Case Studies

Company Wrench Ltd.: Offering Services and Equipment for the Heavy Construction Industry

In the late 1990s Brad Hutchinson was working as a local contractor in central Ohio and coming up short when searching for someone to work on company vehicles. Hutchinson finally found a good mechanic and realized a great opportunity to provide service to the construction community, establishing Company Wrench Ltd. (Company Wrench) in 1999.

Hutchinson started by hiring out one mechanic, who was known as the “company wrench,” and grew the business from there. Company Wrench experienced rapid growth in the first decade of business. Hutchinson continuously reinvested profits into the growth of the company to double business year after year.

Based in Carroll, Ohio, Company Wrench has 12 locations to provide manufacturing, sales, rentals, parts and service of scrap, demolition and construction equipment nationwide. The majority of locations are east of the Mississippi River with two branches in the state of Washington.

Cam Gabbard, president of Company Wrench, joined the manufacturer in 2006 with more than 20 years experience in the industry. Company Wrench saw the business’ most tumultuous time in 2009 when the national economy lagged.

“In 2009 we did have to cut costs pretty drastically,” Gabbard says. “The scrap market did very well until the fourth quarter of 2008 and then it turned overnight. We had a workforce reduction and we cut general operating costs.”

While 2009 was a rough year for the company, Company Wrench rebounded. The company is now considered the top dealer of LaBounty and Terex Fuchs, carrying a large inventory of LaBounty shears, grapples, processors, jaw sets, pulverizers and Terex Fuchs material handlers. In addition to the Komatsu excavators, Company Wrench recently added Sany America Inc. equipment to the options for sale or rental.

The Cutting Edge of Customer Service

Company Wrench offers an extensive fleet of equipment for clients. Those customers have not only come to expect to find the equipment they need, but also the customer service Company Wrench is known for.

“We focus 150 percent on customer service,” says Gabbard. The staff of employees at each Company Wrench location is expected to provide high levels of customer service; it is that very quality that keeps clients returning to purchase machinery or supplies. Company Wrench’s goal is to keep customers happy by providing work on schedule and under budget.

Company Wrench would not have grown to its size today without offering the heavy equipment services the company currently provides. Company Wrench boasts a team of skilled welders and mechanics who provide expert equipment repair and service.

The company has also developed a conversion and fabrication department with CAD design program experience, as well as a 15,000-square-foot fabrication shop. This allows for production of customized engineer-designed, high- and long-reach excavators, material handling equipment, stick and boom modifications, cab tilt and mounting brackets.

Company Wrench provides attachment sales and rentals with a full product line of Stanley and LaBounty scrap and demolition attachments. The replacement parts department is equipped with knowledgeable experts to help sales of the highest quality brand named replacement parts.

In addition to the heavy construction equipment and services, Company Wrench provides dust suppression solutions. The company carries a full line of self-contained dust suppression equipment with many different models and options to assist in dust control on a construction site.

Smart Business Model

Company Wrench gains most business through service work. “Our first touch with a customer is usually through service,” explains Gabbard. “That’s how we’ve been able to make our way up.”

Gabbard sees the economy improving and the market for Company Wrench business getting better. As business slowly improves, the company’s profit margins will increase. That will help grow the business, according to Gabbard. “The way we’ve been able to grow so rapidly is through reinvestment by the owner,” he says. “The owner has reinvested all profits back in the company.”

In the next few years Gabbard expects Company Wrench will evolve and grow. “We’re looking at our business model a little bit,” he says. “We’re going to change it somewhat.”

The goal of changing the business model is to better target market areas that aren’t currently covered by the 12 locations. Part of this means adding locations to the Company Wrench network and adding employees to maintain excellent customer service. Gabbard foresees things improving in such a way that the company will celebrate 15 years of business in 2014 with Company Wrench Ltd.‘s highest annual revenue.

Published on: May 15, 2013

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