Campbell Fittings has been a production machine shop since the early 1900’s. From around 1905 and well into the 1960’s Campbell manufactured threaded pipe nipples. In the early 60’s the company turned its interest and product focus to fittings and accessories for the water-well industry. Specifically, metal “insert” fittings (which are threaded on one end and barbed on the other for connecting plastic pipe for water well systems) became a major part of the product line.
Insert fittings look like combination nipples and thus attracted the attention of fittings companies in the industrial hose markets. Campbell began making combination nipples for companies like Lehi-Andrews, Dixon, PT, Band-It and others from the 1960’s into the 1980’s. After the recession of the early 80’s, the company turned its sights on expanding the hose fitting line and selling directly to distributors instead of exclusively through other manufacturers.
From that point in the 1980’s, Campbell’s goal was to always make a product that offers superior design features and benefits while maintaining an efficient means of production in order to sell those products at competitive pricing.
Campbell’s influence in the hose industry has been significant and as such, has many industry “firsts”. Campbell was the first and only company to manufacture a hand-tight, leak-free ground joint coupling connected by the u-bolt clamp. We were the first coupling manufacturer to establish a working relationship with a major hose manufacturer. The purpose of which is to enhance safety through collaborative efforts. Crimpnology, another first, brought a niche market segment of crimping ferrules onto industrial hoses to the masses and changed forever how hose systems are built and sold.
We asked Tom Paff, President of Campbell Fittings, a couple of questions:
What do you like best or enjoy most about the industry?
I always believed selling a better product at a competitive price is a much better way to build a company than selling me-too products at cheaper prices. Selling a superior product is also much more fun than selling me-too products. There is nothing I enjoy more than to be in front of an end-user, discussing my products and how they improve safety and lower maintenance costs with one of our authorized distributors. In fact, I do not recall a time when given the chance to explain our features and benefits, that we did not win the business for our customer. Winning is fun and we’ve done a lot of winning over the years.
How has IDCO helped improve business?
IDCO has been a large part of Campbell’s marketing focus for many years. IDCO maintains a membership of talented and influential distributors that match Campbell’s distributor customer profile. Innovative products need to be sold by talented and innovative distributors. And IDCO has that type of distributor sales force.
My favorite thing about being an IDCO supplier is meeting and working with the people I described above. As mentioned, winning new business is fun. Working with winners is part of that fun.
On June 8th, of this year, Campbell was sold to Ideal-Tridon. This opens up entirely new opportunities for Campbell going forward. Ideal was impressed with Campbell’s position in the market, our intent on making quality products and our strong distributor customer base. Ideal’s intentions are to continue to enhance our manufacturing capabilities while at the same time look for acquisition opportunities. As much as building a company organically with new products has been fun, purchasing strategically important companies – especially companies where we can improve their product lines by more efficient manufacturing or design enhancements – provides great opportunities to position Campbell for the future.
Our future is bright, and I am excited to continue to be a part of it.