Pacific Hoists’ 40th Anniversary
Pacific Hoists is 40 years old. This is a significant milestone for any family company to reach and is truly testament to the vision and adaptability of Pacific Hoists over this time. What is also important is how Pacific Hoists reached this milestone and what it means for the company, its staff, and the future.
In addressing the ‘how’, certain decisions that have been made have had a direct bearing on Pacific Hoists’ longevity. Dennis Herbert, Founder of Pacific Hoists saw the company as a seller of boxes. At the time they enjoyed lower labour costs, as customisation was not a service that was offered. Pacific Hoists have evolved to become a bespoke supplier of Material Handling and Lifting products whilst many of its competitors have lagged behind.
“The decision to move from being an importer and wholesaler of products to a supplier of valued added services was important, especially as many customers have started to source directly from China.” Richard Crake, CEO of Pacific Hoists stated. It is this agility and a willingness to adapt that saw Pacific Hoists flourish during the GFC, a time when many companies failed.
Pacific Hoists not only add value through customisation, it has input at a manufacturing level, allows the company to meet customer needs, adapt to market conditions quickly, as well as shaping the market for the future. Strong relationships with its suppliers are a cornerstone of Pacific Hoists’ success. This cooperation between the brands and Pacific Hoists allows it to give distributors what they want when they want it.
Ian Crake, Managing Director of Pacific Hoist NZ states that collaboration with distributors has been key.
“Pacific Hoists owes much of its success to the support it can give its distributors. This could be anything from incorporating their feedback into future designs, superior customer service including technical advice, and on time supply of spare parts and service. Our people have a can do attitude, and this separates us from the standard product offering of our competition.” Ian explained.
Pacific Hoists is the longest serving distributor of Hitachi globally, having founded the business on this relationship. It also enjoys excellent relationships with other highly credible brands such as JDN and Vital. Having some of the best brands in the world in the Pacific Hoists portfolio has differentiated it from its competitors. It has also benefited from the considerable loyalty from the brands that it represents.
Graham Scott, National Technical & Business Support Manager emphasises the importance of relationships with industry leading brands.
“Brands such as Hitachi are grounded in tradition, as are the German brands we represent. They have been instrumental to our success in that they refuse to deal with any other companies in our market. This prevents parallel imports and has provided us surety in supply.” Graham explained.
In addition, diversification of both the brands and product categories has made Pacific Hoists more than just a distributor. The inclusion of the Challenger brand into the portfolio has been highly successful. Challenger represents Pacific Hoists commitment to charity as it fundraises to help fight breast cancer in Australia and supports the Child Cancer Foundation in New Zealand, as well as being an integral brand in Pacific Hoists future. The move to expand the range of Lifting products to include hydraulic, pneumatic, electric, and manual, has also differentiated the offering from the competition.
It is often the intangibles that keep a company in a market leading position. Whilst the mandatories such as safety, strong corporate governance, and product quality are important, it is Pacific Hoists’ ability to retain staff which has also lead to its success. Pacific Hoists actively recruit from within which means it retains its intellectual capital. The warehouse team has an average of 17 years experience per person whilst Warren Dowling has worked as the Warehouse Manager for 38 years. There have been changes in recent years in the systems Pacific Hoists has invested to service its customers. This has required newer staff with the relevant skill sets to utilise these systems. This demonstrates the importance of striking a balance between industry experience and strategic investments that help to future-proof Pacific Hoists.
With Pacific Hoists reaching such a celebrated milestone, it affords the opportunity to reflect on a considerable achievement. Most competitors are no longer in business, and none of them have reached this milestone. It is also an opportunity to thank the distributors for their loyalty which has made this longevity possible, the staff who have invested themselves so heavily in this company, and the customers who have grown alongside Pacific Hoists. The company is in control of its destiny. It has a strong board that brings many years of corporate experience to this family company, and a willingness to invest in its future. Pacific Hoists is well equipped to lead the market for the next 40 years.