeff can create a visual prototype that will look and function like it should in the real world. Saving him precious time and money spent in physical prototyping.
Above: Jeff Fitzwater, Owner of JS Precision
A Change for the Best
Jeff had been using AutoCAD for his CAD design since release 10, but he was looking for ways to improve his business when D3 TECHNOLOGIES showed him the capabilities of 3D design with Autodesk Inventor. He was immediately impressed by the capabilities of Inventor and the ability to see how a product will move and work in a real situation.
“With many of our projects, it is easy to overlook small details that make a part or product function properly. In Inventor, I can see that. I can be sure that what I am designing will work in real life,” added Jeff.
JS Precision also uses Autodesk Inventor as a sales tool for their customers. When Tulsa Tow Bots came to Jeff with their idea for an aircraft tug, he was able to make a drawing in Inventor and email it to them, to confirm that what he was designing was what they wanted. Tulsa Tow Bots was able to see what the actual product would look like before it was ever manufactured.
Service After the Sale
When Jeff decided to purchase Autodesk Inventor, he needed help getting started, that’s when he turned to the staff at D3 TECHNOLOGIES. D3 worked closely with Jeff to get him up to speed on the software through professional CAD Training.
Jeff added, “The thing about D3 is the ease of doing business with them. They always have time to answer my questions. They’re not just out for the sale, its service after the sale.”
Adding to his resume, Jeff is also involved in the local Autodesk Manufacturing User Group in Tulsa, OK sponsored by D3 TECHNOLOGIES. Jeff acts as Secretary for Tulsa AMUG, helping plan and organize bi-monthly meetings.
Keeping it Simple
Although JS Precision would like to expand and add additional equipment to their operations, they are not looking to grow into a large company.
“I truly enjoy what I do now. It’s important to me that I keep that close, personal connection with my customers. A large scale business wouldn’t allow me to do that,” Jeff comments.
In the future, Jeff would like to build a new shop in Sapulpa, OK, but he wants to keep it small and personal.
Special thanks to Jeff Fitzwater for his contributions to this article.
If your company would like to participate in a D3 Customer Success Story, or if you would like to learn more, please contact D3.