The MHEDA Journal - First Quarter, 2015 - (Page 72)
SUCCESSION PL ANNING
Shepherding In a New Era
Quality Lift Trucks undergoes a major succession and transition plan
BY STEVE GUGLIELMO
uality Lift Trucks was founded in 1978 on the principles
of quality, integrity, service and commitment to its
customers. The forklift dealership has grown by leaps
and bounds in the last 36 years, expanding to include
operations in Chula Vista and San Marcos, California as well as
Baja California in Mexico. While the company was humming
along remaining extremely successful, President Dennis Hines
began to look down the road.
"It has always been important to
me that our employees, suppliers and
customers can rely on our business to
support them long after I played an
active role in the company," says Hines.
And so, approaching 60, Hines
began to formulate a plan for his succession after he stepped away from
"In June 2011, after 33 years in business, I decided it was time for me to
take the necessary steps to prepare our
employees to manage the business in
my absence," he says. "In order for our
business to continue uninterrupted, it
was important to implement a structure that would prepare our employees
to take on the role of leading the business upon my departure."
To Dennis, it was important to have
an outside perspective on the state
of affairs of Quality Lift and what
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would be the best course of action
"I wanted an outside set of eyes that
could look at what we were doing in an
unbiased way and could bring other
thoughts about what was going to be
right for the company," Hines says.
"Having never worked for a large company, I felt that I might be too close to
the action to make the best choices."
Years before, Hines had met Stephen
Ross, a material handling consultant,
while Ross was working for one of
Quality Lift's manufacturers.
"I felt that Steve could bring value to
the company and was the right person
for the job since he had a background
in all aspects of the business, including operations, financial and sales
experience," Hines says.
He contacted Ross to explain
exactly what he wanted to accomplish
with the transition plan and what
"I had the end result that I wanted to
happen and once Steve agreed to take on
the project, we worked together on the
plan for implementing it," says Hines.
After analyzing Quality Lift's market positions and financial condition,
Ross agreed to a yearly contract with
Quality Lift in September 2011.
The initial goals included: preparing for the continuation of the business without Hines's input, creating
a structure of plans and procedures
that could be followed by employees,
cross-training of personnel so that
the company could continue uninterrupted in the event of a surprise
employee departure and a structure
of systems for team-led advertising,
budget and goals.
"We made changes throughout the
entire structure of the company,"
says Hines. "We made management
changes and changes in reporting systems. We completely departmentalized our financial reports and trained
people in new positions to get them
prepared for when Steve left the company and when I leave."
Since it was founded, Quality Lift
Truck has been a family business.
Dennis's son, daughter, brother and
brother-in-law all work inside the company and many of Quality Lift's other
employees have become like family.
"It was important to me that there
would be a smooth transition and that
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The MHEDA Journal - First Quarter, 2015
MHEDA’s 2015 Board of Directors and Mboa
Lift Atlanta, Inc
Sara Mcmurray, Flow-Rite Controls
Confident Supplier/associate Members Ready for Continued Growth in 2015
MHI Predicts 8-9% Growth for 2015
CEMA Expects Growth
Continued Stability in the Market
Investment Spending Will Drive Growth
What in the World Is Going On?
Quality Lift Trucks Undergoes a Major Succession and Transition Plan
The MHEDA Journal - First Quarter, 2015