I became president and CEO of Minnesota-based Ergodyne in 1985. Thirty-five years in, I remain deeply committed to the company’s idealistic founding, rooted in the simple-but-important desire to keep workers safe. I hope our heartfelt daily quest to develop and market innovative, smartly-designed, high-quality solutions for workers in the trenches and on the frontlines actually makes the workplace a better place.
2. Tenacious Holdings, Inc. (parent company of Ergodyne) recently announced Klein Tools, Inc.’s acquisition of Ergodyne, which will be operated as a separate business unit in St. Paul, Minn., thus remaining at its current headquarters. What were some of the reasons Ergodyne took this step?
The timing was right for many reasons. Our business has been growing at a steady clip, and we were looking to further accelerate that. We believed the next step for our business was to find a strategic partnership. Additionally, the safety industry is at an interesting moment in time with lots of growth and consolidation. For all these reasons, we decided to start the process of looking for a partner early this year.
3. What are some of the commonalities between Ergodyne and Klein Tools?
They’re a sixth-generation, family-owned business that’s built a venerable, respected, powerhouse brand. They have a clear commitment to workplace safety. And, like us, they see this partnership as a smart way to grow their business and team.
4. Related to the previous question, do Klein and Ergodyne plan to expand their brands?
As mentioned above, we concluded that it made sense for us to find a partner and improve our positioning in the changing and consolidating safety space. Klein sees the PPE space as a strategic growth platform for them, and their leadership will tell you that a large part of what made this partnership an attractive option is that we have already built a formula for success with that unique branding as the foundation. They intend to continue to leverage the brand, along with our industry-leading innovation and expertise, in our joint efforts to advance workplace safety worldwide.
5. What can you say about the two companies’ combined expertise and experience, as well as knowledge of the industry? Do they plan to use this expertise to accelerate innovation in the safety products space or other spaces?
Klein has been a respected manufacturer of hand tools since 1857. Ergodyne has been on the bleeding and leading edge of industrial safety for three-and-a-half decades. The need to improve, expand and bring innovative solutions to customers is inherent and central to us both. It’s in our DNA. This partnership and shared expertise will certainly accelerate our capability to bring exciting new innovation to the market.
6. Can you tell us about some of the changes and/or exciting developments that might be happening as a result of this acquisition? What might customers see going forward as a result of this team’s efforts?
Ergodyne distributors, safety managers and workers can expect the same continuous flow of innovation and support. They can expect their needs will continue to be met with urgency and sincerity. The partnership certainly creates exciting possibilities and opportunities not available before on both sides, but any talk of what that would mean in a tangible sense for our customers would be premature. Stay tuned!
7. Do you have anything else to share with readers of Workplace Material Handling & Safety, regarding this exciting news?
One word: Onward!