By Christina Guerrero
YOU WOULDN’T THINK a company that
specializes in blow molding would manufacture products that bring families together. But
every time I pull out my conveniently stored,
fold-in-half Lifetime utility table, it’s to make
more room for visiting family that my dining
table can’t accommodate.
“Lifetime provides a lot of great products
that support and provide opportunity for
family members to come together,” confirms Richard Hendrickson, president and
CEO of Lifetime Products.
Lifetime Products, based in Clearfield,
Utah, is one of the largest manufacturers in
the world specializing in blow molding, the
process of pressure heating and molding plastic pellets with air.
The company began in 1972, when
founder and current chairman of the board
Barry Mower created an inexpensive, good-quality basketball hoop for his family after not
being able to find one up to his standards. The
demand for his backyard project grew, and in
March 1986 he created Lifetime Products.
Today, in addition to adjustable basketball systems, the company manufactures
playground equipment, tables, sheds, chairs,
benches, deck boxes, camping tent trailers,
paddle boards and kayaks.
“We really focus on putting every penny
into the products and quality that we can,”
Hendrickson, who started as a welder with
the company, has worked in many different
areas and departments, such as sales, research
and development, manufacturing and marketing, which he says has given him a profound
understanding of all facets of the company.
“[Barry Mower] extended a lot of trust,
and gave me a lot of opportunities to grow
and develop new talents and knowledge,” says
Hendrickson, who was named president in
2004 and CEO in 2012. “I strive every day to
continue doing the same thing for our peo-
ple throughout our company.”
“By doing that, as they become managers
Products bringing families
together for a lifetime
and senior managers, … high quality, low
cost, waste elimination and respect for the
individual become things that are ingrained
into the company, and we maintain a culture
that we’re proud of,” he says.
As a privately owned and vertically integrated (meaning they own the supply chain)
company, Lifetime is able to put more care
into making long-term decisions and support
its success. The company now distributes to
more than 70 different countries, and operates
a factory in China, which opened in 2003, to
facilitate distribution of products in Asia.
Operated by Lifetime, this factory provides the
opportunity for the company to practice its
guiding principles in other parts of the world,
and permits it to control product quality.
“As we have grown, we have had to be very
disciplined in investing resources into our
core technologies, vertically integrating and
bringing technology and resources in-house
whenever possible,” Hendrickson says. “This
helps us control quality and eliminate waste
and provide the best possible product at the
best possible price for Costco’s members.” C
In our digital editions
Click here to watch a video
about Lifetime Products.
(See page 14 for details.)
Company: Lifetime Products
Founder: Barry Mower
Employees: More than 1,500
Address: P.O. Box 160010
Clearfield, Utah 84016
Products at Costco and Costco.com:
Tables, chairs, benches, sheds, deck
boxes, camping tent trailers, basketball
systems, outdoor play sets, soccer
goals, tetherball systems, sport sets,
paddle boards and kayaks
Comments about Costco:
“Costco was one of the first companies I called on nearly 25 years ago.
What’s fun is the people I worked with
25 years ago at Costco are still there.
I’m proud to work with an organiza-
tion that respects people, provides
opportunities and is committed to
manufacturing high-quality products
as close as possible to the end user.”
—Richard Hendrickson, president
and CEO of Lifetime Products
“We really focus on
putting every penny
into the products and
quality that we can.”
Kahmahree Jones works in the
assembly area constructing
Lifetime folding chairs.