Historic Harrington17 December 2010
Harrington Hoists has grown from a machine tool business in the 19th century, to a giant in the US hoist market today. How has the company established itself as a market leader?
In 1854, Edwin Harrington founded his own machine tool business, located in Vermont. The company quickly grew, and relocated to the industrial market
of Philadelphia, PA. In 1867 the machine tool aspect
of the business was discontinued so the firm could focus on the hoist market, despite the profusion of competition in the market.
However, Harrington continued with the renewed focus, and went on to become a major player in the hoist sector, following the innovation of the spur gear hoist, the use of anti-friction bearing and the pioneering of the Weston-style brake.
In 1968, the firm was acquired by Shingle Belting, and was moved to a new facility in Plymouth Meeting, PA. A vendor relationship with Kito Corporation began during this period, which enabled the company to expand its product offerings. Ten years later, Arbee Corporation took over Harrington, and the company moved again to Manheim, PA, one of the locations Harrington still operates from today.
In 1990, Harrington Hoists became a wholly owned subsidiary of Kito Corporation, which enabled the firm to expand its exposure in the US market, helped by opening a new site in Corona, CA in 1993. Since then, the division has tripled in size. In 2007, Kito became a publicly traded company on the Tokyo
The manufacturing and supply company now operates across the United Sates, Mexico and Latin America, operating in markets including manufacturing, construction, shipbuilding, paper, automotive and machining. Harrington also works to support the energy industry, including companies involved in refining, production and alternative power sources.
While expanding its product range throughout the years has been an important focus for
the firm, the customer has always been at the forefront
of the business model. Carlo Lonardi, VP sales and marketing at the firm says; “Our continued success has been the result of our people and their willingness and ability to go the extra mile to meet the specific needs
of our customers.
“Every department from customer service to sales support to engineering design to technical service after the sale has one common goal – to exceed every customer’s expectations.”
The firm states that dynamic interaction between departments ensures Harrington can work towards the goal of providing the customer with the best possible experience, and meeting their specific needs. Cited as the greatest asset of the company, the staff are described as going this ‘extra mile’ for their clients, indeed Lonardi says: “You will receive a revolutionary level of service.”
Bret Lussow, business development sales manager, explains that product quality is of utmost importance to Harrington, therefore they adopt a particular approach during the design stages of hoist and crane products. He says: “We continually upgrade the concept of our products through innovations that involve everything from chains to advanced electronics. We’re not content to rest on old and current designs; we’re always looking at ways to improve our offerings.”
Harrington recently released the SHB ultra low headroom trolley hoists and an entire line of beam clamps. At the time of the release of its new NER/ER three phase electric chain hoists, the firm also launched
a green initiative, Lussow explains: “Now, more than
ever it is important to focus on our environment and do everything possible to preserve and protect our planet. We are proud to do our part.” In order to meet
strict European RoHS requirements, the hoists were reworked to reduce energy consumption and remove harmful materials.
The firm enjoys relationships with a network of distributors, who are trained in product maintenance, helping them to develop sales strategies. Lonardi says; “By keeping these strong relationships, the distributor becomes an expert on our product.
“The distributor then takes that knowledge and couples it with their local industry expertise which enables them to select the best products and solutions for each customer’s need.” Furthermore, Harrington sells exclusively through its distributor network, who also offer any service and maintenance aspects required.
Harrington is also an active member of a number of associations, including the MHIA (Material Handling Industry of America), HMI (Hoist Manufacturers Institute), and the CMAA (Crane Manufacturers Association
The firm has continued to report strong growth throughout 2010, success the firm attributes to its full line of products, sales support, and customer-focused ethic. The company promises more innovations in 2011.
In February this year, the firm celebrated its 20th anniversary as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kito Corporation. During a celebration dinner Harrington’s president and CEO, Edward Hunter, presented a gift made from an original Harrington Hoist, dating back to the 19th Century, to Yoshio Kito, president and CEO of Kito Corporation. Hunter said: “This is a symbol of our longevity as a company and a sign that we have a long future ahead.