Fluid Power Journal

Passing the Torch and Core Values

By Gordon Kauffman, CEO Baltimore Hydraulics Inc.

What a difference 50 years makes. For those of you who have been in the business as long as I have, you can probably remember when 2500 PSI was considered high pressure, seals were made of leather, and check valves were the size of your two fists.

I’m a second-generation owner of Baltimore Hydraulics Inc. and currently in the process of passing it to my son Chris. Significant and positive changes have taken place in my time, and I’m confident that they will continue under Chris’s guidance. I’ve seen us go from a company that repaired automotive jacks and air tools to one that builds components and systems, powering some of the country’s most critical operations. In the beginning, all we needed was 1,200 square feet, some basic shop equipment and an assortment of hand tools. Today we are outgrowing a 40,000 square foot building filled with specialized tools, machinery and test equipment. We’ve gone from manually operated lathes and mills to CNC machines that produce quality parts in half the time, allowing faster service to our customers.

I’m sure we all have stories of how the world has changed in our lifetime, but I can promise you that some basic truths have never changed. These are values that every customer has sought after in my 50 years, and I’m sure are the keys to success in the future.

Quality – Quality comes first. Every decision we make must be weighed against its ability to improve the quality of the products and services we offer.

Integrity – We must do what we say and use our knowledge and experience for the benefit of those who need our products and services.

Relationships – We work on equipment, but we work for and with people. We must be trustworthy and respectful to all individuals with whom we work while earning their trust and respect in return.

Teamwork – We must constantly be building a team of individuals who wish to use their skills and talents for the benefit of the whole. We are to provide the tools and training required to allow each individual the opportunity to increase their contribution and advance their personal well-being.

My father was a man of faith and it came natural for him to operate with these values guiding him through life. Today, Baltimore Hydraulics has adopted these as the core values of our business. They guide every decision we make and consistently reveal the right thing to do in all situations. If you put yourself in your consumers’ shoes, you’ll see that this is precisely what you would want with every purchase you make.

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