Interview with Rob Caldwell
Sales Director - West Coast @ Jamaica Bearings Group

Over the years, Jamaica Bearings Group has evolved from their position as the industry’s leading aerospace bearing distributor to one of a premier provider of dozens of expendable product types and kits supporting commercial and military airframe, power plant, landing gear, hydraulic, pneumatic, electrical, and electromechanical systems. JBG provides production and spares supply chain management programs into many global Tier I aerospace OEMs, system integrators, airlines, and MROs. JBG Defense is an award-winning supplier to the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), and is the military aftermarket channel partner of choice to the DLA for many leading aerospace and industrial OEMs. JBG Industrial and Transit Group supports global hi-tech industries including rail and transit, medical, semi-con/wafer manufacturing, motion control, and robotics.
Hello Rob, could you please introduce your work with Jamaica Bearings Group and tell us a bit more about what led to your working with the company back in 2011?
Hi there, my name's Rob Caldwell, I'm the regional sales manager for the West Coast for Jamaica Bearings Group. I started here back in 2011. One of my main functions is going out and talking to people about Jamaica Bearings and the things we offer. Most of what we offer has to do with the bearing, as the name implies. We are a company that was founded back in 1925, and we're based in Long Island, New York in a town called New Hyde Park, and we have three different facilities around the US. One being the one in New York, another in South Florida, and another in Camarillo, California. One of the things that led me to working with Jamaica Bearings is the culture at Jamaica Bearings - it's a fairly small, family-owned and run business. About between 150 to 160 employees, and we're growing, and just that culture of the familiarity with family and being important, having people that actually know what you're interested in, and having your back and actually being able to have a good time with employees, and knowing that you know you can go out and do your best by the fact that you're really supported by that close knit, that tight-knit group of people. It's something that's really helped me out my career, helped me enjoy working with Jamaica Bearings, for sure. Also the breadth of the product that we sell - within the bearings group of products - has been very significant and a great value proposition to what we were able to sell in general, and the things I'm able to promote.
What are some of Jamaica Bearings Group's West Coast clients that you manage sales for?
The question is: what are some of the JJamaica Bearings Group's West Coast clients that I manage? The biggest one that has to be Boeing, for sure. Boeing in California, Boeing in Washington state. Everything to do with what they sell to aftermarket clients and everything in between. Another couple of big customers, that would be Alaska Airlines, PCC Group, also many a different overhaul shops and machine shops in California and Washington. And I also cover Arizona, and Utah and New Mexico. So quite a few different clients that crossed that spectrum, and a lot of focus on customers here in California, where I'm located.
How is the changing airline and aerospace industry affecting your work with Jamaica Bearings Group?
How is the changing airline and aerospace industry affecting my work at Jamaica Bearings Group? Probably the biggest thing has to do with something that we're not as focused on Jamaica Bearings, but I have been at different times of my career is the acceptance of PMA parts. It seems like there's been a lot of aerospace companies, and airlines specifically, that have traditionally used PMAs and parts like that in the past, and they've gone away from that because of OEM contracts - original equipment manufacturer contracts. People who produce the planes, the aircraft, the parts, the units, the components, locking them up in contracts saying, "Hey, you can only use proprietary parts and no copied parts, or PMA parts, whatever." And so that industry, or that section of the industry, has definitely declined over the last 10 or so years, so that's definitely been a big change. And I think that's probably one of the biggest things that affected our work in general, not that we sell a lot of PMAs right now, but it is something that we have done and I've seen affecting our work, and the sales that we've had across the board in the aerospace industry.
How has Jamaica Bearings Group shifted its service offering in the past years to meet changing industry needs?
The question is how has Jamaica Bearings Group shifted its service offering in the past years to meet changing industry needs? Basically, what we've done is, as a company in general, has shifted from more aftermarket focused in the aerospace group - or the aerospace section of Jamaica Bearings - over to the OE side, the original manufacturing side of things, where we're more focused on supply chain management and our supply chain management services, and really being a strong distributor and a strong partner to manufacturers who are producing parts with us. Having many months sometimes years worth of inventory on the shelf, ready, and waiting for whatever company that we supply to coming in and having parts ready and in place for them, for their production and meeting their production needs without any quality issues, without any lead time issues and any other hiccups like that, that could be detrimental to their supply chain and getting parts out the door.
What's next for your work with Jamaica Bearings Group - what will be your main focus throughout the next year?
The question is: what's next for your work with Jamaica Bearings Group and my focus for the next year? My focus for the next year is continue to grow sales in the region, here in the West Coast, for Jamaica Bearings. I'm located here in California, and so just finding more companies who are in need of bearings; working with the existing customers; continue to help grow the business with those existing customers, new needs that they might have, new requests that might come up; things that we've done in the past and and strengthening those relationships and strengthening our supply; working on anything from day-to-day quotes and helping to get customers information they need as fast as possible, along with my colleagues; to working on larger long term agreements that are going to help them and help us be able to put parts in place that they can be successful and have no interruptions for their supply chain and their repair, their overhaul,and anything else that has to do with their operations. That's going to be my focus.