Stärke’s Origin Story

September 25, 2017
Posted by: Justin Engel

Why Stärke?

The origin story of a company, its raison d-être, offers a wealth of insight into its present situation and potential course moving forward.  These insights stem from the company’s core values and principles – formed in the earliest stages of development – that guide each and every decision made moving forward.  Indeed, a company’s origins are best thought of as the substructure around which the superstructure – the company’s brand, product offering and ways of doing business – are built.   So what does Stärke’s origin story say about us as a company and as a brand?

Humble Beginnings

Unlike many other material handling equipment brands, our company has a simple origin, beginning in 1939 as small service-oriented shop in Southern Ontario, Canada.  For decades, our first and foremost concern was servicing and maintaining lift equipment with an emphasis on quality, service and safety above all else.  Yet as industry changed around us we adapted to the new reality of globalization as the manufacturing industry slowly dwindled around us.

We recognized the need to expand beyond our comprehensive service offering and developed a full sales department.   As a Canadian master distributor, we found success but weren’t entirely satisfied with the support we received from our manufacturers.  The fact is, many of the brands we represented failed to understand the challenges of the small to medium-sized dealerships that made up our dealership network.  Despite our steadfast commitment to representing the brands we carried, we received little, if any, value in return.

For Dealers, By Dealers

The truth is, we wanted a cooperative partnership where both parties received value in return for our efforts beyond the financial value of the equipment.  For over 60 years we understood the value of our local reputation, so we needed to find a brand that added value to our local brand with integrated marketing and branding support.

After years of receiving little for our efforts, we decided that the only way to achieve these goals was to branch out on our own and create a brand for dealers, by dealers.  Using our experience representing other brands, we created the Stärke brand around a cooperative business model designed to succeed where the others failed.

The Stärke Difference

Our core principles – namely creating a comprehensive line of high quality equipment, and offering unmatched support to our integrated network of small to medium-sized dealerships – were created as a way to facilitate this process and instill pride and brand loyalty in all of our dealers.  After all, we understood the need for, and value of, such cooperation.

At the outset of our relationship with a dealer, we make it obvious that Stärke operates with a completely different mindset than all other brands on the market.  Rather than a legally binding contract filled with unrealistic quotas or stock commitments, Stärke dealers enter a bilateral agreement where we acknowledge the importance of our commitments and how those commitments should shape our goals moving forward.  As part of this agreement, we’ll work with you to establish realistic sales goals and define reasonable stocking requirements based upon your current capabilities and future objectives.

We’ve also developed innovative policies and dealer support systems to provide fast and responsive assistance for all of our dealers.  Our streamlined technical support network was designed to reduce the burden placed upon our dealers and we take pride in our ability to efficiently process and respond to technical information requests, parts orders and warranty claims.  Meanwhile, our dedicated marketing department works directly with our dealers to bolster their local marketing efforts, including website design and maintenance, customized marketing materials, paid search campaigns, and more.

Now that we’ve told you all about our company, let us know about you.  If you’re interested in becoming instantly competitive with the majors and receiving the kind of support your dealership needs to succeed, contact us today!


Justin Engel

Justin Engel is the marketing specialist at Stärke Material Handling Group. In addition to content development, he also handles graphic and website design, SEO, PR and strategic planning.

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