W hat started as a collaboration between two students on a class assignment to develop a product and pitch it for investment has turned into a business that has a reputation for innovation and being a leader in the aftermarket truck accessory industry. Ethan Wendle was a junior and Matt Chverchko a senior at Penn State University when they came up with the idea for a high-quality, load-bearing truck cover in a classroom. That project has come a long way from a two-man garage start up what is known today as Diamondback Truck Covers which occupies a 38,000-square-foot plant in Philipsburg, PA. When we revisited our conversation with Ethan Wendle president and CEO of Diamondback Truck Covers the company’s 16-year journey in this month’s issue of Spotlight on Business Magazine. DIAMONDBACK TRUCK COVERS — Built for Real Life by David MacDonald
Ethan, we spent some time looking at your company’s social media accounts and your customers put real thought and time into their posts about Diamondback’s products at work, and I think that says a lot about what you do and the products you sell. More than 70 percent of our business is direct to customers and part of our mission statement is to have customers who love to buy from us. We believe that takes more than just providing a great product. We want the entire experience a customer has, from when they encounter our website to when they open the box with their product, to be clear, easy and give them peace of mind in what they are purchasing. Additionally, if they ever do have a problem with one of our covers, we don’t want their service experience to reflect the same – I think we all know what that feels like. We hope to develop lifelong relationships with our customers and that all starts with the very first experience. We provide a great customer service experience by hiring employees who really care about our customers and aren’t motivated to minimize costs when servicing them. The goal of our customer service department isn’t to save money at all turns; it’s to make the customer happy. The old adage is true, you can’t please everyone, and we still have
“We hope to develop lifelong relationships with our customers and that all starts with the very first experience.” What’s your background with motorsports, the outdoors, and truck culture, Ethan? I think your customers see themselves in you and your staff. Me and my co-founder Matt Chverchko are outdoorsmen however, Matt is what I would describe as obsessed with hunting and all things outside. We’re not necessarily from a ‘truck culture’ as many people might imagine – I mean guys who love big tires, lift kits and do ‘trick out’ their trucks. We have things to do: hunting, fishing, working, riding, etc., and we see our trucks and our covers as tools to help us be ready for anything. DiamondBack truck covers aren’t designed for looks – although most customers love the look. They are designed to lock your stuff more securely than any other cover and then be used to haul or carry anything a customer needs or wants. That’s what we wanted for our own use and that’s what we designed. customers that are unhappy from time to time. But we aim to fix any mistakes and ensure they love what they bought.
SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE • OCTOBER 2019
75 OCTOBER 2019 • SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE
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