You may have read Rob Johnstone’s eZine editorial a couple of issues ago announcing that SKIL® Power Tools will soon be owned by Chervon. Maybe then you wondered, who’s Chervon?
It’s a good question. All of us avid power tools users know the big brand names and their colors — yellow, orange, green, blue, teal, red, gray, black and green. We toss their names around with our shop buddies, on the jobsite and in online forums as we discuss who makes “the best this or that” for all manner of tools these days. And that can be lively debate almost all the time, because power tools are constantly changing and improving, especially on the cordless tool front.
But here’s the secret: the tool brands you buy aren’t always designed from scratch or manufactured by the companies sporting the brand labels. There are silent partnerships in place to help some of the big tool companies invent and reinvent the many new makes and models of products we see every single year. It’s probably the only way the cornucopia of tool options we have can continue to grow and evolve at the rate it does. Chervon Ltd., is one of those important partners.
Chervon designs and manufactures a wide range of tools, including handheld portable power tools, stationary benchtop tools, laser and electronic tools, cordless lawn and garden equipment and accessories. In fact, it’s one of the top 10 largest tool companies in the world, with offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. And yet, I’ll bet most of us don’t know Chervon by name.
“For more than 20 years, (we’ve) been the manufacturer behind many of the professional products your readers commonly use today, says Joe Turoff, Chervon’s chief marketing officer for its North American division, based in Chicago. “Name a professional (tool) brand and chances are we have designed, developed or built products for them.”
And Chervon is in a good position to do that. Turoff says the company is known to be the “world’s best” producer of lithium-ion powered products in the power tool and cordless outdoor power tool industries. Chervon has maintained that leadership position for about a decade. “We are prime in just about every discipline from software to motor production, and that allows us the ability to not only control quality but the entire (design and manufacturing) process,” he adds.
Chervon has set some industry-first benchmarks over the years. In 2003, for instance, it was the first to mount lasers to portable power tools. In 2007, Chervon was also the first in the world to produce lithium-ion cordless tools for a private label brand.
Aside from cordless tools, Chervon builds professional grade miter saws, band saws and tile saws for many of the largest professional and private label brands in the marketplace, Turoff says.
If you are outside of the engineering and manufacturing arena, you might appreciate knowing how this whole partnership process works. It certainly had me curious. Here’s how it breaks down: In a nutshell, there are two ways Chervon and other sourcing companies serve the needs of their power tool partners. One option is as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM).
“OEMs take plans from another brand and build to order, and it’s how our business started,” Turoff explains. As one example, Chervon has been servicing Bosch Power Tools for 14 years as one of its OEMs. The two companies also work collaboratively: in 2007, Bosch and Chervon formed a joint venture called Bovon Power Tools that develops power tools for the Asian market.
Chervon also is an original design manufacturer (ODM) for certain tool clients. “That’s what we do for most private labels, Turoff says. “We come to them with the idea and the design and bring the product to market together.”
Sometimes product managers of the private label will request changes to the specifications of the tool and its features. The design team may even support the development with Chervon. “But in essence, it’s our product in their brand,” Turoff says.
Aside from functioning as an OEM or ODM, Chervon also builds and markets its own brands of power tools as an OBM — an original brand manufacturer. OBM represents more than a third of Chervon’s business these days, Turoff says. Hammerhead™ — a line of rechargeable and corded fastening and laser tools — is one of Chervon’s original “house” brands. So is the award-winning EGO™, a family of 56-volt lawn and garden products that Chervon developed in conjunction with The Home Depot. Those tools are sold in North America, Europe and Australia, and they include string and hedge trimmers, lawn mowers, chain saws and blowers. Chervon also established DEVON to supply professional power tools to the Chinese market.
Over the years, Chervon has acquired other power tool labels as well, including the Flex and Calmdura brands in Europe. Soon, SKIL Power Tools will be added to this portfolio.
There’s no question that power tools are a global industry, and in it, Chervon plays a pivotal role — even if often quietly and behind the scenes.
“Chervon has been at the forefront of every major (tool) trend over the last 15 years,” Turoff says. “While the term is often overused, we are an innovator … And we do our best to support all of our customers’ needs by delivering them professional quality at the absolute best value.”
Learn more about Chervon by clicking here.