If you want to know how the machinery sales business in and around New York City has changed over the past half-century, David Valitt can tell you.
“You either evolve or die,” is the way Valitt describes the approach that took his business from its roots in the bustling machine district streets of Manhattan’s lower east side to stops on Long Island and, finally, across the Hudson River to New Jersey. As Machinery Values, Inc., has evolved — and prospered — Valitt credits the Machinery Dealers National Association (MDNA) with having played an important role in the process.
“The camaraderie is important,” he explains. “By being in the MDNA you’re finding new partners. You get together with other members, discuss your business trials and tribulations with them, and discover. in the end, that you’ve made some very close friends.”
He says many of the dozens of used machinery concerns that left New York City for greener nearby pastures recognized that membership in the trade organization brings with it the assurance of personal and professional integrity, ethical practices, and practical knowledge.
“They competed and worked with each other in New York and now they’re at the core of the MDNA today,” he says.
Valitt became part of the MDNA in the early 1990s, after he graduated from the State University of New York at Oneonta and joined the business then owned by his father, Gene Valitt. It wasn’t long before he stepped up to the leadership ranks in the MDNA’s New York/New Jersey Chapter. He now serves as its vice chairman and as a member of the MDNA’s national board of directors.
Valitt can recall the days when machinery was offered for sale through print catalogs. But Machinery Values, established in 1971, was not left behind when technology brought improvements and efficiencies to not only the equipment, but to the way it it is sold.
“The Internet leveled the playing field,” he says. “Using Ebay, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, and websites, the larger and smaller dealers now have the same sales reach.”
Machinery Values offers its customers standard and CNC machinery of all sorts, including tooling, grinding, milling, routing, and lathe units and an array of cutting devices. More than 1,000 pieces of new and used equipment are displayed in the company’s 150,000-square-foot warehouse facility in Harrison, N.J., just nine miles from the Big Apple.
Valitt was determined to put all the company’s equipment sales and service under one roof, and says what he has learned from friends in the MDNA helped make that happen.
“We just evolved in the business,” he says. “We went along with the times.”