Written by Frank Li
Fred Herrmann is the owner and president of INScale (or Indiana Scale Company) based in Terra Haute, Indiana.
Fred was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1941. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the Air Force. Shortly after discharging from the Air Force in 1963, he joined the scale industry.
He worked for several scale companies until 1990, when he finally founded his own company INScale. It was out of a very difficult situation, both professionally and personally. However, in hindsight, he was glad for the situation, because that allowed him to be his own boss, finally!
INScale specializes in making floor scales. Fred holds several patents on floor scales, and is known as the "floor scale man" in the scale industry. The image below shows an example floor scale.
Like many scale companies, INScale has had its own share of ups and downs over the past two decades. Today, Fred is proud to say that INScale is the only scale company in the U.S. that was founded exclusively to make floor scales and it is still in business, at the same location (Terre Haute, IN) producing the same product!
INScale currently has 12 employees. It is more profitable than its heydays, when it employed more than 20 people. What's the trick? Quick adaptation and constant improvement!
Here are three business tips Fred wants to share with the world:
Treat your employees very well.
Don't pillage your business.
Married to the same woman since 1959 and semi-retired now, Fred is enjoying his life to the fullest extent, after surviving a heart attack and colon cancer in 2012.
Finally, on the notion of "there is no success without succession", Fred has this to say:
"I have eight children and I wish they will all become self-made men (and women) like me!"