This technical information has been contributed by
Betts Company

Betts Company Diversifies and Treats Customers like 'Partners'

Rebecca Carnes
Design-2-Part Magazine

Bill Betts (left) was appointed in April to a newly created position of president and COO of Betts Company. Former President Mike Betts (right) continues as chairman of the board of directors and CEO.
Photo courtesy of Betts Company.

California company expands beyond spring making into truck products and replacement parts

One could say Betts Company is always on the move. With two business units focused on products for heavy duty trucks and a separate spring division that makes springs for everything from cars, trucks, pipelines, and water valves, Betts is all about facilitating movement for anything in the world.

“Our purpose is to improve the way things move,” said company president and COO, Bill Betts, a sixth generation leader in the family owned business that has been in the spring making business for nearly 150 years.

Based in Fresno, Calif., Betts Company’s history is so ingrained in the spring-making business, some of the company’s first products were springs for horse-drawn carriages. And as railroads expanded across the United States in the late 1800s, the company was one of the first to manufacture railroad leaf springs.

A common theme amongst the company’s customers is that they are impressed the company has been around for so long, Betts said, adding that a recently implemented Net Promoter Score (NPS) showed that customers who responded to a survey placed Betts at a near best-in-class score of 67 percent.

“Customers are candid and responsive and it opens up dialogue as to what they need,” Betts said.

Collaboration and communication are key components of maintaining customer satisfaction and viewing customers as “partners.” “We really believe in the voice of our customer. Making quality products is important, but equally important is how we service our customers to keep them happy and coming back time and time again,” Betts said.

The company’s Betts Spring Manufacturing business unit is unique in that it offers hot wound, cold wound, and leaf springs. Betts focuses on wire sizes above an eighth of an inch, going up to one and three-quarter inch diameter.

Betts Spring Manufacturing ( can offer its customers considerable depth and breadth of different types of springs, Betts said.

“We have a big range in terms of the processes that we utilize,” Betts said. “Our equipment is modernized and we have it built to meet some of the design recipes and principles we’ve developed over 147 years of spring making.”

With ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 quality certifications, the company has a reputation for high quality, he said, as well as quick cycle time and competitive cost.

The company’s dedicated engineering resources provide a broad range of services, including custom design or redesign, rapid prototyping, FEA, PPAP, and first article production samples.

With a team of inside engineers, Betts can be “nimble and flexible” while offering value-added engineered springs, well-suited for a customer’s specific needs, Betts said.

“Our customer base enjoys partnering with us because of our ability to zero-in on what they need and, often in cases, prototype with them,” he said.

Within the company’s spring division, springs are made to meet the needs of a wide variety of customers in different vertical markets, such as construction and playground equipment.

The company’s coil manufacturing team is primarily focused on the automotive aftermarket sector, but is also skilled at cold wound wire and hot wound coil applications for industrial markets.
Photo courtesy of Betts Company.

“We go into anything that needs a spring, and there are springs in everything,” Betts said. Betts is also making inroads into the defense market with springs going into military applications, such as with Humvees. Because they are being outfitted with heavier armor, the suspensions on the vehicles need to be modified with different springs to deal with the added weight.

The company’s BettsHD ( business unit is mainly focused on safety-related products for heavy duty trucks, including mud flap hangers conspicuity solutions, and fenders; bracket kits; and application solutions, as well as custom design and manufacturing. BettsHD both manufactures and sources its resale finished goods.

Betts Spring Manufacturing is capable of manufacturing precision coil springs to the highest specifications from 0.095 inch to 1.75 inch diameter wire in cold or hot wound manufacturing processes.
Photo courtesy of Betts Company.

The heavy duty trucking sector is looking for springs that are made for longevity and weight reduction. With off-highway vehicles, longevity and durability are more important than weight reduction. Some customers are looking to modify the suspension to have the car or truck handle better, as with the racing market. In other instances, Betts makes springs for companies looking to improve the general ride performance of everyday cars used to go to and from work, Betts said.

The company’s third division—Betts Truck Parts and Service (BTPS)—partners with commercial vehicle and fleet customers and supplier partners to help keep trucks and trailers on the road by stocking inventory of replacement parts manufactured by transportation industry leaders, Betts said. The division (www. also provides installation and repair services for all types of commercial vehicles, supporting major commercial transportation hubs throughout California, Oregon, and Arizona with its network of eight branch locations.

Started in 1868, Betts Company was the first spring manufacturer in the Western United States and is a sixth-generation, family owned business. In 1860, William Michael Betts I, an English steel craftsman, arrived in America as it was being divided by civil war. But this did not deter him from pioneering spring manufacturing west of the Mississippi. After the war subsided, he sailed around South America to make port in the bustling city of San Francisco. There, he opened his new shop, originally named Betts Spring Company, making springs for carriages, street cars, and wagons.

Today, Betts Company is still owned and operated by the Betts family, with Bill Betts taking over at the helm last April.

From its beginning in 1868 as the first spring manufacturer in the Western United States, Betts Company has now developed into a diversified business that serves heavy duty transportation, aftermarket automotive, and other industrial sectors.
Photo courtesy of Betts Company.

Betts stepped into a newly created position of president and COO. Former president, Mike Betts, acts as chairman of the board and CEO.

Bill Betts joined Betts Company in June 2007 after a successful two-year stint with Protiviti Inc., an international risk and business consulting firm. Betts graduated from the University of Colorado, Leeds School of Business, and recently earned an MBA from Craig School of Business, California State University in Fresno. He has held varied leadership positions during his tenure with Betts Company, including procurement, sales, marketing, customer support, strategic planning, and project management.

“I want to ensure as we continue to evolve and grow, that our processes and our infrastructure continue to evolve as our business changes,” Betts said. “I’m passionate about organizational development, human capital, and making sure that we have a solid culture and team that is engaged and passionate about what they do.”

Betts is a board member of GenNext, the heavy-duty aftermarket’s newest group formed to educate, mentor, and recruit the next generation of aftermarket leaders. Betts Company is actively engaged with California State University to contribute to the learning environment and to be on the lookout for new talent to recruit. The company partners with the university’s industrial tech department, entrepreneurship program, and mechanical engineering program to offer internships, and sometimes provide projects for different classes to work on. The company recently hired three interns into permanent positions at Betts Company.

This technical information has been contributed by
Betts Company

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