Building on a Legacy
Beginning in 1958 and continuing today is Satellite’s vision for improving sanitation world wide. Todd Hilde, son of founder Al Hilde and the current owner of Satellite, sees the increased use of portable toilets around the world as an encouraging step towards improved global health. “When my father began his business with 36 wooden toilets in Minneapolis he did it primarily to offer convenience, privacy and dignity. The past fifty years has taught us that it is also critical to protecting public health and the environment.”
Todd’s vision for Satellite was to expand its presence around the world. Prior to purchasing the business from his father in 2004 he initiated the opening of offices in Belgium, France, Spain, UK, Hong Kong and Japan. Upon gaining ownership he aggressively pursued the strategy to purchase other leading portable toilet manufacturers in the US and around the world to gain market share and build the most complete line of portable toilets. Today, Satellite has customers in over 125 countries and offers the widest array of toilets on the market.
- 2004 Purchased the top Japanese and French manufacturers of portable toilets
- 2005 Purchased US based Synergy World and their world-class line of portable toilets
- 2007 Purchased Thal GmbH and Thal UK, companies in Germany and the United Kingdom respectively.
- 2009 Purchased Global product line from US based Hampel
In 2009, Satellite sought to regain control of manufacturing Safe-T-Fresh chemicals and cleaners, which it had done prior to 1998. The step would require purchasing an existing manufacturer or setting up a new plant. After evaluating the options, it was decided the best course was to purchase the company that had taken over the manufacturing in 1998.
- 2010 Hur Chemicals was acquired and efficiently operates today as Satellite Environmental
- 2011 New flip top recirculating flush for Maxim 3000
- 2011 New combination paper towel dispenser
- 2011 New tank for Global
- 2010 HandiStand is a free-standing, four-station hand sanitizer station
- 2010 Highrise restroom released to the construction market
- 2010 Tufway upgrade including new front design, molded in side wall vents and optional recirculating foot flush.
- 2010 Global upgraded to molded in vent screens
- 2010 New Asian Maxim 3000 restroom released
- 2009 Mondo upgraded with redesigned front and new interior components
The Satellite Story…
The Foundation is laid
Founded in 1958 by Al Hilde, Jr. Satellite evolved from a simple notion of providing human dignity. During service with the US Army and back home at sporting events & construction sites, Hilde observed that adequate toilet facilities were missing. He firmly believed that portable toilet services would be an essential and decent service for many. Later that year, Al Hilde built the first wooden prototype toilet. Shortly thereafter Hilde designed a service truck equipped with a vacuum pump and waste tank, and then went on to develop a chemical formula to ensure pleasing conditions inside the toilets. With a fleet of 36 toilets, a service truck and the chemical formula, Al Hilde began selling the new toilet rental and service to construction companies.
Innovation and Development
In 1972, Satellite began producing polyethylene toilets, which were much lighter and more hygienic than wooden toilets. This new equipment was an innovative boost in the market and quickly became sought after. As Satellite began exporting its products, business also grew rapidly in Germany, Japan, and Australia. Soon, Satellite products could be found around the world at major events and commercial applications. Over the next 30 years, Satellite was instrumental in developing the modern day rental and service operation that delivers portable toilets directly to job sites and outdoor events.
Design and Manufacturing
In 1988 Satellite’s rental and service division was sold in order for the company to focus on improving their design & supply of portable toilet equipment, service trucks, chemicals and cleaning supplies to businesses around the world. Better equipment design and function was a significant driving force. Reducing minutes, even seconds, on service and repair times directly improved the operators’ profitability and success. Satellite redesigned its toilets to be more durable and easier to clean in order to lower the overall cost of ownership and to shorten service times. That same strategy was applied to the design of vacuum tanks on service trucks by making the hoses, pump and chemicals on trucks more easily accessible and by improving the trucks’ safety and maneuverability.
1995 – 2004
International Expansion and Growth
In 1995, under the new leadership of Todd Hilde, Satellite established its European head office in Brussels, Belgium. Over the next few years, Satellite went on to open offices in Spain, France, Germany, Poland and the UK. An Asian-Pacific office was also opened in Hong Kong, and a joint-venture was established in Japan. Warehouses were set up around the world and regional manufacturing was started in various countries to improve lead times and service.
In 2011, Satellite was selected as one of the top 100 companies to receive the PM100 award, which honors manufacturing companies that have transformed themselves through the use of information technology. Satellite was specifically recognized in the category of Business Model Mastery for their use of technology to connect customers, suppliers, and employees on a global level. An integrated ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system continues to be integral to Satellite’s success and global expansion efforts.