Michigan City, IN - DEKKER Vacuum Technologies, Inc. has reached a momentous milestone, celebrating 20 years of delivering vacuum solutions and high-quality vacuum pumps and systems to a wide array of industries around the world. The company has grown from humble beginnings through tremendous dedication of founders Rick Dekker and his father, Jan Dekker to what it is today.
This 20th anniversary year has been a record-setting year for DEKKER Vacuum. Their allegiance to becoming the quintessential partner for distributors eager to increase profitability of their vacuum business, and the ideal choice for end-users searching for vacuum technologies with optimal performance is why companies from a myriad of industries turn to DEKKER Vacuum.
The roots of the company began with Jan Dekker in the 60’s and 70’s, who was designing and building oil-sealed liquid ring vacuum systems for South Africa’s gold mining industry. By using oil instead of water and by adding vacuum boosters, vacuum systems were optimized by improving vacuum levels for gold extraction. In 1979, Jan and his family moved to the United States to open a vacuum division for a multi-national manufacturing company. He resigned in 1983 to start on his own, with Rick joining him in 1993 as an Applications Engineer. Determined to improve the old-fashioned ways of the vacuum industry, they established DEKKER Vacuum Technologies in 1998.
Jan Dekker, one of the leading authorities in the world of vacuum, reminisces on landmark achievement stating, “With the advantage of our knowledge and previously developed business relationships, Dekker Vacuum Technologies was established in 1998 by Rick and myself in the basement of our home in La Porte, Indiana. Over the years, the company has grown into one of the foremost vacuum pump and system suppliers in the country, offering our exclusive Vmax™ systems, and the design and manufacture of systems for many other unique applications. The fact that we have an excellent fabrication facility allows us to tackle any design and gives us the capability to handle almost any job in-house, a major advantage over our competitors. I am pleased to say that we have accumulated a great team of capable people, under the leadership of Rick and Charles, to allow the company to further grow and strengthen our position in the market place. I am very proud to be a part of this!” At 81 years young, Jan can still be found in the office consulting for numerous projects, a testament to his desire to be involved and support DEKKER’s customers.
DEKKER Vacuum was founded with a strong focus on providing excellent customer service before and after the sale. This philosophy has resonated with customers, driving strong sales growth over the years. The firm reached profitability after only twelve months of operation and the company has more than tripled the size of their facility since the inception. The company is led by original founding executives and has maintained its privately-held ownership throughout its history. This has allowed DEKKER Vacuum to control key strategic and business decisions that have ensured a consistent focus on meeting the specific needs of its customer base. Today, DEKKER Vacuum has grown to employ over 70 full-time employees, supplying vacuum pumps and systems to over 60 countries around the world.
Rick Dekker, Chief Executive Officer of DEKKER Vacuum Technologies, reflects on the company’s 20th anniversary, “It is amazing that it is already 20 years since we started DEKKER Vacuum. We could not have accomplished this without our customers and vendors having faith in DEKKER Vacuum over the years and for that, we thank them. Most of all, I am proud of what our team has accomplished over that period of time. We continue to work hard to improve every aspect of DEKKER, committed to world-class quality and service.”
DEKKER’s daily operations take place in a 90,000 square foot manufacturing, distribution and warehouse facility in Michigan City, Indiana. A talented management team leveraging more than 100 years of experience in vacuum, combined with a hard-working and dedicated support staff allows DEKKER to deliver the highest level of service in the industry. DEKKER has achieved these goals through ongoing commitment to excellence coupled with strong customer loyalty.
In 2010, Charles Mitchell joined the DEKKER team as Vice President of Finance, bringing over 20 years of management experience with multi-million dollar companies to the organization. Proving to be an integral part of DEKKER Vacuum’s success, he was appointed to President of the company in 2015. “The last eight years that I have been a part of DEKKER Vacuum have been both exciting and challenging,” Charles said. “We have grown as a company and as a team and are branching out to new applications and new markets. Even more exciting is the future beyond these 20 years where we will continue to explore our potential and continue to push ourselves to new opportunities, applications, and even more markets. History defines our past capabilities and limits. Our future is what we choose it to be and can best be defined as unlimited.”
The company’s product offerings have developed significantly over the last two decades in response to customers’ evolving expectations and industry regulatory demands. “We compete in a unique market that offers a wide variety of products”, Rick states, “What sets us apart is that our competitors try to fit their products to an application, while we provide solutions.” DEKKER’s emphasis on application and product knowledge has proven to be the key to innovative, customized solutions for their customers.
DEKKER Vacuum’s confidence in continued growth is attributed to their ability to engineer solutions based on customer’s stringent needs, retaining their reputation as one of the leading vacuum equipment suppliers in the industry. The team commemorates 20 years of business by reflecting on their unrivaled history and heritage, with eyes fixed towards a new decade of prosperity.
Read the Michigan City News-Dispatch's business feature published on July 29, 2018 here.