Transhield knows not to fear setbacks and hardship. Instead, the company has learned from bumps in the road and made sure perseverance is ingrained into the fabric of its operation. When the recession hit in 2008, Transhield went through some tough times. Its leaders found any way they could just to keep going, including working with the lights off. The company’s leadership, rather than making personnel cuts, lowered their own salaries. The future of Transhield seemed perilous, but the company was no stranger to struggle. They put their heads down and worked harder than ever, heading toward what they hoped was a bright future.
From the beginning, carving out a place in the American business landscape was difficult. In 1994, a man in Elkhart, Indiana, Greg Todt, decided to shake up what everyone believed to be an established industry: shrink wrap films and traditional covers. While previous companies had wrapped boats in two different materials, Todt decided to combine the materials into one substrate, and thus, Shrinkable Fabric™ and the method to protect were patented in 1994.
What Todt invented was a shrinkable plastic exterior layer and a soft, nonwoven interior layer designed to wick moisture away. Even highly sensitive automotive finishes were protected with the fabric, as well as decals, paint or gel coating. Despite this revolutionary product, Todt and the rest of Transhield knew they were facing an uphill battle.
The company fought hard to establish itself, and two years later secured a contract with Cobia Boats. Soon after, Larson Glastron became a customer and then, seeing its covers at a trade show, Sea Ray gave the young business a call. Through perseverance, this small company from Elkhart did what many believed was impossible. They made a name for themselves in an industry where no one thought they could succeed in the first place.
When the economy started to show signs of a downturn in 2008, company leadership with Jim Glick and Matt Peat at the helm, decided it was time to diversify. While Jim worked on strategies to reduce costs, Matt worked on ways to expand Transhield’s market. The industrial segment seemed the place to be. As heavy machinery , locomotives and other large industrial components were being taken out of commission, proper storage for recommission was imperative. Matt introduced Transhield into this market.
The military market was the next challenge. A competitor already controlled a majority of the market share, but the developers and designers at Transhield once again created a product they believed in, ArmorDillo™. After seeing the deterioration caused by harsh conditions, Transhield developed a material with a soft, moisture-wicking, corrosion fighting interior but with a durable and water-resistant, non-shrinking exterior that could withstand extreme environments, from sweltering deserts to the frozen tundra. While they still have stiff competition today, Transhield now supplies covers to every branch of the military.
With these amazing successes at their backs, the team working in the dark in 2008 knew there was a brighter future ahead. Their past had instilled in them the belief that, when times are tough, you put your head down and press forward, learning from your setbacks and using that knowledge to your advantage.
And now, eight years later, the company is stronger than ever. It owns 12 international patents, offers 8 different fabrics, and the 41 employees in Elkhart are constantly designing specialty covers for clients, researching potential new products, and making strong connections with future customers and business partners. Between its two factories, Transhield produced over 155,000 covers last year. It’s safe to say the setbacks the company has experienced over the years have only served to propel them forward. After twenty years, Transhield is still at the beginning of its journey. Everyone on the team continues to work hard to engineer advanced solutions while maintaining close ties with their customers. For cover designs tailored to your exact needs, visit transhield-usa.com.