Heidts has been in the business of designing and manufacturing front and rear suspension and drivetrain components for street rods and musclecars for several decades. Founder Gary Heidt started the company by working out of his 700 square foot garage.
The enormous success of Heidts products over the years led to their eventual purchase by Wallace Leyshon, and the move to their current home; a massive 50,000 square foot facility in Lake Zurich, IL. This move has led to Heidts being able to design, test, and manufacture all of their products under one roof. Having full control over the entire process speeds up the production process while simultaneously increasing quality control.
After the move to their new facility was finalized and the crew was settled in, Heidts produced the video above, giving their clients, fans, and the general public an inside look at their skilled team and high tech equipment.
Jim Shaw, Heidts senior mechanical engineer, breaks down how a typical product makes its way through the shop. It starts with Heidts six engineers. Three of them are stationed in the office and are responsible for the rough design, CAD work, development, stress analysis, and tech support.
The other three engineers can be found out in the shop working alongside the fabricators and machinists in a more hands-on position and are responsible for many of the same tasks as the engineers in the office; as well as prototype parts development, product inspections, and in house and track side testing.
Sales Associate Or Technical Genius?
Mark Olandese and Brian Ludwin, Heidts assistant sales manager and technical sales associate respectively, explain why their approach to serving their customers sets them apart. Their sales team is able to assist with anything from small catalog parts to some of the most complicated custom requests.
It starts with how they answer the call, every request is approached exactly the same way whether the customer is spending $0.25 or $20,000. Their team will spend as much time on the phone with each customer as necessary to guarantee they’re left with no unanswered questions and have a full understanding of each part.
If they’re unsure of a parts fitment for a custom project or if a catalog part will work on special application, the engineers who designed the parts are conveniently right down the hall to assist them. In Heidts eyes, the fewer modifications the customer has to make for their products to work the better.
Putting It All Together
Heidts prides itself on industry leading skills and training of their fabricators and machinists. Various parts of the fabrication process are all broken into separate departments, even down to MIG and TIG welding. When a new employee is hired as a welder, they go through a training period that displays the fabrication and finished product quality they require to have a successful career with them.
Nothing is automated at Heidts facility, every part is fabricated by hand because quality means everything to their welders. They have their own standards and believe welding truly is a lost art that they want to revive in this industry.
Getting It To Your Door
After the part has made its way through sales, engineering, manufacturing, and quality inspection; it’s finally ready to make its way over the the shipping and receiving department and directly to you. Since almost every part is built in-house, Heidts goal is to have every order built, inspected and shipped within 24 hours.
Heidts newest facility is top notch and sets the bar for the industry in product quality and customer support.