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Leveling Up: Fulcrum Lifting™ Opens Doors to Newest Facility in Style.

BY: Mike Chalmers

Operating under the names Tri-State Wire Rope Supply™ (Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio), Kentuckiana Wire Rope and Supply™ (Jeffersonville, Indiana), and Vernon Lifting Products™ (Evansville, Indiana), Fulcrum Lifting™ has four branch locations, servicing Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.

Tri-State and Kentuckiana were reorganized as DBA’s under Fulcrum Lifting in 2016.  Vernon Lifting Products was then acquired in 2018 and now operates as a DBA under Fulcrum Lifting as well. Each regional branch is wholly committed to delivering premier lifting and rigging products, services, and consultation—distinguished by integrity, expert knowledge, and a client-focused approach.

Both Fulcrum and Vernon have been cultivating relationships throughout the industry over many years to build what customers find today.  Fulcrum’s legacy dates back to the founding of Kentuckiana in 1981 by Mel Fireovid and Ed Elliot,  The business got started by making sales calls by day, and fabricating slings by night.  Before the decade was out, Kentuckiana had built a strong business in the greater Louisville area and expanded to Cincinnati, opening Tri-State in 1989.

The lineage of Vernon dates back even further, to 1948, when Walter Vernon Maier founded Vernon Hardware as a material supplier for the coal mining industry. In 1978, the company began making wire rope, and diversifying its product offering.

And while the company has expanded over the years, one thing remains a constant—its focus on team, reputation for unparalleled customer service and a dedication to doing whatever it takes to solve the biggest challenges, and meet the toughest deadlines.

One particular challenge in recent years at the Vernon Lifting Products location was facilities. Located in Boonville, Indiana, the Vernon Lifting Products site was actually comprised of two separate buildings approximately three-quarters of a mile apart—not exactly efficient.

But that all changed in April of this year (2022), when the Vernon Lifting Products team moved into a completely remodeled facility about 12 miles away in Evansville, Indiana, increasing storage both inside and outside the building, and placing the entirety of the operation comfortably within 25,000 square feet under one roof. And beyond that, customers and employees alike now also enjoy the simple conveniences of an upgraded facility.

The Vernon Lifting Products workforce spent the spring and summer benefitting from the increased efficiency afforded them by the new facility, and on August 12, it was time to share that appreciation with their community in the form of an open house.

Designed to take place around lunch hours, the event was well-attended by a range of Vernon customers, who were treated to a catered meal, a facility chock-full of vendors, and a raffle that saw many in attendance walking away with gift cards and special vendor items, as well as Fulcrum Lifting items.

“The purpose of the open house was to let folks know we’re now in Evansville while also reintroducing our Vernon Lifting Products team to our valued customers,” indicated Jimmy Laub, Marketing and Sales Specialist with Fulcrum. “It also gave us a chance to showcase and celebrate the new facility and service capabilities, and at the same time, give our customers more exposure to our vendors.”

Laub added that the event allowed their customers to further familiarize themselves with the full Fulcrum Lifting family of regional branches.

Room to Grow

Offering a more centralized location for customers, the new Vernon Lifting Products location sits conveniently just off of Interstate 69 in Evansville, and boasts an assortment of improvements over the prior facility.

“We can now perform all manufacturing under one roof, we’re seeing improved manufacturing efficiencies, larger warehousing capabilities, and there’s more air-conditioned spaces and better ventilation for improved employee comfort,” explained Laub. “We’re also benefitting from additional parking, enhanced shipping/receiving docks, more office and meeting space, and a large showroom and customer service counter. And with additional land, there’s room to grow.”

The excitement surrounding the new Vernon site wasn’t just confined to Fulcrum employees all summer—a reality perhaps best represented by the quality of vendors that took part in the open house.

At the open house, one table hosted by The Crosby Group included their Crosby BlokCamCrosby StraightpointCrosby SpeedBinders and Gunnebo Industries offerings. And the Crosby contingent didn’t disappoint, providing on-table displays for a chain hoist, a BlokAlert wireless alert system, a Radio Link tension load cell, a Gunnebo chain sling assembly and hardware, and a Speedbinders torque drive load binder.

Crosby even provided a BlokCam camera system for display on the facility’s overhead crane, as well as a Straight Point load shackle, also on display on an overhead crane. And if that wasn’t enough, customers walked away with plenty of supporting materials, swag, and handouts from Crosby.

Harrington Hoists got in on the action as well, with chain and lever hoist on-table displays, along with swag and handouts. Similarly, Enerpac displayed an array of hydraulic units and tools, including bolting/torquing tools, cutting tools, cylinders/jacks, pullers, hydraulic pumps (both manual and powered), as well as swag, handouts, and supporting material.

WireCo was also onsite for attendees, handing out supporting material and swag.

Perfect Opportunity

Ultimately, Laub and all onsite staff were invigorated by the open house turnout.  Most customers were able to make their rounds and enjoy lunch in about an hour and a half, while many stayed much longer in the three hours scheduled.

“The customers all seemed excited to meet the vendors and see items they may not have seen out in the field before,” he noted. “And everyone was really excited about the new facility. Most seemed impressed with the amount of space and capability we have all under one roof. The event also provided a great opportunity for our customers to put faces with names on the other side of a call or email.”

While many Vernon customers are familiar with their product specialists, who often visit them out in the field, said Laub, quite a few customers haven’t had the chance to actually meet the customer service representatives that work in the office, but help to facilitate the orders all the same.

As for the vendors, added Laub, they were as happy as everyone else with the success of the event. “They really enjoyed the turnout,” he said, “and indicated that many productive conversations were had with customers, as well as quote requests directly from conversations at the event.”

“We’re excited about the direction the Fulcrum TEAM is going.  The relocation of the Vernon Lifting Products branch is an example of our work to improve the company for our team members and customers.  We realized positive results from this project immediately and look forward to future opportunities” said John Fireovid.

This article originally appeared in the September/October 2022 issue of Wire Rope Exchange

It seems like yesterday we moved into the new Vernon Lifting Products facility and hosted the Open House.

Wire Rope Exchange did a great write-up summarizing the event: