H&K Equipment Group Introduces ‘Lifts’ to Core Values

by Sep 11, 2019News

May 6, 2019 – PITTSBURGH – H&K Equipment Group, a collection of eight material handling equipment and service companies united under common ownership, unveiled today a new set of core values that will inform all business practices at each company in the network.

The series of five principles, which form the acronym LIFTS, was developed earlier in the year through the coordinated efforts of employees at each of H&K Equipment Group’s eight companies. When spelled out, LIFTS stands for “Lead,” “Improve,” “Focus,” “Teamwork,” and “Safety.”

Speaking from the H&K Equipment Group booth at the AISTech tradeshow and exposition at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, H&K Equipment Group Vice-President Patrick Koch described the new core values as a true group effort.

“We’ve been through a lot of changes as a company over the past two years, and we knew it was time to update our mission statement,” Koch said. “But we wanted it to be a reflection of who our companies are, not something that was coming from the top down.”

In January, all employees at companies in the H&K Equipment Group were given the opportunity to complete an online survey that asked them to express, in their own words, what they valued about their jobs and the work they do. The five principles that became LIFTS were taken from the most frequently cited values.  

“The response to the survey was fantastic,” said Christian McKinney, marketing manager for the H&K Equipment Group. “Over a third of our employees participated, and their feedback drove the project.”

McKinney added that after the responses were collected, his team grouped them together by theme. “We noticed right away that several values were overwhelmingly being listed as the most important to our employees. Those common values formed the basis of LIFTS.”

However, McKinney said the LIFTS acronym was created by Patrick Koch.

“After the marketing department shared the results of the survey, I was trying to think of a way to make our values memorable and tie it to our industry,” Koch said. “Luckily, each value had a synonym that could spell out ‘LIFTS’.”

The H&K Equipment Group will post the new statement at each of its locations as well as make it an ongoing part of employee training. The values will also be featured on affiliated companies’ marketing literature, websites, and social media.

“LIFTS is a statement of how we see ourselves,” McKinney noted, “But it’s also aspirational. It’s something you have to continuously work towards. That idea has really resonated with the people at our companies.”

Peter Cicero, vice-president of H&K Equipment, framed the new core values as part of a larger effort to highlight the synergies between his affiliated companies. “We have eight companies connected through our ownership,” Cicero said. “Drawing attention to these shared values is a way to bring our group closer together. That’s been a goal of ours for a long time.”

The H&K Equipment Group, which was also introduced to the public today at AISTech, was founded by Pittsburgh-based H&K Equipment in 1983. The group includes two material handling and industrial floor cleaning equipment dealerships, an overhead crane manufacturer, an industrial electromagnet manufacturer, a full-service terminal tractor dealership, a transportation and logistics service, and a granite countertop fabricating company. It maintains 10 locations throughout Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore, upstate New York, and Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, with plans to expand into new areas throughout 2019. The companies employ a combined workforce of over 325 and service nearly all the Mid-Atlantic United States.

“We have eight companies operating in overlapping markets,” Cicero said. “Each of our companies has carved out their niche, but we haven’t had a good way to talk about how they intersect. Taken together, our companies comprise one of the biggest and fastest-growing material handling businesses in this part of the country.” He added, “We’re finally communicating why we are who we are.”

The Full Text of LIFTS

We will set the standard of excellence in service and quality for our customers, knowing that

Every day is an opportunity for us to perform better than the day before, because

Our job is to find the best solution to every issue, remembering that

Together, we can achieve true greatness and that

We always watch out for each other.

About the H&K Equipment Group

The affiliated companies in the H&K Equipment Group include:

H&K Equipment: Founded 1983 – Material handling and industrial floor cleaning equipment

Taylor Northeast: Founded 1989 – Material handling and industrial floor cleaning equipment

Yard Truck Specialists: Founded 1986 – Terminal tractors and equipment

Magnetic Lifting Technologies US: Founded 2010 – Industrial electromagnets

D&S Hoist and Crane: Founded 1998 – Overhead cranes and lifting devices

Premier Granite & Stone: Founded 2004 – Stone countertop fabrication and installation

CicKo Transportation: Founded 2001 – Logistics and transportation

Elwell-Parker: Founded 1893 – Material handling equipment manufacturing

About H&K Equipment

H&K Equipment provides specialized material handling, industrial floor cleaning, and warehouse equipment solutions to customers throughout Pittsburgh and the tri-state area. Founded in 1983 by Alan Heidenrich and George Koch, H&K Equipment has grown from a three-person office into a regional leader in lift trucks, container handlers, railcar movers, personnel carriers, utility vehicles, yard trucks, and industrial floor cleaning machines. The company is also the OEM for the brands Schreck, Autolift, and Elwell-Parker, and manufactures new Elwell-Parker trucks on a limited basis.

Today, H&K Equipment forms the foundation of the H&K Equipment Group, a team of eight companies working together from 10 locations in three states. The company’s sales, service, parts, and rental network includes the entire Mid-Atlantic and is steadily expanding to encompass much of North America, while its international reach now extends to six continents.


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