Mevotech’s tagline, “Engineered for Technicians,” is about as clear and succinct as it can get. And it sums up the company’s passion perfectly. When speaking to the Mevotech leadership team recently – Ezer Mevorach, chief executive officer, and Todd Hack, executive vice president – their passion for simply being the best for Mevotech customers rings loud and clear.
Celebrating the company’s 40th anniversary this year, Mevotech leadership said it has hit this milestone by not only focusing on the fundamentals, but also by remaining lean and nimble. Founded in 1982 in Montreal, Canada, the company began as a family-run business but today is backed by private equity, while keeping the strong family culture and values alive. Mevotech considers itself an engineering house, first and foremost.
“Engineering and innovation are at the core of what we do best,” said Mevorach. “Our product development strategy and value proposition are about making parts more durable than the original equipment and adapting our product solutions to aftermarket vehicles with high miles driven. Everything starts with engineering design and pushing the envelope. Vehicles are becoming more and more complex, and we are making sure to stay ahead of the R&D curve. R&D is crucial, and we’re passionate about it.”
R&D is the Heart of the Business
Hack adds that the company’s R&D team is truly the heart of the operation. “It’s literally in the center of our building and is the nucleus of our concurrent product development process, which fosters an integrated approach between the engineering, supply chain, product management, and marketing teams. This process enables us to reduce our development cycle and bring new product to market quicker and with marketing collateral support for our customers,” said Hack.
Hack also noted that Mevotech’s testing facilities and quality control department are located there as well. “We want to make sure that the best product is in the box. Engineering is our core,” Hack added.
With 12 patents and a focus on quality and engineering, the company has seen significant growth over the years. Mevorach explains that 25 years ago, the company made a strategic decision to invest in the chassis business and over the next 12 years the company’s focus was that of parts proliferation and “first-to-market,” which eventually led to the decision to scale down the number of product lines and focus solely on chassis, control arms and hub bearings.
“We felt that as an aftermarket company we would best serve our customers if we focused on fewer product lines,” said Mevorach. “We saw the opportunity in the chassis space, and it just made sense to us. We focused on the motto ‘less is more’ and it’s turned out to be the right approach.”
Hack added that the company jumped on an opportunity to fill a need that was unaddressed. “There was a void in the market, and we seized the opportunity,” Hack said. “The opportunity allowed us to leverage our engineering, design and innovation strengths and become a premium supplier in the category. Today, we lead the industry with 16,000 parts, including 4,600 control arms across all brands.”
The company prides itself on being “first-to-market” when it comes to new applications. Currently, Mevotech’s product portfolio includes control arms, ball joints, stabilizer links, suspension components, steering components, and wheel hub assemblies, marketed under the Mevotech TTX, Supreme and Original Grade brands.
Mevotech describes the TTX brand as having “reinvented chassis,” setting a new standard for durability specifically designed for fleet applications where downtime means lost revenue. Mevorach adds, “Our TTX brand is patented technology and is engineered from the ground-up, focused on durability, rapid installation and backed by our extensive technical training and customer support. We understand that vehicle upkeep is complex, and we are there to support the technician at every stage.”
If Engineering is the Heart, People are the Soul
With a clearly defined mission in place and a strong focus on R&D, the third element to Mevotech’s success story, of course, comes down to its culture.
“We have grown to over 600 employees with operations based in Toronto, Canada, with over 700,000 square feet of warehousing space, collectively, in four main facilities. We have a great team – passionate, energetic, dynamic, agile, and highly engaged. It’s a fun place to work,” said Mevorach. “Maintaining a family culture is critical to us. It’s in our DNA,” he emphasized. “We feel that people have to love what they do and enjoy coming to work. We’re doing everything we can to maintain and grow that culture.”
“I would agree,” said Hack. “I think the culture is the biggest piece. It’s a very passionate group. There’s not a lot of layers, [and we are] fostering a lot of interaction across the company. We never want to get too big, making it hard to navigate.”
Mevorach and Hack acknowledged that the pandemic has changed things temporarily, with people working remotely for a time, but noted Mevotech’s HR team works hard to maintain that family feel and connection to the company even when everyone isn’t together. “We just don’t want to lose the passion and engagement. We don’t want to lose what got us here,” Hack said.
While Mevorach said that most of its 40th anniversary celebrations will be internal rather than public-facing affairs, Hack shared how moving it has been to see the pride that longtime employees have expressed in reaching this milestone. “It’s amazing to see how excited people are to see us reach 40 years in the aftermarket. We’ve been fortunate and had a lot of good folks that have been with us a long time. So, it’s a lot of fun internally. It’s been good for our new folks too; 40 and growing.”
One strategic skillset that has served the company well during the pandemic and subsequent supply chain challenges has been its ability to plan ahead, said Hack.
“We do a lot of forward thinking and I believe we do an exceptional job as far as looking out into the future and asking ourselves ‘In two years, where do we want to be? What are the bottlenecks ahead of us? Do we have the infrastructure to support our strategies?’ This forward-thinking approach has led to a significant reinvestment in our distribution and logistics, an investment which has served us well as we’ve grown,” Hack noted. “This forward-thinking approach in managing our business has allowed us to service the biggest customers in the aftermarket to the smallest and to successfully scale our business with our growth.”
Another key to Mevotech’s success in this arena is its agility. As Hack described it, the company is very “lean, mean and agile.”
“We want to be that company that can make a quick decision. It doesn’t take a lot for us,” he said. “There’s not a lot of layers. You must be agile in today’s business environment, otherwise you’re going to get passed by. You must be adaptive and stay close to your customers as well. We spend a lot of time focused on the customers’ needs and how we can be a strong business partner. We think it’s extremely important to stay close to the action and hear what’s important to them. We try to be as proactive as we can to changing market conditions.”
Mevorach added that this is also why focusing on fewer product categories makes sense. “Going back to our focus on product lines points to Todd’s comment about agility. We can move faster. We have less challenges with greater focus. The aftermarket is more complex than it’s ever been, and you must be able to navigate quickly,” he said.
“What keeps us excited about the future is opportunities,” said Mevorach. “Todd mentioned technology. Technology, I would say, has been the biggest disruptor coming out of COVID. That’s one area that we’re highly focused on as well. The third area is to continue to grow while not forgetting where we’ve come from. So, when it comes to family culture, we are building more and more initiatives internally to sustain that family culture. I think those three areas are great opportunities for us to focus on in the future.