Mach III Clutch, Inc. is a manufacturer of clutches and brakes that are used in the drive systems of industrial machinery. These products, fundamentally, transfer motion from one rotating component, such as a motor, to another, such as a conveyor belt. They also prevent motion when it is not needed or desired. The company occupies a niche in the larger industrial power transmission market by providing one-of-a-kind, custom designed products to their clients. Using an entirely inbound approach, their team consists of no sales people and relies upon the company’s website and related marketing to generate new business.
Lesli (Becknell) Riehemann owns and operates the company along with David and Jennifer Becknell. The company was founded by Lesli and David’s grandfather in the mid 1960’s. Lesli spent a brief time as a high school history teacher before joining the company in 1992. With a proclivity for accounting and penchant for creating effective work-flows, she found the family business to be a much better fit than teaching. She has spent the last several years preparing to transition to part time involvement with the company since her husband, ironically a high school principal, is retiring in 2017.
Q&A with Lesli Riehemann
What are you passionate about, in regards to your business?
I am obsessed with providing a positive experience to all of the people our business comes into contact with. First and foremost that means producing well designed and impeccably manufactured products. Beyond product quality, however, are many details that can make or break the supplier-client relationship. At every point of contact, our team operates with the goal of easing the client’s work load, not adding to it.
What is the most valuable leadership lesson you have learned?
Empowering others to make decisions is a key lesson, especially for small business owners like myself who tend to be involved in nearly every aspect of their operations. I try to be mindful when a problem or new challenge arises and ask, “What do you think we should do?” instead of rushing in with my own solution. Not only does this build rapport and trust with your team members, it provides an opportunity for me to look at a problem from another perspective.
If you could give the 20-year-old you any piece of advice, what would it be?
No matter how much you gather and analyze information, you are going to make mistakes and when you do it will not be end of the world. You are going to live through them, learn from them, and be a better person because of them.