KPMG Spark Blog
How innovation and KPMG Spark have helped this family-owned pen company provide opportunities for adults with disabilities.
When Scott Tucker went into the pen business with his father, he was determined to positively impact the lives of the hardworking tradespeople who are often overlooked and underappreciated—perhaps an unexpected mission for someone who deals in pens. But Faro Tools designs and manufactures writing equipment with an emphasis on durable, industrial tools that can do much more than make a mark. Their signature product, the Mason, is a pencil, soapstone, ruler, level, scribe tool, and it has a built-in pencil sharpener. To top it off, all the features are designed to be accessed with one hand only.
Inspired by modern, multipurpose tech like the smartphone, Scott looked at writing instruments on the market and saw an opportunity to streamline tasks for people who rely on multiple small tools to do their jobs—plumbers, construction crews, and soldiers, for example. “Say you’re going up a ladder to repair a gutter, right? I looked at that task and thought, rather than going up and down a ladder to get different tools, can I just make one hand-held thing? What can I do to improve our customer’s jobs and make life easier for them?” he said, when explaining his creative process.
Not only does Faro Tools aim to improve workflow for industrial workers, craftspeople, and the military, they’re also generating job opportunities for blind and disabled adults, who face numerous barriers to traditional employment. Faro means lighthouse in Spanish, and Faro Tools chose their name to reference their unconventional manufacturing methods. “Since we started, our goal has been to supply products to ‘lighthouse’ workshops across the country,” Scott shared. Lighthouse workshops are factories that provide meaningful employment for blind and disabled adults.
Scott, who is partially blind himself, has found fulfillment both in the creativity that comes with being an innovator and in providing meaningful employment for adults with disabilities. When he thinks of developing tools, Scott carefully considers the fullest spectrum of makers, builders, and fixers imaginable.
Not only are Faro Tools’ pens specialized for one-handed, multipurpose use, their parts are also designed to be easily assembled by people with disabilities. “When we make a product we have to be aware of what a person can do when they can’t see, for example, so we'll modify or substitute certain parts that might be difficult for them to assemble,” Scott said.
Because Faro Tools contracts with manufacturers around the world, Scott—during typical times—travels during much of the year. His schedule means that he does not have time to focus on bookkeeping and accounting; his time is more valuable spent innovating and thinking up their next creative tool. Luckily, Scott has been able to utilize KPMG Spark to get support with the financial side of his business. “We outsource everything that I don’t specialize in,” says Scott.
When it comes to running his company, efficiency is just as important as innovation and expertise. As the President of Faro Tools, Scott still sees it as a critical part of his role to keep up-to-date with the financial picture of the business, and using KPMG Spark means he can reach his dedicated bookkeeper anytime, from anywhere.
“I like being able to call up Blake, the leader of my accounting team at Spark, with any questions I have. He can pull my financials up and we can work through it very, very quickly. I can get the insights I need to do from an accounting perspective, quickly. He's able to look at my bank statements and credit cards to tell me where I stand, and I don’t have to sort through it all myself,” Scott said.
Scott has been busy getting creative behind the scenes to prepare for their next innovative product release. In 2022, Faro Tools will unveil their newest tool; the Saber RT Pro. It’s an oil-based paint marker—the first of its kind to be retractable. “I spend a lot of my time trying to create something new. I like the creativity portion of my work the most,” he shared.
Now that Scott has gotten help with the most cumbersome aspects of bookkeeping, he’s able to focus more on doing what he enjoys most about the business. “It makes me feel secure knowing that someone with credibility and knowledge is readily available to keep my business running efficiently. It’s good for me,” Scott said.
Want to learn more about how KPMG Spark can help you do more of your favorite things, too? Schedule a consult call today.
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of KPMG LLP.
This blog article is not intended to address or provide advice concerning the specific circumstances of any particular individual or entity and does not constitute an endorsement of any entity or its products or services.
Some or all of the services described herein may not be permissible for KPMG audit clients and their affiliates or related entities.
The following information is not intended to be “written advice concerning one or more Federal tax matters” subject to the requirements of section 10.37(a)(2) of Treasury Department Circular 230. The information contained herein is of a general nature and based on authorities that are subject to change. Applicability of the information to specific situations should be determined through consultation with your tax adviser.
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