When you’ve worked for a company for more than 40 years, you certainly know “where the bodies are buried,” as they say. But more fascinating, you’re a walking history book, seeing the company through its ups and downs, successes and flops and stellar innovations that have defined the next generation of the aftermarket.
Kritzer started at BendPak, a California-based company best known for its car lifts and wheel service equipment, when he was a 20-something recent college grad. As he describes it, he found out about the job thanks to family connections: Owner Don Henthorn’s daughter was best friends with Jeff’s sister at the time. He knew Jeff was in search of a job, and Jeff soon started in the company’s shipping and receiving department. Thanks to his innovative thinking and hard work, Jeff worked his way up in the company, seeing through dozens of brands, products and industry firsts over the years.
“For me, if I was working for a company that made a product and just did that product for 20, 30 years, I would get bored,” Jeff shares. “So we’re just constantly evolving and changing…and now, we have a sort of cult following.”
In the latest episode of AMN Drivetime, sponsored by AISIN, Jeff delves into:
- His “rags to riches” career trajectory at BendPak (1:10)
- Advice and good business practices Jeff has learned from his mentors, including Henthorn (2:54);
- How BenPak’s product lines have evolved over time to meet market demand (4:52);
- How the BendPak name was born and its offerings for the aftermarket today (6:00);
- Innovations around BendPak’s CoolBoss product line (11:51);
- Why BendPak recently opened an industrial complex in Alabama and how it feeds into the company’s strategy (14:17);
- Potetial growth Jeff sees for BendPak and its aftermarket brands (15:51);
- Reasons why the company purchased a new California HQ and wants employees to come into the office each day (17:13);
- How EVs are affecting lifts and wheel service equipment (20:03)
- Rapid Fire Questions (22:23)