Careers at Dover Corporation
Dover Corporation’s mission is to deliver innovative equipment and components, specialty systems, and support services, and collaborate with its customers to redefine what’s possible.
Dover Corporation is a provider of industrial equipment, components, specialty systems, and support services. The firm operates four reportable business segments:
- Energy – Provides customer-driven solutions and services for safe and efficient production and processing of fuels, particularly in the bearings/compression components and automation markets. Accounted for 21% of total sales in 2015.
- Engineered Systems – Designs, manufactures, and services critical equipment and components serving the fast-moving consumer goods, digital textile printing, vehicle service, environmental solutions, and industrial end markets. Accounted for 34% of total sales in 2015.
- Fluids – Ensures safe handling of critical fluids across the retail fueling, chemical, hygienic, oil and gas, and industrial end markets. Accounted for 20% of total sales in 2015.
- Refrigeration & Food Equipment – Provides energy-efficient equipment and systems serving the commercial refrigeration and food service end markets. Accounted for 25% of total sales in 2015.
During the 1930s and 1940s, New York stockbroker George Ohrstrom, Sr. purchased four companies: Peerless (space heaters), Rotary Lift (automotive lifts), C. Norris (oil-well pump-sucker rods), and C. Lee Cook Company (piston rings and seals). In 1955 Ohstrom founded Dover Corporation to manage the four businesses. He recruited Fred Durham, C. Lee Cook’s former owner, to serve as its President.
Durham ran Dover like he did his past businesses – providing significant autonomy. He believed that enterprises thrived when executives were allowed to be independent and creative. So Dover’s divisions were highly decentralized, each with its own President, and its parent had few staff. Later in 1955, Dover filed an initial public offering and became listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
The company pursued a growth strategy that involved acquiring as many firms as possible. Between 1955 and 1979 it purchased 14 businesses, most of them privately owned or controlled. They benefitted from Dover’s financial might, but also its culture of autonomy. The company’s main role was as a central banker, overseeing all of their spending to ensure a high return on capital.
One of the acquisitions, the Shepard Warner Elevator Company in 1958, enabled Dover to enter the electric-elevator business. The subsequent buyings of Reddy Elevator Company and Hunter-Hayes Elevator in the 1960s helped it gain a stronger foothold, becoming the #3 elevator maker in the U.S. Dover is now a conglomerate that manufactures and sells a wide range of industrial products.
Business model of Dover Corporation
Dover has a segmented market business model, with customer groups that have slightly different needs. The company targets its offerings at firms in the waste/recycling, agricultural, defense, energy, automotive, commercial refrigeration, power generation, and chemical industries.
Dover offers two primary value propositions: accessibility and brand/status.
The company creates accessibility by providing a wide variety of options. It has acquired hundreds of firms over time, including over 70 businesses between 1998 and 2002 and almost 25 firms between 2008 and 2012. This strategy has enabled it to expand its capabilities and diversify its portfolio.
The company has established a strong brand due to its success. It has 26,000 employees and generated annual revenues of $7 billion in 2015. It has also received a number of honors, including the Transatlantic Award from the American Chamber of Commerce in Italy, which recognizes businesses that have distinguished themselves in the development of transatlantic relations.
Dover’s main channels are its direct sales team with offices worldwide and various distributors. The company promotes its offering through its website and social media pages.
Dover’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service nature. Customers utilize its products while having limited interaction with employees. That said, there is a personal assistance component in the form of phone and e-mail support.
Dover’s business model entails designing, developing, and manufacturing its products for its customers.
Dover’s key partners are the suppliers that provide it with the raw materials it needs to manufacture its products. The materials are primarily metals (copper, steel, aluminum, etc.) and semi-processed or finished components. It also maintains an alliance with the National Association of Manufacturers.
Dover’s main resources are its human resources, who include the engineers that design, develop, and manufacture its products and the salesforce that promotes them. It maintains important physical resources in the form of 162 manufacturing facilities and 120 warehouses as of December 2015.
Dover has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation. Its biggest cost driver is cost of goods and services, a variable cost. Other major drivers are in the areas of sales/marketing and administration, both fixed costs.
Dover has one revenue stream: revenues generated from its products and components to its customers. Sales are typically made through the forming of long-term contracts.
info: Robert A. Livingston earned a B.S. in Business Administration and Mathematics from Salisbury University. He previously served as Chief Operating Officer of Dover Corporation and as President and CEO of Dover Engineered Systems and Dover Electronics.
info: Brad M. Cerepak earned a B.S. in Accounting from Fairleigh Dickinson University and an MBA at the University of Chicago. He previously served as VP of Finance at Dover Corporation, as VP, Controller, and Principal Accounting Officer of Trane, Inc.
info: Ivonne M. Cabrera earned a B.S. degree in Mathematics at University of Miami and a JD at Columbia Law School. She previously served as VP of Business Affairs and General Counsel at Knowles Electronics and as Senior Counsel at Bristol-Myers Squibb.
info: Sandra A. Arkell earned a Bachelor’s degree at Pennsylvania State University. She previously served as Corporate Assistant Controller at Dover Corporation, as VP, Assistant Corporate Controller at Wendy’s/Arby’s Group, and as Assistant Finance Director at Delphi.
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