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The Kats Out of the Bag

By Shay Brislane, Scoopemedia News

“You get what you pay for.”

In today’s economic structure everyone is scouring the ads for coupons, sourcing cheap services and products, or pandering to the lowest bidder for projects. Being frugal has guided many through the darkest times and in turn has trained many to look for quantity above quality.

So what about word of mouth businesses who have stood the test of time? The invisible industries? How do they manage without a need to pander for business with flashy ads, price cutting flash sales or radio commercials?

One such business is Tom Kat On Site Inc. located at 485 4th street in the heart of Max. This first come- first serve business runs with integrity.

Family owned and operated by Tom and Katy Kassian and their sons since 1997; Tom Kat specializes in Caterpillar Engines with customers from every state west of the Mississippi with frequent travel to nine different states. Tom began working for Caterpillar fresh out of high school in 1977, becoming certified in CAT engine repair not long after.

Eventually deciding he’d had enough of the corporate setting, Tom began working independently on the side to save on overhead costs to start up Tom Kat.

What else sets Tom Kat apart?

Tom currently sits as one of the only certified CAT engine mechanics in the area, not to be confused with Detroit, Mac or Volvo. As such he and his sons source all of their parts with scrutiny and a wide territory of over 15 companies. Often Tom Kat carries parts on hand making many standard repairs quicker and easier. Doing this allows them to offer diversity, affordability, speed and quality of their work. Part of their business success is not repairing with used parts “Do it right or not at all” and “You get what you pay for” are part of their reputation.

A willingness to work holidays, weekends and nights as well as consideration for truckers by traveling to the customer helping cut costs helps solidify good neighborly values. It’s easy to see how word of mouth stays 99% of Tom Kat’s advertising with steady business on that alone. You won’t find them in Google ads, Facebook or going viral anytime soon but you can reach them by phone at 308-423-2008.

Tom Kat instead spends their advertising dollars locally sponsoring events like bull riding, truck shows and more as a way to invest in the community. “ I retired for six months and decided to jump back in to help the second generation, Jon Kassian pick up the reins full force. All my sons have been helping since they were eight, learning the experience, skill and values that template what a good business is supposed to be; I’m proud to know the future of Tom Kat is in good hands with Jon.” -Tom Kassian

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