The R.W. Beckett Corporation, a manufacturer of heating components for residential, commercial and industrial uses, this year celebrates its 70th anniversary.
The company has played a role in the history of the U.S., with its products used everywhere from the Statue of Liberty to McMurdo Base in Antarctica.
The firm was founded in the home of Reginald W. Beckett, an electrical engineer, with partner Stanton Fitzgerald in 1937. The entrepreneurial Beckett saw an opportunity to capitalize on new technology as the country moved from hand-stoked coal heat to automatic oil heating devices. He invented the well engineered, easy-to-service Commodore, and this first model became a success, being awarded more than 20 U.S. and Canadian patents.
In the early '50s the firm constructed its current manufacturing headquarters in North Ridgeville, OH. The building was designed by architect Harold Beckett, Reginald's brother. The facility was so well planned that it has been able to be expanded several times into the 165,000 square foot building that today serves more than 200 employees.
The 1960s saw the company carrying on its tradition of innovation with its Model S, a small but high performance product that was again what the market was looking for. In the same decade, Stanton Fitzgerald retired, and Reg's son, John, with a degree in mechanical engineering, entered the family business.
John led the firm after his father's untimely death in 1965, and over the next decade expanded and diversified the company while steering it through crises such as a devastating plant fire in 1965, and a nationwide oil embargo in 1973. In a period of industry consolidation, Beckett emerged as one of the few remaining independent manufacturers in the oil heating industry.
Growth Through Innovation
In the early 1970s, Beckett introduced the Model A flame retention burner, and supported its product lines with a strong commitment to service and support. These steps helped Beckett grow dramatically, benefiting ownership, employees, customers and the local community alike.
Part of this growth came through the formation of subsidiaries such as Beckett Gas, a manufacturer of gas combustion components, and Beckett Air, formed with Beckett's acquisition of Ventra, a small blower wheel company. Beckett Air makes assembly-ready single and double fergas blower wheels and many other blower products as well as providing airflow performance and engineering services.
Beckett's leadership role can be seen not only in its product advances but also in its service to the industry, as it offers both innovative training programs for installer and service personnel and technical support for all levels of the distribution chain. The company has committed to state-of-the-art management and information systems to help service its customers and manage its own business efficiently.
Products for the 21st Century
R.W. Beckett currently manufactures residential oil burners for boilers, hot water tanks and furnaces and commercial oil and gas burners for boilers, furnaces and specialty applications. Its future plans include taking full advantage of the latest technologies in order to meet industry needs for fuel efficiency. Among the company's most recent innovations are the Beckett NX burner and the marketing of the HeatManager, a boiler control proven to reduce fuel consumption by 10-20%.
The hallmark of the company's 70th year is its entry into the electronics control industry with its introduction of the GeniSys electronic control. The new control was designed with an emphasis on ease of use, enhanced diagnostics and programmability.
Commitment to Values, Employees, Community.
In addition to technological and service innovation, R.W. Beckett is known for adhering to the highest ethical and moral standards, through its commitment to biblical values, while staying close to customers and suppliers.
The firm maintains a steady workforce in an area where manufacturing layoffs are common and in an industry with cyclical seasonal demand. The current Beckett workforce shows 2,394 total years of service, an average of 13 years of service per employee. In fact, the company's latest retiree worked for the company for over 56 years. In addition, a fitness center and a focus on employee education have earned Beckett Cleveland's "Employer of the Year" award from the Employers Resource Council.
The firm is also known for its community outreach efforts, often in response to the leadership of employees. There is also a strong emphasis on the integration of faith and work, a topic covered in John Beckett's book, Loving Monday.
The next generation of Beckett leadership, John's sons Kevin and Jonathan, is now bringing the company into a new millennium of quiet, clean and efficient heating products. Kevin currently serves as president and CEO, and Jonathan as director of sales and marketing.
For more information, visit www.beckettcorp.com or call 800/645-2876.