Through strong marketing, Campbell Hausfeld has built an impressive business for its line of air-powered compressors and tools, according to David Gill.
From patented corn drills to air tools…this has been the journey that Campbell Hausfeld has been taking for more than 160 years. Founded in Harrison, Ohio, where the company still has its headquarters today, this division is the largest in The Campbell Group, which is itself a division of Cleveland-based Scott Fetzer — and which, in turn, is part of the high-powered Berkshire Hathaway investment group. Indeed, Campbell Hausfeld has grown from being a maker of an obscure product deep in the early history of U.S. manufacturing to a full-fledged consumer products manufacturer, with an impressive list of retail customers and a fully operational e-commerce function. And the company has accomplished this move to the top all through the power of air.
Campbell Hausfeld is the leading manufacturer of air compressors for both commercial and consumer use. Its product line also includes air tools, air nailers, generators, painting systems, pressure washers, and welders. These products are all made at Campbell Hausfeld’s manufacturing facilities at its Harrison headquarters and in Litchfield, Ky., and Mount Juliet, Tenn. Its total workforce numbers 1,600. The company also distributes air tools, which it imports and engineers at its manufacturing facilities.
Powering the Industry
On the commercial side, Campbell Hausfeld markets its products based on power — the power of their versatility and their economy. Regarding the former, the company states, “You can run an amazing variety of power tools using a single Campbell Hausfeld compressor. Everything from sandblasters and spray guns to drills and die grinders can be attached or removed from your compressor in a matter of seconds. Campbell Hausfeld also offers more than 70 air tools.”
Keying in on the cost savings from these products, the company adds, “Compared to electric power tools, Campbell Hausfeld air tools save you both time and money. The initial cost of an air tool is significantly lower than its electrically powered counterpart, and the average life is longer. Air tools also deliver more torque and higher revolutions per minute than electric tools, helping you complete your jobs more quickly and effectively.”
But the company doesn’t confine its marketing of air compressors to their practicality and low cost; it has created product lines of air tools differentiated by their specific end use. For example, Campbell Hausfeld’s Standard Duty line of compressors is for occasional home use, is designed to last for about 1,000 hours of use and produces only moderate level noise. The Serious Duty line is for frequent use on the farm, automotive garage or job site; they are relatively quiet and provide up to 2,000 hours of operation. Extreme Duty compressors are the company’s top-of-the-line program for daily use in industrial areas, automotive garages and professional work sites. The Extreme Duty line ranges from 2,000 to 3,000 hours of use and operates at quiet to very quiet noise levels.
When it comes to the air tools line, Campbell Hausfeld stresses versatility. The company offers more than 70 different air tools, including impact wrenches, ratchets, die grinders, drills, sanders and spray guns. But Campbell Hausfeld does more than simply offer a huge line: It actually links these tools to its compressor line; the Standard Duty, Serious Duty and Extreme Duty product names also appear on the air tools, creating a sort of mix-and-match opportunity for the company’s customers. “All Campbell Hausfeld air tools include an air requirement rating. As long as the air delivery rate of your compressor exceeds the air requirement of your tools, you’ll get proper performance from them,” the company advises.
All in the Family
That same everything-in-one-package approach can be seen in Campbell Hausfeld’s paint equipment line, the Easy Spray family of painting accessories. Other parts of its paint equipment line are translucent and metal paint canisters and lids, giving the possibility of multicolor painting effects along with the convenience of easy storage; heavy-duty air hoses in 15- and 25-foot lengths; disposable paint canister liners; reusable paint strainers; painting tools such as a cleaning brush, viscocity stick, wrench, reusable paint strainer cones and extra needles/nozzles for spraying light materials; a multipurpose carrying case; and a flexible metal paint shield. As part of Campbell Hausfeld’s commitment to help the consumer do the project right, all of this comes with a demonstration video, which illustrates decorative painting techniques as well as basic setup steps and tips on using and cleaning the sprayer.
As this product grouping and other recent product introductions show, Campbell Hausfeld believes that the do-it-yourself market is one of the keys to its future success. Just launched recently is the company’s Portable Two Horsepower Compressor, which is joining its Standard Duty compressor line. This product is designed specifically for the do-it-yourselfer and first-time compressor customer in mind, featuring an oil-less direct-drive pump that requires no maintenance or oil or belt adjustment. The compact design includes a 6-gallon tank that fits easily into a garage or workshop.
In introducing the Portable Two Horsepower Compressor, Campbell Hausfeld Marketing Manager Chuck Shoemaker gave a feel for just how versatile this product is for home use: “At only 49 pounds, it is mobile enough to move around the house, garage, or workshop. We designed this highly portable air compressor to accommodate DIYers and first-time buyers. It’s mobile enough to tackle small projects around the house, and its compact design allows for storage in any basement or garage.
Campbell Hausfeld’s care for the consumer goes beyond its manufacturing. The company also owns and operates a number of service and factory outlets. These offer a unique set of services that includes Xpress one-hour repair service, factory-trained technicians/product specialists, factory-reconditioned products, specialty items and accessories. “Our goal,” says the company, “is to provide our customers with superior service, product knowledge and product offering at competitive prices. Each factory outlet stocks over 700 of the most common parts, which allows us to offer our Xpress one-hour service on virtually any repair.” The company currently has factory outlets located in Atlanta, Orlando and Dallas.