The MHEDA Journal - First Quarter, 2015 - (Page 72)

HUMAN SUCCESSION PL ANNING RESOURCES Shepherding In a New Era Quality Lift Trucks undergoes a major succession and transition plan BY STEVE GUGLIELMO Q 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 the company. "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 72 MHEDA | would be the best course of action moving forward. "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 he envisioned. "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
Distributor Forecast
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