Things My Dad Taught Me

By Jim Levin, President, Alpine Bearing

My dad, Robert, had some definite ideas about how to run a business. The customer is always right may sound like a cliché, but that’s how he operated. It was important to him for his customers to get a quality product for a good price. He said, “I’d rather sell someone the best bearings at a reasonable price than make a huge profit off one sale and never see them again.” He knew building a satisfied clientele and a solid reputation was essential to Alpine’s future and the future of his employees.

Dad also saw the value of maintaining trusted sources. He knew his customers depended on him to stock established brands with proven records. Quality was essential. To him, knowing where the bearings came from meant he could sleep at night. And knowing he had them in stock meant he could deliver a part to a client immediately. That speed of response prevents a company’s momentary equipment breakdown from becoming a real crisis.

We worked together for a long time and my dad taught me a lot about business and bearings, but the most important things he taught me were about people. When you spend so much of your time at a job, the folks you work with become an extension of your family. Decisions Dad made about what brands to carry and how much inventory to maintain affected his customers, his business, and his employees and their families. He understood that and, fortunately, he taught it to me and the rest of his Alpine family.