CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Some manufacturers say it's crazy to focus heavily on one market.
But Thombert Inc. doesn't fall into that category. That's exactly what it did decades ago. The company stopped producing a variety of products and turned its full attention to polyurethane forklift tires and wheels.
While others may have scoffed, “slowly but surely we built a solid operation,” said Thombert Chairman Walt Smith, who has been associated with the business since the mid-1960s when he worked part time at the firm's Newton, Iowa, plant while attending high school.
He did the same during his collegiate years and joined Thombert full time after graduating from college.
Since then, he has helped guide the business as it attained steady and continuous growth, especially since the late 1970s-early 1980s when it switched from a being a custom molder and fabricator of products to one that focused strictly on one niche segment of the industry.