The MHEDA Journal - Third Quarter, 2015 - (Page 24)

MEMbER bODE EQUIpMENT COMpANy PROFILE Taking The Long View Bode Equipment Company's history of long-term strategic planning BY STEVE GUGLIELMO b ode Equipment Company is celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2015. From its inception, Bode has always had a strong foundation of family and close relationships. In 1975, Larry Bode founded Bode Equipment in his living room in Suncook, New Hampshire. For ten years, Bode operated as a twoperson operation right out of the Bode family house. Larry sold the products and his wife, Dotty, did the billing and paperwork. The Bodes even went so far as to modify their driveway to allow access to 18-wheelers that would drop off equipment right into the garage. Today, with 19 employees and two locations, their modest beginning is ancient history. While the Bodes were selling material handling equipment in Suncook, Steve Fawcett was working outside of the material handling industry. Fawcett had aspirations of one day owning his own business and confided that dream to his father, Dick, who happened to have a friend named Larry Bode who was looking to transition out of the material handling business. Steve asked Dick, "What is material handling equipment?" to which Dick responded, "I don't know, you'll have to ask Larry." Steve drove up to meet 24 MHEDA | Larry to discuss the company and future plans. Undeterred by his lack of material handling experience, in 1985 Steve and Larry came to an agreement for Fawcett to purchase the business and move the company from Suncook to Manchester, NH. Forging Business Relationships Within a year of purchasing the business, Fawcett made the first of many long-term strategic changes that would come to define the company. He decided that working primarily through contractors provided too many challenges to succeed long-term and decided to shift the company's focus to selling directly to the end-user. This dramatic change provided Bode with a new and unique obstacle. Bode would have to start building relationships with end-users where none had previously existed. To do that, Fawcett decided that the company must be aligned with the major suppliers in the market place. "Moving our focus to the enduser was a milestone moment in our business," says Bode President and Owner Scott Fawcett. "It was when we really started adding to our catalog and dealing with a variety of different suppliers." However, for a company making its first foray into selling directly to customers, it was not easy to get access to those major lines. For months, Fawcett pounded the pavement, helping customers solve their warehousing needs, all the while learning the industry and finding out who the major players were. During this time, a new rubber door line, M&I Door Systems, emerged and Fawcett was able to secure an exclusive agreement with the company to sell to the New England territory. That exclusive agreement opened up new customers for Bode and helped establish a more regional presence.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The MHEDA Journal - Third Quarter, 2015

President’s Perspective
From the Desk of Liz Richards
Editor’s Note
Ask Your Board
In Memory
MHEDA University Calendar
MHEDA Member Profile
@ Work
Industry Pulse
Happy Anniversary!
Best of the Best
Celebrating Material Handling Rock Stars
An Interactive Experience
The Trend Toward Automation
Automation and Labor
How to Talk to Someone Significantly Younger or Les Experienced Than You
Integrating Your Online Presence into a Mobile Market
The Other Competitive Advantage
Hack-Proof Your Company’s Social Media
MHEDA Convention Recap
Turning Sales into Profit
Ten Reasons Why You Can’t Fill Jobs
Sucesion Planning
New Members
Spotlight on Association News
MHEDA Milestones
Index to Advertisers by Product Category
The Last Word

The MHEDA Journal - Third Quarter, 2015