BIRMINGHAM, AL – For 20 years now, companies “needing a lift” have looked to Springer Equipment for help.
A full-service material handling dealership, the company was founded by Annette and Ted Springer in 1992. They had both worked in forklift sales and management since in the mid-1970s, so the Springers were primed for success. But not only has Springer Equipment grown beyond their expectations, it weathered the recent recession with hardly a hiccup.
“We were slower in new and used equipment sales, but our product support system – service, parts and rentals – kept us going strong,” said Ted, noting that some of his customers opted for rebuilds rather than new purchases. “You have to be smart about how you spend your hard-earned money, and material handling equipment fleet users are no different.”
While the Springers started out selling, servicing and leasing used forklifts, the company now handles new product lines for some of the top manufacturers in the business, including Linde Material Handling N.A., Komatsu Forklift USA, Hyundai Forklift Americas Inc., Hoist Lift Truck Manufacturing, Big Joe Forklifts and Combi-Lift USA.
Springer Equipment is also committed to helping customers increase material handling productivity, even while reducing manpower requirements. Some of the options made possible by today’s technology include Auto Guided Vehicles, Auto Guided Forklifts and Auto Storage and Retrieval Systems.
And speaking of technology, Springer Equipment was one of the first companies in the nation to utilize a GPS dispatching system.
“Placing Garmin units in our vans that our dispatchers can dispatch through GPS software has allowed us to be very efficient,” said Ted. “We can provide GPS support from start to finish on all service breakdown repairs.”
But the Springers readily acknowledge the role their “exceptional employees” have played in the company’s success.
Over the years, they have actively sought to hire former military personnel due to their high level of technical training and discipline, and now over 20 percent of Springer Equipment’s employees are veterans with ten active and retired veterans on staff.
As a family business, Springer Equipment naturally emphasizes family values, and the same standards are encouraged, as well as enabled, in its employees.
“We feel like working here should be a positive experience. People should enjoy their jobs and being at work every day,” said Ted. “Our employees know we’re sincere about this, and it’s paid off.”
But what a lot of people don’t realize is Springer Equipment is a woman-owned company.
“A while back, we realized Ted needed to be spending more time in sales and generating new business, which would require me to take on a bigger role,” said Annette, CEO of the company. “We now pride ourselves not only on being a small business, but a minority-owned small business as well.”
Springer Equipment has since become WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council) certified, and Annette serves on the board of the Alabama Women in Business organization.
Future plans for Springer Equipment call for generating more business through its team of seasoned salesmen and cultivating its reputation as one of the most experienced and dependable companies of its kind in the state.
“We are committed to be the best at identifying our customers’ needs and pledge to provide solutions with values exceeding the cost of goods and services we provide,” said Ted. “We want to be their material-handling partner.”