Geith Meets Growing Demand With VA Expansion

Wed November 27, 2002 - Southeast Edition
Amanda L. Gutshall



A growing demand for products has prompted Geith Inc.’s expansion of its Petersburg, VA, facility. Formerly at 25,000 sq. ft., the recent construction, which was completed in August, provides an additional 15,000 sq. ft.

Managed by Kessel Construction, who broke ground in February, the $.5-million project includes 40,000 sq. ft. of outdoor racked storage, three additional loading bays and a state-of-the-art 10,000 sq. ft. distribution center.

According to Gerry Kealy, sales manager, the expansion “enables Geith to improve its already excellent delivery on buckets and attachments, and to increase its stock of popular units for same-day shipping. Coupled with new products and an updated Web page where stock, specs and on-line ordering is available, Geith continues to improve its service package to its dealers and lead the attachments industry in many areas.”

Before construction could take place on the project, Kessel had to clear an unused space, replacing storm drains. It also had to pour more than 20,000 sq. ft. (1,858 sq m) of concrete. The undertaking was completed in only 10 days. According to the company, this first phase of expansion was required so that increased production and logistical processes could be handled at the VA facility.

The area of 8-in. concrete pads provided immediate outdoor storage while the project on the distribution and finishing center was built.

Carefil Inc., of Richmond, VA, poured the concrete pads and layered them using a 160 laser screed with 3,500 psi concrete, reinforced with fibres and finished with a broom. This process took under eight hours, according to the company.

The final phase of this portion of Geith’s expansion was the pouring of an additional 20,000 sq. ft. of concrete pads which will house three loading docks.

Located at the junction of I-85 and I-95, the facility is situated to “ensure that all points east of the Mississippi and from Miami to Maine are two days shipping max,” said Kealy.

This new addition was a definite need for the company because of an increase in sales of more than 25 percent just in 2002. “Although the market has been stagnant, Geith has seen strong demand for a range of heavy-duty excavator buckets, hydraulic easi-clamps and the new AutoLock mechanical thumbs,” Kealy noted. Some of the company’s more popular products include the heavy-duty excavator buckets, hydraulic and mechanical thumbs, tilt buckets and grapples.

He added that the extra production and storage facilities also have enabled Geith to stock more product. “For example, every common backhoe bucket and most common excavator buckets are now kept in stock for same-day shipment, as well as the demolition grapples and mechanical and hydraulic thumbs.”

All of the company’s products are now packaged, tagged and wrapped prior to shipping, “another example of the increase in professionalism that the continued expansion has brought,” Kealy said.

Geith was founded in 1950 by Peter Doggett, producing attACHMEnts from his one-man shop in Dublin, Ireland. Over the years, the company has grown into Great Britain, Europe and the United States, and seen numerous changes. It also has a manufacturing facility in Europe where it has been a market leader for more than 50 years.

In 1997, Brendan English, who 18 years before was hired as the company product engineer, gained control of Geith as part of a management buyout.

Now with approximately 300 employees worldwide and a network of 300 dealers nationwide, the company is right on target offering newer products such as the AutoLock thumb; the variable center, automatic locking manual/hydraulic coupler; the demolition grapple; the concrete crusher and the hydraulic clamp bucket.

Much of the growth in Geith over the past number of years, according to Kealy, can be attributed to a strong sales team, which has its roots in various departments of the company. Padraig Flynn, Geith’s Northeast sales rep, worked as a design engineer in Europe for several years; Ken Wiseman was parts engineer at the Virginia facility for three years prior to take responsibility for the southeast region; Sean O’Reilly, MidAtlantic sales, also worked in the design department for a number of years; and both English and Kealy have worked in service, design parts and sales during the course of their careers with the company and know every aspect of the business.

Most of Geith’s Virginia employees including Andrew Fitzsimons, Missy Mitchell, Ron Hayes, Scott Billyard, Larry Boyd, Ray Perkinson and Lisa Harris have been with the company since it relocated form New York in the early 1990s. “Experience and knowledge of the attachment industry is second nature” with the company, Kealy said.

As the years go by, the company’s philosophy stays the same to “provide long life, innovative and value adding buckets and attachments through a dealer network in an efficient and time-conscious fashion.”

Next up for Geith is to open a sales office in Chicago to service the Great Lakes and Midwest territory as it does already from its current offices in New York and Miami.

The company, which has achieved worldwide ISO9002 Quality assurance certification also is an active member of Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) and the National Association of Demolition Contractors (NADC), as well as a contributor of various sponsorships to local community clubs.

For more information, call 800/762-4090 or visit www.geith.com.