LEFCO Worthington LLC – Larry Fulton, president
Q: Give us an example of a business challenge your organization faced, as well as how you overcame it.
I’ve been faced with the challenge of continuing our growth rate even when Northeast Ohio’s manufacturing industry is declining, and in an extremely competitive environment where our competitors will oftentimes sell competing products at cost or below.
LEFCO supports the shipping requirements of industrial manufacturers by making the crates, pallets and fabricated steel parts racks that they use to ship their products around the globe. Accelerating our continued revenue growth has been achieved by aggressive organic sales tactics. Quickly responding to our customers, offering inventorying and JIT solutions, competitively pricing our products and providing over the top service and quality is what differentiates us.
What we’ve done in order to attempt to sustain our growth track record is focus on our people. We’ve hired fresh talent, poured more time into administrative training, hired a full-time quality manager, hire a new sales manager, and provided our employees with the resources to make LEFCO successful. We’ve invested in equipment to make us more efficient, safer, and to create more capacity that we can then sell. Among other changes, we restricted our partnerships with companies who want to grow with us by offering better terms and better pricing. As a result, we were able to significantly reduce our COGS, thereby making us far more competitive than ever before in our past. Now, we just need to turn on the growth faucet!
Q: In what ways are you an innovative leader, and how does your organization employ innovation to be on the leading edge?
LEFCO embraces innovation throughout its business model from the equipment that our employees us to produce its products, to how we leverage technology to assist in communicating with our customers, enabling quick response times and constant availability.
We purchased, in conjunction with the OBWC, a Tiger Stop Saw, a programmable 40-foot saw that is as efficient as it is quick. This significantly reduced manpower, but improved overall accuracy and time in our cutting operations, making LEFCO on the cutting edge.
Our salespeople have Blackberries, enabling us to immediately respond to email or phone inquiries. If we are away from the office, the take the conveniences of technology with us and leverage it, so that our customers know that what they do is a priority to us.
We’ve also jam-packed our Web site with information and usable content to help our customers and prospects better understanding our industry and our capabilities. Information like how to quote, a plant video tour, military specifications and much more are all included on www.LEFCOWorthington.com.
Q: What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned and how have you applied it?
There are several, but two come immediately to mind.
- Preserve your cash. Cash is King.
- Live by the Golden Rule: Treat others like you would like to be treated.
Q: How does your organization make a significant impact on the community and regional economy?
LEFCO started in 2003 with three employees. Through its acquisitions and organic growth, the company now employs 30 full-time people.