What I learned at Hussey University

Hussey Seating Company


We don’t often do a blog post that is mainly commentary, but today I thought we would try something different.

I like to be inspired. Uplifted. Refreshed. Once in a while, it’s necessary for us all to refuel a bit. Walking through the doors at Hussey Seating Company, within the first 20 minutes, I could see the pride and passion that exuded from the employees. The positive energy was contagious.

I could go through all the products and pitches I heard, but all of that you can find online and in some of our other posts. It’s what I saw and what I felt that I want to share with you. You know, the good stuff. I’ve known for a while that this is a great company to represent as I model my marketing strategy from their example and understand the quality of the product and services.

So, here goes:

In 1835, William Hussey founded The Hussey Plow Company, and through the years, they have modeled their company based on the need of end user. They’ve gone from plow to fire escapes, ski lifts and then onto seating in 1931. They are now in their sixth generation of Hussey family employees, with the seventh generation joining them for summer work that ranges from in the office to in the factory. How does a family business stay intact for six generations? They listen to their customers. They identify the solution to the need, sometimes before the need is even realized by the end user. Its innovation at its finest. They are always one step ahead of the game, it’s no surprise they hold a premiere position in the marketplace.  They have a great tribute to the company history in their building, but you can see an online version here.

Would you rather Lean forward to engage or lean back to recline? Yes, this is a question to ask when you’re in the design phase for fixed seating, but it’s also a good analogy for how the process can be handled. There’s one sure fire way to become the best of the best and that is to listen. Not just hear, but listen to what the need is and most of the time, it won’t be said out right, but you’ll have to listen between the lines so to speak – you have to lean forward.

For instance, there was a bleacher demonstration at Newton North High School in Newton, MA. They talked with the athletic director who made a big deal (all in good fun) about getting down on the floor with his two bad knees to plug in his pendant controller for his Maxam bleacher. Three months later, Hussey Seating Company came back and presented him with a wireless remote. They saw the need, created a solution. Sometimes the solution isn’t black and white, it’s innovative with color and contrast. The majority of the time, you can find an “in the box” solution but every now and then you have to step outside and innovate.

Your partner for seating solutions. It’s not just a tagline, but a way of business. You can see this in the interdepartmental work and collaboration among Hussey Seating Company employees. To me, the relationship among employees across all levels speaks volumes of what a company stands for. Aristotle said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” The business model and philosophy behind Hussey Seating Company engages its employees and recognizes that every person is vital to the success. Among the dealer representatives that attended Hussey University were several employees representing various departments. They sat in on our classes and expanded their knowledge outside of their department. Being transparent and showing how what you do produces the end result – drives home that you are part of the solution. From president to factory to dealer to installer and within our relationship with the end user – we are all partners in providing the solution.

But it doesn’t stop there, parts that make up the whole also include the dealer network Hussey Seating has put together internationally. Just speaking for the U.S., there are dealer representatives in every state that have become the voice of Hussey Seating Company. We are a collective network coming together, leveraging our resources to find the absolute best solution for you. The dealer network gives you the benefit of working with a local firm while getting the perks of an international business where a warranty is backed by 180 years of thriving business.

Perhaps what I acknowledge the most of my visit is how much Farnham Equipment Company reflects this same model. Not all our solutions here are seating specific of course, but we provide a turn-key solution for your project from pre-planning and install to maintenance and warranty, and we couldn’t do that without all the cogs in the machine and it’s easy to see how much everyone in the process is appreciated just by taking a look at the longevity of many of our employees from office to installers as well as the number of people that have recruited their family members to join the company. Here at Farnham Equipment Company, we are your solution.

I took full advantage of my time in North Berwick, Maine to talk services, marketing, products, and strategy, bouncing back ideas and asking questions. I did in fact, leave inspired, uplifted and refreshed. I had the great pleasure of sitting across from Tim Hussey, President and CEO, at dinner one evening. He is perhaps one of the most down to earth and inspiring people I’ve met and it’s worth mentioning that he was also named one of the 50 People, The Bold Visionaries Defining Our State in the July 2015 Maine magazine.

We’re going to have lots of good stuff coming up for you this summer into fall including a Hussey Case Study on one of our projects here in Ohio where you’ll get to see the process from start to finish and see first-hand what it means to be Your Partner for Seating Solutions.

And because I had showroom envy and because Maine is absolutely beautiful, check out some photos from my visit below, including a few from our factory tour.

Stay tuned…

Kami Wernimont
Business & Marketing | Farnham Equipment Company