Mark, we understand that Aven Tools is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2023. Congratulations on this significant milestone! What need was there in the industry that caused the company to originally be founded? How has the company grown/changed since 1983?
Aven was originally founded as a hand tool supplier to the jewelry industry. In the late 1980s, the jewelry industry was declining in the United States but the electronics industry was starting to experience rapid growth. We found that many of our products, but primarily tweezers, crossed over very well to electronics production, so we evolved into a manufacturerlargely serving that industry. We grew our product range from just hand tools to optical inspection products for all types of precision assembly work, not just jewelry or electronics.
For readers who may be unfamiliar with Aven Tools, can you tell us a little about it and what unique advantages it provides to customers?
Aven is unique in that we offer both precision hand tools and optical inspection products for precision assembly. Most companies in the industry only do one. When looking at a good/better/best model, we have positioned our product line to be the “best of the better category,” meaning that our products provide a price point and quality level that we feel is in unmatched in the industry.
As for yourself, Mark, how long have you been at Aven Tools? What is your professional background? What are your main responsibilities and what are you most proud of during your time at the company?
Technically, I have been around Aven since it was founded. My father Bakir Kanpurwala and Mike Shahpurwala, who iscurrently our President, founded Aven in 1983 in my father’s basement. I have been with the company full time for 17 years now. I hold an engineering degree from Purdue University. After college, I worked as a sales engineer for Trane Air Conditioning in Baltimore, MD for nine years. I took those nine years of sales experience and joined Aven as the National Sales Manager,and now I am the VP of Sales and Marketing. Mike and I now run the business together. During my time back at Aven, I am most proud of our growth and the team we have assembled here in Ann Arbor, MI. Our growth has allowed us to give back to our local community in many ways, from sponsoring Charity 5K runs to donating supplies to local schools in need.
Like many of our products, the patented Mighty Vue Inspector was developed based on feedback from our customers and field sales representatives. Aven has been selling quality magnifying lamps for years, and we always get the questions “Can I take a picture with this?” or “Is it possible to put this image on a screen?”. So we worked with our design teams here in the United States and overseas to develop the first magnifying lamp with a built-in camera. You can now put the image up on a screen, capture an image or video with a built–in SD card or output the image to a laptop, and use software to perform a wide array of functions.
Aven Tools products seem like they might have capabilities across numerous industries besides just electronics manufacturing. Is that the case? If so, which other industries can benefit from Aven Tools’ technologies?
From what we’ve read about the company, it is known for valuing its people, performance, and technology. How does this focus help Aven Tools be successful?
Our performance and technology are nothing without our team, so our success starts there. We are fortunate to have an experienced team that provides the dedication, feedback, and consideration that we need to keep moving Aven forward. As for everything else, it goes back to realizing where we best fit in the industry. Based on that, we have designed our products and priced them to be in the “best of the better” category. That focus provides us with the clarity we need when deciding what products to introduce to the marketplace.
Having been in the industry for four decades, the company must have seen quite a few changes. How has Aven Tools kept pace?
Our team – and Aven as a whole – does a great job of always being ready to embrace new technologies that may help us to be more efficient. From our backend ERP system to a new Sales App for our field salesforce, we are always focusing on ways to be more efficient. And much like how our Inspector lamp was developed, we listen to our customers to ensure we design and adapt our products to meet their changing needs and the current needs of the industry.
Looking to the future, what are your plans for growth, in regard to both your products and your company?
Coming out of COVID, we are looking to accelerate the pace ofsome of our current products in development. Obviously, AI is changing the way we work, and we are actively developing products that will take advantage of this game–changing technology while ensuring our quality and efficiency remain at the same high levels as always.