How does an established McFarland-based company founded in 1980 providing vehicle lifts and select garage equipment suddenly achieve breakout success after more than 40 years in business?
Meet Midwest Equipment Specialists (MES) is an exclusive distributor for heavy-duty bus lift and truck lift leader Stertil-Koni. Founded in 1980 by husband and wife team Larry and Vicky Beyler, MES has become a well-regarded enterprise focusing on vehicle lifts and service equipment, notably tire changers, wheel balancers and brake lathes.
The couple also recognized that a carefully aligned combination of enhanced strategic initiatives coupled with ideal market conditions could make a big difference in results.
As a starting point, the Beylers expanded their emphasis on qualified and knowledgeable salespeople, expert technicians and reliable service and support — before and after the sale. Last year, the couple also recognized exceptional market demand for two prominent Stertil-Koni innovations and began vigorously promoting these – especially to transit agencies.
The trend was clear: Across North America, municipal mass transit systems were rapidly adding more energy efficient buses to their fleets. However, to make that transition, these very agencies must also upgrade their maintenance facilities to service and repair those new vehicles.
And to MES, that spelled opportunity – growing demand for the latest in high-performance, durable and safety-proven in-ground heavy duty vehicle lifts, backed by exceptional customer care.
“The challenge for transit garages is that many shops do not have the right equipment to lift heavy electric buses,” Larry Beyler said. “We recently partnered with three municipal transit systems to find a safe and dependable solution for servicing their new buses. They chose Stertil-Koni in-ground lifts, specifically the telescopic piston Diamondlift and scissor-style Ecolift.”
Stertil-Koni’s Ecolift is an ultra-shallow, full rise in-ground axle-engaging lift and the only relocatable in-ground lifting system in the world. It has lifting capacities of 30,000 pounds per scissor, and is available in two, three and four-scissor configurations. Diamondlift is a full-rise in-ground piston lift, with capacities ranging from 64,000 to 140,000 pounds.
“Both lifts offer easy drive-on capabilities, with wheels-free access for our service technicians,” Vicky Beyler said.
Originally, MES was housed in a hardware store owned by the Beylers, but soon outgrew that location and moved to a more expansive and dedicated facility. Thanks to its continued growth and the surge in sales, the company is once again seeking an even larger location for its showroom, warehouse and office space.
Today, MES employs eight people, including an office manager, two salespeople and five service technicians.
For MES, market growth doesn’t stop at strategic planning, internal training and expansion, but includes hands-on customer education.
“We provide installation and onsite lift training for all the products we sell,” Larry Beyler said. “In that way, we make sure our customers and their staff understand all the working parts and can operate the lifts safely and efficiently.”
The growth at MES has also multiplied as a result of its annual participation in more than a dozen industry trade shows. Nonetheless, service remains a key differentiator and priority number one.
“Customers enjoy doing business with us because of our great service and follow-up after the sale,” Vicky Beyler said. “Having our own Stertil-Koni territory is also a significant contributor to our growth, and it is gratifying to sell their products, which are the best in the world. Last year was great for business, and so far we’ve had terrific liftoff in 2020.”
“Midwest Equipment Specialists’ dedication to Stertil-Koni’s world-class product line, coupled with a keen service and solution-based approach, has put them at the forefront of the heavy duty vehicle lift industry in their region,” said Jean DellAmore, Stertil-Koni president. “They are emblematic of the type of growth our distributors can achieve, and we look forward to their continued success.”