Marc Crawford, the inventor of The FlipStep, has always been a hard worker but not without taking a noticeable toll on his body. Needless to say he has climbed in and out of pickup truck beds countless times throughout his life but it’s never gotten easier. Throughout his time in the service sector, as a homeowner, and as a good neighbor he had repeatedly observed the need for a heavy duty, low profile, and easy to use tailgate step to both ease and expedite hard-labor. This recurring problem was too significant to simply “deal with it.” There needed to be a product that took away the strain, risk, and flat-out-strategy required to get into a truck bed.
The problem that Marc wanted to solve was clear. He had a vision for a solution: a step that would mount to the tailgate of a truck and would easily unfold into a rigid step.
After circling around the idea for years Marc finally decided to take action. He decided to be the solution to the problem that he along with many colleagues, employees, friends, and family faced because no one else did. Marc had never ventured into anything remotely similar to this before so there was a lot to learn, and before he knew it he was waist deep in a pile of failed prototypes and drawings.
Though these prototypes and drawings were counted as failures that didn’t matter because you can’t fail at something you’re passionate about. Every failure that stems from passion is not a failure; it's an opportunity to learn and improve--A.K.A an example of what not to do (Today we have a failed handle prototype hanging on our wall as an example of what not to do). Marc never compromised or lost sight of the end goal, he just explored different paths to get there.
To “put your best foot forward” (Marc Crawford) you must realize your strengths and understand your weaknesses. Marc realized that he was really good at building things but he also understood that design probably wasn’t his strong suit.
As cliché as the old saying is, "teamwork makes the dreamwork" has merit--especially for The FlipStep. Building a product is tremendously difficult, let alone building an entire business around a product. As experienced as he was in running businesses and fabricating parts, Marc knew the difficulty of bringing a product to market and knew he needed help.
This is where John, the lead engineer, stepped in to turn Marc’s invention into a revolutionary product. Increased manufacturability, cleaner design, and greater functionality were all results of John’s contributions to this revolutionary invention. But not all was lost with John’s revisions. Steadfast was Marc’s insistence on quality, ease of use, and competitive edge. Together Marc and John created the aftermarket tailgate step that dominates the industry in quality, functionality, ease of use, and style: The FlipStep.
Building one FlipStep is easy, building two is also relatively easy. But building ten…per week…is an entirely different story.
We had various options at this point and they all had advantages and disadvantages. We could have sent our designs overseas and had them manufactured, assembled, packaged, and shipped directly to you, the customer. But that didn’t align with our mission or our values as a company. We wanted to ensure that every FlipStep performed at a high standard--one that wouldn't be achievable if we outsourced our operations.
The answer became clear and we decided to furnish a local manufacturing cell capable of continuously producing top-notch tailgate steps with great consistency and ease. This involved creating new tools and modifications to existing tools that took guess work out and added multiple layers of quality control to ensure that we deliver the best product possible.
FlipStep is proud to solve problems, create solutions, deliver quality products to people across the world, and to be made in the United States of America.