Behind the Business Q&A: Lift-Tech

The Driving Force Behind Family-Owned Lift-Tech of Valencia, California
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The Driving Force Behind Family-Owned Lift-Tech of Valencia, California

Lift-Tech's FawkesLift-Tech is in its eighth year of manufacturing and selling motorized lifting devices designed for high-end audio/video installations. The company manufactures both standard and custom units to order in its facility in Valencia, California. Although the family owned and operated business offers approximately 25 different styles of lifts, its solutions for concealing plasma televisions and projectors are the most requested. Lift-Techs co-owner and vice president, Chris Fawkes, recently responded to our questions about the inner workings of his business.

If you had to point to one factor driving your business, what would it be right now?
I believe that the primary factor driving our business is the increasing popularity of plasma televisions. We provide a unique solution to the question of where to mount the plasma television. Whether it is for the wow factor or simply to maintain the design integrity of a room when the TV is not being viewed, increased plasma sales have resulted in the demand for more lifts.

In assessing your competitive landscape, what sets Lift-Tech?
A few key factors have truly set us apart from the competition:
1. Our goal and commitment is to deliver top-quality lift systems that will delight our customers. This is accomplished through our choice of materials, continuous communication with our on-site production staff, and our rigorous 30-point inspection program.

2. Our unwavering commitment to customer service. When a customer calls Lift-Tech, the phone is answered by a knowledgeable person, rather than having to navigate through an automated system. Whether the call is to discuss a new project or to ask for assistance with an existing installation.

3. We conduct ourselves with the utmost integrity and honesty.

How are you able to create standard product designs, avoiding unprofitable one offs?
Due to the custom nature of our product, we do not stock standard units. We specialize in modifying standard designs into custom sizes while taking television sizing and space constraints into consideration. Each lift is tailored for the specific project within two weeks of order. Even though our lifts are fabricated one at a time, we are able to offer extremely competitive pricing. This is because we rely on word of mouth among our customers as opposed to costly advertising.

How do the products that you manufacture for the residential channel differ (if at all) from what you may supply the marine or commercial building market?
All of our lifts are manufactured to the same rigorous standards whether the unit is intended for a commercial or residential application. The only product designed specifically for commercial use is an up/down lift with a manual swivel. The manual swivel allows viewing from multiple locations in an application such as a hotel room without the risk of damage from a guest.

Whats the most important thing youd like custom integrators to understand about working with you on a project?
The most important thing to understand is that each lift is built to order. Therefore, we need the dimensions of whatever item is going to be lifted. Once dimensions are provided, we can provide a written quotation and dimensioned drawing within an hour. Should a customer decide to order, we can fabricate a lift within two weeks of order and receipt of payment. We accept credit card or company check for domestic sales. For international sales, we accept credit card or wire transfer. Once the order is placed, we follow up with an order confirmation. The day after shipment, we send a shipping confirmation with tracking information.

What trends is Lift-Tech responding to with its new product plans?
In addition to continuous incremental product improvements, we are responding to opportunities resulting from the increased popularity of home projectors, wireless high-definition television, and advanced control systems.

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