Case Studies

Elliott & Frantz Inc.

Setting the Standard for Quality and Service
  • Written by: Elliott & Frantz Inc.
  • Produced by: Elliott & Frantz Inc.
  • Estimated reading time: 4 mins

Elliott & Frantz Inc. (EFI) is in it for the long haul. The company was founded in 1962 by Jim “Jumbo” Elliott and Harry Frantz on the principles of hard work, commitment and dedication. Elliott spent over four decades coaching Villanova’s track and field team, during which time he produced 28 Olympian competitors -five of which won Gold medals- and led the team to set 66 world records, win 86 NCAA crowns, 62 National AAU championships and 316 IC4A titles all while coaching part-time. The first half of Elliott’s days were spent making sales calls and gradually building up EFI as a reliable outfitter of construction equipment and parts doing business the way Elliott coached his athletes: with an industrious sense of responsibility mellowed with a bit of levity for good measure.

“We pride ourselves on being big enough to handle our clients’ needs but still small enough to be personable and accessible,” asserts Steve White, vice president of sales & marketing at EFI. The company has expanded with satellite locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia and Maryland to support head operations in King of Prussia, Penn. Despite the company’s growth over the past half-century, the EFI team still isn’t ready to invest in an automated phone system, which White believes would be contrary to the company’s legacy.

“We have always believed that it is more important to hold on to the customers we have,” expands White. “It’s because of this belief that we are where we are today.” And EFI is in a pretty good place to celebrate its 50-year anniversary. The company has been ranked among the top 10 dealers for every major product line it represents with over $2 million in parts inventory and a fleet of service vehicles to meet the client wherever the client is. Even if one location doesn’t have the part in stock, an EFI staff member can call upon another location to ship it over through the company’s daily parts transfer program.

Streamlined Service

The company represents products from leading manufacturers including Indeco, Gradall, Hitachi, Terex, Kawasaki, Hamm, Pro-Pav and Wirtgen for clients to purchase, lease or rent and because EFI services its own fleet of equipment of the long-haul, clients can rest easily that the trained professionals at EFI will be able to extend the life of any piece of equipment with tender loving care and maybe a little WD-40. EFI also maintains a fleet of 50 service vehicles manned by factory trained service technicians to find solutions quickly and minimize downtime.

EFI’s core markets are heavy highway construction, road building and excavation and many of EFI’s clients are partaking in some of the country’s biggest infrastructural developments. According to White EFI has equipment contributing to the expansion of Maryland’s Baltimore Beltway, a project that has been in the making for decades and will hopefully reduce congestion with widened lanes and better exit ramps. The company also has equipment with Shell Oil Company at its various locations in Pennsylvania.

 But EFI is also a company that knows how to keep its work in perspective. Founder Jumbo Elliott was known for stressing the importance of smelling the roses every once in a while and under Elliott’s son James M. Elliot, CEO of EFI, the company continues to take pride in giving back. EFI sponsors the Mount Construction Charity Golf Tournament, which in 2009 helped raise over $20,000 for the Mount Charitable Foundation, a foundation created to raise money for local families with sick children.

Staying the Course

The most recent economic downturn threw a small wrench in EFI’s operations, but White maintains that the company has never been of the mind to sweat a few slow years. Instead, the company is looking long-term to find the best avenues for growth, especially by expanding its product lines and attract new clients from peripheral markets.

Over the years EFI added to its product lines with peripheral products like buckets and specialty attachments to increase the applications of its big ticket items, but EFI always has an eye out for new products from manufacturers with proven after-sale service records. The company recently began representing the full line of hot asphalt mixing equipment from Blaw-Knox, which included hosting a training seminar for local paving contractors get acquainted with the new products.

The company also picked up a distribution deal in July 2011 to represent Morbark Inc.’s line of tree care, forestry and recycling products that are equally in demand for private and public sector projects. The new dealership agreement was part of a larger eastern expansion by Morbark Inc., arguably one of the biggest names in high-performance equipment for forestry, tree care, recycling and sawmill applications.

“I don’t think we’ll be looking to increase in size over the next few years,” adds White. “Instead, we’ll just focus on improving our existing areas, which is always ongoing.”

EFI may not be on track to make any major changes in its formula, but stability seems to be key to the company’s success.  Elliott & Frantz Inc. has already proven itself capable of keeping pace with any economic environment over the past 50 years and by focusing on quality products and responsive service balanced by a measure of charity, the company is poised to keep stride with whatever may come in the next 50.

Published on: July 9, 2013

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