When Eli Rosenbloom noticed that the price of certain specialized vehicles was unusually high, he started to do some research – and soon started to manufacture them himself. The result? His company, FR Conversions, is on the road to becoming the biggest ambulance manufacturer in the United States and potentially the world. Meny Hoffman and Eli talk about the problem of knowing too much before you start, understanding the barrier to entry before you invest, the issue of information sharing, the best way to train employees, the importance of choosing a specific avatar, and much more!
With over 20 years of experience as an owner and operator, Eli Rosenbaum has executive management experience in emergency pre-hospital care, manufacturing, and software. He got his start as a commercial ambulance operator & EMT and eventually went into vehicle manufacturing while simultaneously developing ERP software for manufacturing and distribution. He is currently the CEO of FR Conversions, the only ambulance manufacturer worldwide that has increased production during Covid.
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Starting with a Small Niche…And Quickly Becoming a Massive Success Story: A Conversation with Eli Rosenbloom (Part 1)
[00:01 – 07:18] Opening Segment
- Eli’s journey from commercial ambulance operator to van conversion company owner
- How he has expanded his portfolio and opened several new factories
- How to help alleviate logistical problems in manufacturing and distribution
- Where the idea for manufacturing wheelchair-accessible vehicles comes from
[07:19 – 14:02] The High Cost and Complexity of Building Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles
- Wheelchair-accessible vehicles are expensive and were not profitable 20 years ago
- Why the complexity of building a mobility van is much greater than building an ambulance
- How Eli took apart and rebuilt his van with the help of a fabrication shop
- The need for more affordable wheelchair-accessible vehicles
[14:03 – 20:55] The Challenges and Successes of Building Customized Vans and Ambulances
- Minivans are a small segment with low demand and high cost to produce
- Building a car is complicated, with thousands of parts, and custom fabrication is expensive
- The barrier to entry for manufacturing vehicles
- Why the target audience for Eli’s vehicles is himself
[20:56 – 27:26]From Craigslist to Cohesive Distribution Model for B2B Vehicles
- Understanding your client is crucial in B2B and B2C businesses
- The power dynamic between the customer and the company
- Service and maintenance are critical in industries where downtime is not an option
- Business models should be based on passion and target customers, not just profitability
[27:27 – 34:05] Scaling Up a Unique Manufacturing Business
- How labor is the biggest challenge for FR Conversions
- Information sharing is a significant challenge as the company scales
- The need for better systems to handle escalating complexity
- How building software has been a secret sauce for managing the process of scaling up
[34:06 – 44:51] Closing Segment
- Tips on delegation and root cause analysis for business success
- Delegating authority and responsibility is vital for scaling up
- Understand the root cause of problems, not just the surface issue
“Understand enough about your business that you can keep on making or help make informed decisions.” – Eli Rosenbloom
“When you teach people, don’t teach them the what to do; teach them the why. When they bring you problems, don’t attack the problem for what it appears to be; attack it for what’s the root cause.” – Eli Rosenbloom
“The right hand never knows what the left hand is doing.” – Eli Rosenbloom
About Eli Rosenbloom
With over 20 years of experience as an owner and operator, Eli Rosenbaum has executive management experience in emergency pre-hospital care, manufacturing, and software. He got his start as a commercial ambulance operator & EMT and eventually went into vehicle manufacturing while simultaneously developing ERP software for manufacturing and distribution. He is currently the CEO of FR Conversions, the only ambulance manufacturer in the world which has increased production during Covid.
This season of the podcast is sponsored by: