Dayton-area company surpasses 60% sales growth for 2023

GKS Group posing for photo

The small but mighty sales team at GKS Lifting and Moving Solutions, made up of Florian Hemmann, Folker Hemmann, Maranda Camden and Don Hutchinson, surpassed a 60% growth in sales in 2023. Knocking the 20% growth goal out of the park came from an abstract approach that has served the team well.


Even though Maranda Camden’s work revolves around selling products to fill a need for construction contractors, riggers and manufacturers, she doesn’t consider it transactional.

“We are very much a partner, we’re a solution provider. Relationship building is so important for long-term partnerships with our customers and distributors,” Camden said.

Maranda Camden

Camden, national business development manager for GKS Lifting and Moving Solutions in Springfield, is one of five members of a small but mighty team that covers North, Central and South America. With a combination of strategic planning and focusing hard on both manufacturing and construction industries, the company is finishing off the year with more than a 60% growth in sales from last year.

The secret to this success is the abstract and intentional approach to relationship and rapport building with customers. The company offers multi-ton lifting and moving solutions with commercial and industrial applications, but the service to customers doesn’t stop at the sale. Customers are trained by GKS staff on how to use the equipment and provide solutions to problems that they might encounter. The team, more often than not, is traveling around the country to meet customers at their base of operations and conduct product demonstrations.

Having an intentional and layered approach has led to fostering long-term relationships and retaining customers, in addition to securing new ones, which has been vital for the company’s sales growth. This approach has helped the company secure and retain customers like Honda, Ford, Fiat, Saab, Caterpillar, Tesla, Space X, Trumpf, Ruger, NASA, Disney, and direct Department of Defense sales to each branch of the military.

Another side of the intentional approach is understanding when they’re not the right solution for the customer and finding the right resource for them.

“Even if it’s outside of our wheelhouse, I’m going to find someone who can help you,” Camden said.

An additional layer to this approach is creating custom solutions for customers, which has driven the company to create a group of fabrication partners in the region to help with the engineering side of this service. Custom platforms, hooks, cradles, or locks can be added to any product system to customize contact points. While the products are manufactured in Germany, the customizations are crafted right here in the Dayton region.

Another contributing factor in GKS’ growth is the boom the manufacturing industry is seeing, not just in the region but on a national level. Construction related to the manufacturing industry has doubled in the past year, and there is an uptick in the need for products for lifting and moving because companies are relocating, expanding and building new buildings. The reshoring effort that has been bringing more companies into the U.S. is also a major factor in this trend. With both manufacturing and construction dependent on each other right now, demand for GKS’ product has accelerated.

Location has been a major strength for the company as well. Having immediate access to Interstate 70 and 75 is a logistical dream, with the Springfield operations being within five hours of some of the largest manufacturing cities in the country. Sitting in this cradle with access to a multitude of resources has been nothing short of a boon, and the region continues to grow in the manufacturing sector.

“We really value that we can have a tiny part in that,” Camden said. “Sitting in this region is absolutely crucial, and I tell people that all the time.”

Looking forward, while the company doesn’t expect to see 60% growth year over year, it is shooting for a consistent 20% growth leading into 2025. The key factors are aligning with the company’s German office, making sure production rates and scheduling stays up, and maintaining a laser focus on partnerships.

Founded by Georg Kramp in 1967, GKS-Perfekt specializes in lifting and moving solutions that serve clients in the manufacturing, construction and rigging industries. The company established GKS Lifting and Moving Solutions in Springfield in 2005 to better serve North and South American clients.

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