Truck transformers: Jamestown-based RealTruck experiences steady growth
Jamestown, N.D. -- Scott Bintz’s outgoing voicemail message ends with the phrase “smile and pass it on.”
Bintz owns RealTruck, an online retailer of after-market pickup accessories with headquarters in Jamestown and a satellite office in Fargo.
Its website, RealTruck.com, was recently named the 20th fastest-growing e-commerce site in the U.S. by online retail trade publication Internet Retailer in its Top 500 Guide. It ranked 14th based on online sales alone.
Bintz started the business from his home in Spokane, Wash., in 1998 when selling products online was still a new concept. Industry giants Amazon and eBay had only launched three years prior.
At the time, Bintz was an independent representative for AgriCover, a manufacturer of truck bed covers and tarp systems based in Jamestown. Bintz wondered if he could sell the pickup covers online, so he and a friend made a 30-second commercial and launched the website.
Bintz moved the business to Jamestown in 2000. He built upon the success of the pickup cover sales and added other accessories to the site. Today, he boasts they sell over 500,000 truck accessories such as nerf bars, air in-takes and floor mats.
In addition to industry praise, RealTruck was recently named one of the best places to work by the North Dakota Young Professionals. Bintz points to his employees as one of the reasons for his success. He said the game changer came when he bet his company’s success on improving corporate culture.
“We thought if we could kind of nurture it, everything else would fall into place,” he said. “We’re kind of on a mission to make people’s lives and vehicles better.”
His philosophy is based on six guiding principles:
- Deliver more.
- Transparency rocks.
- Take risks.
- Include fun.
- Be humble.
He believes these principles have empowered his employees, both in the workplace and in their personal lives.
Bintz said they hire employees for culture fit and then skill set, rather than skill set alone.
“Meaning, RealTruck is not the right place for everyone,” he said. “If you’re not OK coming to work and seeing someone in clown shoes, you probably wouldn’t do well at RealTruck.”
Today the company employs 45 in Jamestown, primarily in customer service, brand management and accounting. He opened the office in Fargo in 2010 to serve as the home for technical and marketing operations.
“We did it mainly because it’s easier to recruit IT and marketing folks in Fargo because of the three universities,” Bintz said. “If you’re in Jamestown, it’s the Silicon Valley of North Dakota.”
The Fargo office of 23 recently moved operations into the Westrac Office Park, former home of the Sports Center.
Bintz marvels at the success of the business.
“I just think it’s amazing that we compete at a national level. We’ve done it with no outside help,” he said. “We’ve grown all off of our own profits and we’ve done it with everyday folk from North Dakota. I think that’s really cool, and I think people like being part of something that’s kind of a game changer.”