Staying Power

Lisle's loyalty to their industry partners and hometown community has produced a rare connection to both.

"We're currently paying 80 people royalties, and a growing number of our current offerings are the result of ideas submitted by distributors and end-users," states Jon Bielfeldt. "A big part of that," continues Fred Lisle, "is that we follow-up in supporting the inventors and their ideas. We also get a number of referrals from talking to distributors. An example is our tap socket set, which came from a mobile dealer.

"We'll also flush out concepts that come from mobile distributors asking if we have tools that can perform a specific function. Basically, we work to find the need, and then make the tool," he states. With these systems in place, Lisle's goal is to introduce 20 new professional automotive service tools each year.

Remembering Where You Come From
Part of Lisle's proud heritage and impressive collection of products is a deep sense of appreciation for where their tools are made. The made-in-the U.S.A. label that goes on the tools they manufacture not only sets them apart, but also draws Lisle closer to the tight-nit community of Clarinda.

With a population of just under 6,000, the 250+ jobs that Lisle provides are an integral part of the town's economy, not to mention the satisfaction their employees take in sending tools to all parts of the country with an impressive 98 percent fill ratio in meeting their distributor partner's needs. This stems from an investment in inventory that allows Lisle to fill orders more quickly.

While Lisle does purchase a limited number of tools from the outside in rounding-out some of their lines, 85 percent of their 400+ products are made within the company's 300,000 square feet of manufacturing space.

"I think our business focus has produced a reputation for shipping well, being on-time, producing quality products at a fair price and being easy to do business with. Plus, when problems arise, we work to take care of them, no questions asked," states Bill Lisle.

A big part of this reputation can be attributed to the privately-held, family-owned status of Lisle. "Because we're not a division of some larger company we're able to make decisions based on long-terms goals, not just hitting the next benchmark. This also allows us to react more quickly," states Bielfeldt.

"And because we are family-owned, we're invested at a higher level. We have a personal interest in the success of the business," continues Bill Lisle.

What the Lisle Corporation really embodies is one community taking care of another. By establishing a reputation for high-quality, innovative products and reliable order fulfillment, the owners and employees of this company in a small Iowa town are impacting every facet of the tool and equipment community.

By tapping into their customers, and their customer's customers for tool ideas, and supporting every function of distribution, Lisle stays connected to the marketplace, its mission and its roots.


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