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SJF's Material Handling Blog

SJF Hires Three New Solutions Specialists

After an exhaustive search, SJF Material Handling (Winsted, MN) has hired three new solutions specialists (sales staff).  These three are stepping into some pretty big shoes that were recently vacated by a couple of other very prolific sales staff.  We sincerely wish them all the best and are looking forward to seeing what new skills and talents they can add to our growing family at SJF.

Eric Thovson comes to us with an auto sales and marketing background, and is very active in his community.

Thomas Moore has previous experience selling Skid Loaders and Compact Mini Skid Loaders and enjoys working with his cattle on his farm.

If you call in and talk w/one of these gentlemen, please welcome them, and wish them luck in this new endeavor.

Employee Spotlight – Lori Bachel

Lori Bachel

Today’s employee spotlight introduces us to Lori Bachel.  Lori is a finance machine! Any and all orders sent in to SJF will pass through her hands at least once.

The Sales guys give Lori a lot of flak, but she’s the one making sure that all of our ducks are in a row.  Without Lori at the helm, we would be lost.


Name:  Lori Bachel

Years at SJF: 2, but feels longer.

What do you like most about working at SJF? That the supervisors trust that I will get my work done without hovering over me and micro-managing. I also like that most everyone at SJF has a pretty good sense of humor and are forgiving when you’re having a bad day.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work? I love to ride my motorcycle, it instantly puts a smile on my face. I also love hanging out with my kids, and doing most anything outside. Oh and if I get a free 5 minutes, a good book is great.

What’s your favorite day? Thanksgiving

Biggest Pet Peeve? People who start a sentence with “It’s Just… “ Instantly put my hackles up.

Name something about you, that people would be surprised to know. I hate getting out of bed. Even though I get to work bright and early, it a struggle. If I could, I would l live in bed, pay my bills there, eat there, watch TV there. I would stay in bed until I had bed sores.

What question would you like to answer that you didn’t get asked. What 2 foods would I have, if stranded on a deserted island and it is all I could eat forever? …. Jerky and Pizza Rolls.

Featured Client: Excel Industries

Excel Industries is a leading manufacturer of turf care products.  Excel Industries produces the Hustler Turf Equipment and BigDog Mower Company product lines in their single production facility in Hesston, Kansas.  As the producers of the first zero-turn mower in 1964, Excel Industries has a long history of turf equipment experience.  In late 2012 Excel Industries entered into the mass market arena with the introduction of the Raptor product line.

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New Product – Lift Products, Inc. Lift Tables

SJF is now representing Lift Products, Inc’s line of lift tables.  Lift Products is known in the industry as having a high-quality product.  They offer many models available in several sizes.  SJF currently has available online their light duty lift tables, medium duty lift tables, heavy duty lift tables as well as their popular Roto-Max work positioner.

All of Lift Product’s tables can be customized either in size or with optional add-ons.  For details, please call an SJF representative at 800-598-5532.

Check Out Lift Products, Inc. Lift Tables

Employee Spotlight – Shawn Heaver

Shawn HeaverHello, readers!  We are going to try out something new today.  We have decided to take one of our employees and shine the spotlight on them so that you can better understand who we are and what makes us tick.

We also want to thank the incredible people we have working here who fill orders, load trucks, refurbish equipment, do paperwork, and all of the other messy jobs that come with running a successful material handling equipment company.

That said, our first Employee Spotlight falls on Shawn Heaver. He runs the day to day dock operations as well as works in the yard fulfilling orders from time to time.


Name: Shawn Heaver

Years at SJF: 9 years

What do you like most about working at SJF? I get to work with all different kinds of machinery.  I’m a big machine guy.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work? Relaxing and Gaming.

What’s your favorite game? God of War (PS3)

Do you have any other hobbies? Bike Riding and Walking.  I try to ride my bike to work when the weather is nice.

What’s your favorite day? Friday, because it’s payday and the weekend is just around the corner.

What is your biggest pet peeve? When people smack their lips when they’re eating.

Name one thing about yourself that people would be surprised to know. Nothing – I’m a pretty low-key guy.

SJF in Winsted Gives Employees Room to Grow

This article was originally published in the Herald Journal – Volume 95, Number 44.  The author and photographer is Starrla Cray.


What’s to like about working at SJF Material Handling in Winsted?

“Everything,” according to Marty Zitzloff, who has been with the company the past 24 years.

In both 2013 and 2014, Minnesota Business Magazine named SJF as one of the state’s 100 best companies to work for, based on an in-depth employee satisfaction survey. “We sort of break all the traditional rules of how business is run,” said president/sales manager Stafford Sterner, whose father, Gerald Sterner started the material handling company in 1979.

Employees are often promoted from within, and have the freedom to transition to different departments.

Zitzloff, for example, originally started at SJF as a welder.

“It was a lot of on-the-job training, and a few outside classes,” he recalled, adding that he later became the shop and yard supervisor.

Six years ago, Zitzloff decided to get into sales. He didn’t have any formal sales experience, but was familiar with the products SJF offers.

“Marty has had a lot of success here,” Stafford said. “We find opportunities for anyone who wants to apply themselves.”
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Featured Client: Maglio Minnesota

Maglio Minnesota is an approximately 25,000sq.ft. produce wholesale facility located in Oakdale, MN. Maglio Minnesota, specializes in receiving raw produce from growers throughout the country and sanitizing, sorting, and packing that produce into finished usable product for customers and consumers.

Vance Haugen was initially called out to Maglio to take a look at one of their cooling rooms.  They wanted to look at expanding available storage space to manage the increasing number of product that they needed to store. Vance informed them about a new flow rack product we carry (ExGlobe High Density Horizontal Flow Rail) and they expressed some interest.  The manufacturer’s rep accompanied Vance on another meeting and Maglio liked the product.
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Featured Client: Metro Mold and Design

Metro Mold and Design (MMD) is a Rogers, MN based, one stop shop for rapid mold manufacturing, custom plastic injection molding, thermoset plastic molding, extrusion blow molding, and precision CNC machining.  With an expanding operation, they contacted SJF in the fall of 2013 to assist in a layout and move into an new shipping warehouse.  MMD was at the time occupying and older warehouse with little lighting and low ceiling, and was planning a move to a newer building with a 32′ ceiling.

The plan was to install very narrow aisle (VNA) rack to max out warehouse space in the new building.  After discussing it with SJF, MMD decided on a different plan altogether.
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