This week, we branch over into the privately-held company sector to spotlight Interstate Batteries. This Shining Light Company got its humble beginnings in 1950 when John Searcy began selling and delivering car batteries to wholesalers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area from the back of his pickup truck. Two years later, he made the company official and named it Interstate Battery System after the new interstate system being built across the US. By the 1980s, the company’s products were distributed in all 50 states and Canada, and today, the billion dollar corporation is the No. 1 replacement brand battery in North America. In 2017 Interstate sold a record 18 million batteries in a single year. The company is headquartered in Dallas, Texas and operates a distributor network that supplies batteries and power solutions to over 200,000 dealers. Additionally, they operate over 200 corporate and franchise owned retail stores. Interstate plans to expand worldwide locations in coming years as part of a company-wide growth and development initiative.
Searcy founded the company based on the following three principles: offer the best-quality product, provide impeccable service, and treat the customer with respect. That reputation of excellence and honesty remains strong over 60 years later. Their mission statement and business philosophy say it best:
To glorify God as we supply our customers worldwide with top quality, value-priced batteries, related electrical power-source products, and distribution services. Further, our mission is to provide our partners and team members with opportunities which are profitable, rewarding and growth-oriented. We fulfill our purpose by doing business based on Biblical principles – such as honesty, humility, service, and care – in a way that is welcoming and loving to all.
To treat others as we want to be treated: treating all our business associates with respect, fairness, and integrity; caring for and listening to them; professionally serving them; always being a model of working hard and striving toward excellence.
One thing that immediately stands out as you explore the corporate website is former President and current Chairman Norm Miller’s personal testimony. He believes in God’s power to change lives, because it was that power that turned his own life around. He also travels around speaking to various audiences about both his faith and effectively applying Biblical principles to create a more successful business.
To read Norm’s testimony and check out the other resource links, click here: http://corporate.interstatebatteries.com/norm_miller/testimony/
It is amazing to see the many ways that Interstate Batteries puts their faith into action. They have a corporate chaplain and regularly meet to pray for each other, their families, and the community. Once a month, employees have the opportunity to attend a luncheon where they hear from nationally-renowned speakers to encourage and help them grow in their faith. When it comes to giving back, the list of organizations they support is just as impressive. Angel Tree, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Champions for Life (Bill Glass prison ministry), Kickstart Kids (Chuck Norris), Union Gospel Mission, and World Vision are just a few. Employees are also allowed to spend a few hours of company time writing letters to soldiers, thanking them for their service. The Servant’s Heart Award is given to Interstate team members who give their time to help others. Whether they are mentoring at-risk students, providing meals to the home-bound or making a terminally ill child smile, these individuals live out the value of “Servant’s Heart” by sharing the gift of time everywhere they go.
Although they have a bit more flexibility as a privately-held company, we are pleased to see an example of a company that is not afraid to make its strong faith heritage and values known and believes that profits will never drive their success the way their purpose can. Thank you Interstate Batteries for being a Shining Light for Christ!
DISCLOSURE: Shining Light Companies are exemplary companies who live out the Golden Rule in their business practices, demonstrate strong servant leadership and create compelling value through the products and services they offer. This is intended for general information purposes concerning only the values, corporate culture and business practices of the companies being spotlighted. It DOES NOT incorporate any analysis of the companies’ investment merit based on intrinsic value, fundamental analysis, etc. This must not be construed as investment advice or a buy/sell recommendation. These companies may or may not be included in our LightPoint Portfolios at any given time.