Prime USA Scales is expanding its product line and web presence. One of the company’s newest products is the Hercules truck scale.
Even though Prime USA Scales has been in business for only a handful of years, producing high-quality scales has been in the Herrmann family for multiple generations. CEO Fred “Fritz” Herrmann III grew up in the scale manufacturing industry. His father, Fred Herrmann Jr., owns the Indiana Scale Co., also known as INSCALE, in Terre Haute, Indiana. In 2010, Herrmann Jr. started his own scale company with his son, Senior Sales Manager Fred Herrmann IV.
“Scales are basically in our blood,” the youngest Herrmann explains. “My grandfather had eight kids, and they were all working at his scale company at some point. After my father and I started [Prime USA Scales], I began talking to other people in the scale industry and they were familiar with the Herrmann name. So it’s been nice to have some familiarity in the industry.”
Familiarity has its perks, but ultimately it was a reputation for quality that earned the San Diego-based company industry respect. Its product line covers the gamut from food preparation and physicians’ scales to heavy-duty industrial scales used to weigh aircraft, tanks, semi-trucks, shipping crates, farm equipment, cattle – or any other material that weighs thousands of pounds. “Scales are used in almost any industry, which is great for us,” Herrmann IV notes.
One of Prime USA Scales’ newest products is the Hercules truck scale, which launched in November 2014. “We just received our NTEP license to sell them to our customers across the country whereas before we had to sell truck scales [made by our competitors], so this was a big deal for us,” he says. “We have a lot of different products coming out this year, and we’re also going to start offering packaging solutions for big shipping companies that want to automate that part of their business.”
Prime USA Scales caters to clients from coast to coast and all across North America. It boasts the largest scale service fleet in the country, serving more than 75 major cities throughout the United States with quick and reliable calibration and repair services. “Scales need calibrations about once a year to ensure accuracy,” Herrmann explains. “So we’ll come back to the site, check the scale, perform the calibration procedure and make sure it’s [in good working condition].”
Scaling Up its Business
Thanks to an endless customer pool and a diverse product line, sales at Prime USA Scales have boomed. The company intends to scale up its business, starting with an overhaul of its website so it can reach a broader demographic.
“Everything’s gone to the Internet these days,” Herrmann muses. “We’re actually rebuilding our website to where we can be more of an online business and focus on consumers who want to purchase product online instead of locally. We think it will do well and help us grow our business.”
The new website should help the company expand its dealer network, he adds.
“We’re pursuing other scale companies to carry our line of products so they can sell them to their customers as well,” Herrmann says. “They’ll be able to log in, see our scale availability and have it shipped out to them quickly because if there’s anything that sets us apart, it would be our speed. When a customer needs a scale quickly, we are able to act fast and get the job done.”
The fact that Prime USA Scales products are made in the USA is a competitive advantage in and of itself, he says.
“There aren’t too many companies that offer American-made scales in the U.S.,” Herrmann remarks. “The Chinese dominate the scale market and have driven down the price of scales. Margins are a lot tighter than they were five years ago. The way we’ve adjusted to this is by simply letting our customers know that we have an American-built product, and it’s up to them to decide whether price or quality is more important. They can make the decision that works best for them.”
American-made scales stand apart from foreign-produced scales because U.S. scale manufacturers must adhere to stringent industry regulations and meet higher quality standards set forth by the federal government. Despite having a higher upfront cost, they’ll ultimately pay for themselves, according to Herrmann. “In order to get these licenses for all of these different types of scales, you have to adhere to a certain standard of NTEP approval,” he explains. “So an American-made scale will hold up a lot better in the long run. At the maximum, the warranty on a scale can be up to five years.”
Prime USA Scales’ commitment to quality and customer service will bode well as the company progresses further into the digital age. In five years, Herrmann predicts the company will have a considerably larger dealer network and a stronger national presence, thanks to its soon-to-be new and improved website.
“I also think we’re going to do very well in the trucking industry in particular because we now have our owsn brand of truck scale,” he adds.