Beuschel Sales has a history of over 60 years of service in West Michigan. Three generations of the Beuschel family have been a part of this venture, and we are proud of the work we’ve done in this area and the relationships we’ve made with businesses here in Michigan.
This month we thought we’d tell the story of how our family got involved in material handling. Currently, the company is owned by Keith Beuschel. Keith’s father, Wendell or “Bill” Beuschel started the business with Dale Shoemaker who lived locally. At the time the Beuschels were living in Mount Prospect, a suburb of Chicago. Bill was working in the pallet racking business, so from 1961 to 1967, Dale was driving force behind the business. In 1968, the Beuschel family moved back to Michigan, settled on 80 acres of land in Sparta, and started working with Dale. At that time it was a pole buildings and material handling equipment business, and Bill focused on services and installation. He began to sell and install pallet racking as well, as he had for businesses in Chicago. Dale was in charge of sales of material handling equipment.
Keith Beuschel went to Ferris State in 1969, graduated in 1973, and then joined the company, focusing on sales and growing the family business. If you’ve ever wondered about the name Beuschel, it’s German and it was originally pronounced “BY-sill,” but Bill found that people had a problem with it, so he began pronouncing it like “Byu-SHELL,” and that’s what we answer to today.
In 1984 Keith bought the business from his father. Uncle Dale continued to work for him, taking over the service and installation department for about 5 years and then retiring. While loading docks still look quite a lot like they did in the 1980s or even earlier, the Beuschels have seen a lot of change in the material handling industry, mostly driven by government insistence on further safety features and automation.
Loading dock equipment, especially loading dock levelers remain the base of the business, but now they are not only mechanically operated. There are pneumatic or hydraulic options now.
Instead of people bending over and manually inserting a piece of steel in so they can drive a forklift into a truck and load or unload it, a hydraulic or pneumatic dock leveler only requires a worker to push a button to produce a ramp. This increases efficiency and makes the operation a lot safer. Additionally, less maintenance is required to keep it functioning.
When Keith looks back at his over sixty years in material handling, he’s proud of the business and looking forward to see its future. There are now three more family members involved, including his wife, Kathy, and his sons Daryl Scheidel and Kyle Beuschel. Many of their other employees have been there for years. Keith is also happy to have built so many relationships with customers. He says that the people Beuschel Sales serves now are more loyal than they’ve ever been. They know that Beuschel can get whatever equipment they need fixed working within 24 hours, and they count on having that service available. In such an automated age when it’s difficult to get a real person on the other end of the telephone line, that counts for a lot.