The name Hader is perhaps best known for hydraulic component parts for the material handling industry. But it started with shock absorbers and now, more than a half-century later, has subsidiaries with their own specialties.
Jim Hader is president of Hader Inc. and vice president of Hader Industries Inc. His brother Wayne is chief executive officer and president of Hader Industries Inc. Their father, Harvey Hader, started Hader in 1951. But Wayne was there at the inception, and Jim joined the company two years later. "I came into the business as a very young person," Wayne Hader said. He was 18 when the company started, went to college at night and has made it his life's work.
His father, who died in the mid-1960s, had been a vice president for another company, and then founded his own company. "Originally, way back then, it was primarily shock absorbers," Jim Hader said. "Shock absorbers at that time, you could say they were hydraulic."
They let the 50th anniversary go by unmarked. It might be because the company is so ingrained in their lives that a celebration of its importance to them isn't necessary. "We just lived this type of business. We got real interested in it," Jim Hader said.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the company acquired five other companies that became subsidiaries. The creation of three subsidiaries made the company larger and more diverse, Jim Hader said. Hader Industries Inc. formed in 1990 as the holding company for four wholly owned subsidiaries. Hader Inc. supplies the material handling industry with quality remanufactured and manufactured hydraulic component parts, including cylinders, pumps and control valves.
Ram-Pac International manufactures high force hydraulic pumps and complete power packages to drive cylinders, presses and pullers. They are all-steel construction for durability. Among the products are hand and air pumps, single-acting and double-acting cylinders, low profile cylinders, H-frame presses, hydraulic pullers, center-hole cylinders and hydraulic benders and jacks.
Fabri-Tech Inc. provides custom fabrication solutions. Unlike the other companies, which are located in New Berlin, Wisc., Fabri-Tech is located in nearby Brookfield, Wisc.
Hader-Seitz Inc. produces custom-made hydraulic cylinders, piston-type accumulators and rotary-type valves. It is the manufacturer of custom-engineered hydraulic cylinders, valves and accumulators for mobile equipment.The decision to expand and add subsidiaries was not difficult, both Jim and Wayne Hader said. Because the companies specialize in different areas, they each have a separate clientele base. Most customers are in North America, although they have clients worldwide. "We've just grown," Jim Hader said. "Right now with the economy the way it is, it's been slower than normal. Overall, generally we have been busy. Evidently the pricing has to be pretty good," and the service, too, to win and keep customers, he said.
The companies have 150 employees, "and the people working for us do a good job," he said.
Jim Hader is a hands-on company president. "I'm in the office most of the time," he said, and he has direct contact on most contracts. In the beginning, he was hands-on in another way. "I'm not out in the shop any more. I used to be years ago," Hader said. "My first job was probably making some small valves for shock absorbers. I was even making some of them in high school."
But even before that, he had been at the shop, watching what was going on. His own children did that, too. He would take them back to work with him after supper some nights. Now two of his sons are working for the company, and two of his brother's children and a son-in-law also work for Hader. "I guess every father thinks that's nice," Jim Hader said.
With five members of the next generation now working for the company, it will be perpetuated. But "it's a totally different operation" now than the fledgling company it was 50 years ago, Wayne Hader said. The marketplace is so much more diversified now, he said, that it presents new potential and challenges to the next generation.
Over the life of the company, they have weathered other economic ups and downs, although "it's probably worse this time. I would say we hope and anticipate that we will start to get going again and turn around," Jim Hader said. And even in the information age, there will always be a place for manufacturing, he said.
His brother agreed, and said the information age has improved manufacturing through technological improvements to equipment and quicker accounting methods. "But you still have to have a manufacturing base. Without it, what's the information going to do? You still have to have a manufacturing base that keeps all the other services involved," Wayne Hader said.For more information on Hader, visit www.haderinc.com