An Experienced Team Drives Growth for this Family Business

Norstar Company
Written by Jessica Ferlaino

Norstar Company is a premier truck bed and trailer manufacturing company that sells its products across North America. Its two popular brands – Norstar Truck Beds and Ironbull Trailers – are sold at three hundred to four hundred independent dealers.
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Norstar was founded in 2012 by four hardworking brothers who held over sixty-five years of combined manufacturing experience and work incredibly well as a team. The Harms brothers’ objective of rapid business growth was soon achieved, and the company started to make investments in state-of-the-art equipment to become more competitive. Its manufacturing facility in Texas began development from ground zero about five years ago, and the facility alone has since expanded to cover almost ten acres under one roof.

The dedicated owners of Norstar have appreciable leadership skills and a wealth of industry experience that make them capable of management roles while also working in the field, which is inspirational to employees. There are over one hundred and fifty people at Norstar, that all help to create a very energetic and positive atmosphere. “It’s a lot of fun,” says Business Development Manager Trent Fendley. “We have come a long way in a very short amount of time and have appeared on the radar in almost every major marketplace now.”

The company believes that it is among the best in the industry with many experienced professionals on its team. When hiring, management takes into consideration if an individual fits the company’s culture and exhibits the right energy, in addition to the necessary level of skill to be successful. “Leadership sets the tone for everything that is carried forth in the company,” says Trent. “We have a great leadership team here, and we have a charismatic ownership that is able to achieve goals that others would not think possible.” For example, the speed at which the company grew in only five years is unimaginable for some, but Norstar was prepared for it.

The production numbers that can be achieved at its facility now are exponentially higher than when it started, and the company is extremely proud of its achievement. It broke into the Top 25 Trailer Manufacturers nationwide in the first two years alone. On the truck bed side, the popularity of the Norstar Truck Beds has been phenomenal, as customers appreciate the quality of the product and the visual appeal of the beds.

The new, more advanced facility has innovative construction techniques. “One of the exciting things that come with being a new company is the new equipment and the new technology. With our growth curve as it is, we are continuously adding new technology as well,” says Trent. Experiencing and implementing the ever-changing technology in the industry is inspiring for the many of the professionals here.

The truck bed and trailer industry is very competitive, and the company is quite thrilled with its ability to sustain its level of growth. Norstar is pleased to be continually bringing new ideas to the industry and understands this is a major contributor to its success. “I think a little competition is healthy for every industry,” says Trent “It pushes us all to continuously reach for that next level.”

The incredible dealership network that Norstar partners with and its experienced, professional staff are major factors that attribute to its success. The company works with some of the biggest and best truck bed and trailer dealers in the industry. It also aids in bringing new dealers to the industry and regularly joins with new dealerships that are having difficulty using other brands.

The dealers of Norstar Truck Beds and Ironbull Trailers understand that they are representing high-quality, heavy-duty commercial grade products that will have an extended service life, and Norstar is proud that its dealers are receiving great value for the investment. “Every dealer that we have partnered with has been pleased with the product they are receiving. They often tell us that customers can see the difference in the brand and that the trailers and truck beds will almost sell themselves without having to point out the differences,” says Trent.

Impressively, Norstar has been able to join in the industry and make an immense difference in a short time, having a monumental impact on customers and dealers alike. “We have an organization with staff from top to bottom of people that truly want this company to be a success and understand that, without the exceptional customer service, we would not be able to become as successful as we want, as quickly as we want,” says Trent. The employees at the company are able to treat every day as a new opportunity to improve.

The entire staff has a passion to provide the best service possible, whether that is the end user or the dealership. The company has experienced growing pains that have motivated it to learn how to solve problems and improve its product rapidly; it is continuously in a state of evolution. Given the substantial experience of the professionals who work at Norstar, there is usually far less time put toward trial and error processes than in other new organizations.

Personnel solve problems by collaborating towards one ultimate goal. “It makes the explosive growth that we’ve been a part of thus far less challenging to accomplish when everyone is focused on one goal, and everyone happily participates in completing that goal,” says Trent.

One of Norstar’s most recognizable trailer products is its dump trailer and its SD truck bed that offers vast tool storage and versatility. However, the company is always looking to improve its products and services. A recent addition has been made to its trailers; higher gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) availability of trailers now allows for higher weight capacities and even bigger cargo.

Norstar also offers dump truck bodies and it also has a solid trailer product for dump trucks called a pup trailer that has been well received in the industry. “We have a multitude of product lines; we are not a one-trick pony. This allows us to bring in aspects from other product lines representing different industries and merge the two, creating improvements across the board,” says Trent. The diverse product lines allow the company to recognize the best performance aspects of its products, which gives Norstar another competitive edge in its industry.

Norstar is also bringing new trailer designs to the market that will be available this September at the North American Trailer Dealers Association (NATDA) show in Indianapolis. “We will have some new trailer designs that will bring another unique aspect to the industry, and I think we will also be able to bring our product group to new markets,” says Trent.

One of the future products of Norstar is aluminum. The company is currently building prototypes for both trailers and truck beds and will begin the testing phase soon. The transition to aluminum will help with diversification into new markets and the company hopes to have aluminum products at NATDA this year. There are many benefits to working with aluminum and Norstar is already preparing for its future ventures and next generation products.

The truck bed and trailer industry is growing rapidly, and Norstar plans to maintain its competitiveness in the future. The family owned and operated company will remain distinguished by its dedicated employees and high-quality products.

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