Meet the Man Who’s the Key to Doosan Accounts
Bill Carr is the Director of Key Accounts at Doosan Machine Tools America. He’s had the role since 2008, and he was hired to handle our key accounts, mainly in the automotive industry. In that time, he’s become close with Doosan distributors and customers.
It’s not just the occasional email or phone call. Bill is the attend-their-weddings kind of close with his contacts. He’s family. It’s the nature of the person he is, and his personality has lent itself to lots of success for himself and for Doosan.
This is Bill’s story.
How did you get your start?
I started the day I got out of college, the morning after graduation. I got hooked up with an American machine tool company and was there from ’73 to 80. After that, I was with Ellison Technologies, a Japanese machine tool company, a German machine tool company, the Japanese machine tool company again, I was involved with a special machine builder for a couple years, then I was at Ellison again.
That job as the CEO for the North American daughter company at the German machine tool company is where I got a lot of experience working with bigger companies and bigger projects, and it’s what prepared me for my current role at Doosan. I’ve been here since 2008, so a little over 10 years at this point.
Why join up with Doosan?
I was the first person here to have a Key Accounts job description, and I knew it was something I could do. The #1 attribute of Doosan machines is that they’re robust and reliable. And in my time here, that’s only become more and more truthful. We’ve grown a ton in the last 10 years, and it’s because the quality of the machines stands the test of time. High volume production facilities may not have the luxury of keeping every machine in tip-top shape when it comes to maintenance, but Doosan machines are built to keep on producing regardless.
What machines have you helped get to market?
One of my customers actually created the spark for us to create the DMP Series, our twin spindle VMC. He was figuring out how many machines he’d need, and the final tally was 66. He asked us if we’d ever thought about a twin spindle vertical, which would put 33 machines on his floor rather than 66.
So we looked into it. I travel to South Korea two to four times per year, and our engineers there are really open to understanding what our customers are looking for. I love that. Others in the machine tool industry are more closed off and aren’t open to hearing about customer needs. Doosan is.
Long story short, that customer had 33 all new DMP vertical machining centers in less than a year. We designed it, built it and shipped it quickly.
Apart from the DMP, I’ve long been a champion for the PUMA TT and the PUMA TW horizontal turning centers. I’m a big believer in simultaneous machining, and both of those models do it right. The TT has been a market leader for years and the TW is starting to take off.
What would you tell your college self about this career?
Well, first of all, machine tools is a bit of a gentleman’s game compared to other manufacturing and manual labor industries. Take construction, for example. My dad sold construction equipment, and that was a macho, rough-and-tumble work life. But in machine tools, people focus less on posturing and more on the process and capex costs.
And if I were talking to young students and professionals today, I’d urge them to take a look at engineering if they have the mind for it. The field is trending upward, which is good, but we need more. I just went to my 23rdIMTS (do the math, this show is every two years, this dude is old!), and let me tell you—there are a lot of faces I don’t see anymore. We need young minds, young hands, young brains. This work matters, and it’s fulfilling stuff.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
I truly love working with the customers, walking a mile in their shoes and understanding what they’re looking for. If needed, I interface with the factory in Korea to do something custom for the application.
I try to focus on the features. I want to make them right for the market and for my specific customer. I try not to be limited by what’s on the shelf, basically. That’s what really serves the customer and sets us apart from our competition.
Doosan is not simply a commodity builder. We have those machines, of course. They’re a great fit for lots of shops. But I try to work with Engineering and plan new features, educate the sales force, inspire and cheerlead. This is a good place to be for that.