Mel Fireovid got his start in the rigging industry in the early 1970s as a sales rep for the Crosby Group, where he met his future wife, Pat. In 1981, he left Crosby to found Kentuckiana Wire Rope & Supply (KWR) in Jeffersonville, Indiana. In those early years, Mel grew the business by making sales calls by day and fabricating slings by night. Bob Sample, a former Jeffboat employee, was a welcomed first employee. Within two years, Mel and Bob were joined by Mel’s partner Ed Elliot, also a Crosby Alumni. As new team members came on board, the business took off.
By 1989, Mel saw an opportunity to enter the Cincinnati market and opened Tri-State Wire Rope (TSWR), where his son John often worked after school. Dave Stafford and Tony Baker soon became the backbone of the company. TSWR continued to grow, and in 2010, opened a location in Dayton to serve customers further north.
In 2016, Fulcrum Lifting™ was formed as a parent company for both KWR & TSWR. Same teams, fresh approach.
Today, as Fulcrum Lifting™, business is going strong, despite Ed’s death in 1997 and Mel’s in 2012. John Fireovid is now President, carrying on his father’s legacy of growing the business through hard work and strong customer relationships. Pat continues to work in the front office, and the close-knit staff includes several longtime employees.
Over the years, one thing hasn’t changed. With its team of expert employees, the organization continues to be known for exceptional attention to customers’ needs, and a commitment to doing whatever it takes to solve their biggest challenges – and meet the toughest deadlines.
In the past couple of years, the company’s had the good fortune of growth with their small business. This, coupled with some retirements and subsequent promotions, exposed a hole in the company’s processes. Although there weren’t any major quality issues or procedural failures, KWR felt their quality management system needed a second look.
KWR networked to locate the Purdue MEP program, and eventually decided to implement the ISO 9001 process with their partnership. This program has established a workable solution to meet the ultimate goals of customer satisfaction and improvement.
The company now has established metrics and goals, which monitor customer satisfaction & quality.
“As a small company with limited resources, ISO implementation seemed too costly an endeavor to undertake as there was not a specific market driven reason for us to have done so. However, we were assured that working with the Purdue team we’d efficiently and effectively develop our quality system around the ISO parameters. With minimal knowledge of the ISO process, however experts in our craft, we partnered with Purdue to realize these benefits and we are a better company for this.”
-John Fireovid, President, Fulcrum Lifting