Germany’s first scale factory was founded in 1840 by A.C.C. Joachims. He produced weigh bridges, decimal scales and more to be sold all over the world.
In 1888, Frederik Vogel bought the scale factory and introduced the brand name “seca” — derived from the Latin word “secare” meaning “to cut.” Because as the company seca knows, one cut plays an important role in measuring the accuracy of a mechanical scale.
And just like one cut plays a large part, one ambitious young metalworker has changed the weighing and measuring industry forever. “Our company has a robust 180-plus year history and is the worldwide leader in scales and medical measuring devices,” said Tom Ostrander, the national sales director at seca. “You don’t get to that point unless your products and process are world class.”
To this day, the company is 100% family owned and is currently overseen by the fourth generation of Vogels. With a headquarters still in Hamburg, Germany, seca has kept its rich history alive. “The vision from the Vogel family has been a key driver to the success seca has experienced for two centuries,” said Duane Jones, the executive vice president of body composition at seca.
However, it’s also a company that isn’t afraid of the future. Using its history of world-class products and processes, in 2012 it launched its medical body composition solution to the medical market. From there, markets including fitness, and collegiate and professional athletics began to seek out seca for its medically validated body composition solutions despite the initial device development for the medical market.
In 2022, seca launched the body composition analysis product seca TRU in the U.S. market. “The seca TRU and 125 analytic software is the pinnacle of our solution offering for the fitness market,” explained Jones. “We are excited to bring the ‘truth’ to the market and allow for club operators to customize their body composition and assessment offerings specific to their member base and clientele. The customization possibilities are there, and the operators no longer have to offer a similar product their competition may be offering as well.”
Ostrander was recruited to help lead the North American expansion of the seca TRU device. While he wasn’t looking to make a career change, the product and job made it clear he had to hop onboard. “For me, I really tried to look at the role from the viewpoint of the club operator or executive,” he said. “From that vantage point, I saw a solution seca TRU provided that was, in my eyes, superior technology to the current offerings in the marketplace.”
But the seca TRU is just one device. Jones shared they can also help club operators offer deeper assessments of individuals through other seca products like scales, measuring stations and vital signs monitors. The benefit of this is for both the member and operator. “We live in an ultra-competitive environment in the club business,” he said. “Using technologies that increase touch points with clients and provide valuable data are key to increasing member value and decreasing member attrition.”
As such, seca TRU and other seca products allow for operators and their employees to have meaningful connections with members. Jones explained the seca TRU body composition analysis can help staff tailor and adjust plans for members, in the end achieving the results clients are looking for.
“There is much more to achieving health and wellness goals than just height or weight alone,” added Jones. “The recent global pandemic put an extra emphasis on health topics. Health is data, and to monitor one’s overall health status, you need precise data and real insights. Precise data is the truth about your health.”
That idea of meaningful connections also exists between seca and its customers, forming partnerships that focus on customer onboarding and ongoing support for each client, just like club operators do for their members.
“Being a club guy for so long is part of who I am,” said Ostrander, who has owned, operated and been employed by fitness businesses throughout the years. “Working hands-on with friends and colleagues I’ve known for years is the best part of my job. Forming partnerships in which I am able to bring value is the most fulfilling part.”
Jones also stated one of his favorite parts of his role is working with customers and partners to deliver solutions that are needed and wanted by the market. “Seca has been the market leader for medical weighing and measuring devices, and now I get to help bring our product innovations and reach more and more people, which is extremely fulfilling,” he said.
But success hasn’t come because of just one or two individuals. The company’s biggest asset has remained rooted in its people as a whole.
“Teamwork is needed to realize such success and our company created a tremendous atmosphere to ensure continuity throughout,” said Jones. “This starts with the teams in product management and research and development when our products start in the conceptual phase and are realized all the way through the product development and into production.”
So with an unstoppable team, world-class products and a process that’s been perfected over two centuries, seca has continued to tip the scales in its favor to be a market leader.
Even with 180-plus years under its belt, its 2022 launch of the seca TRU in the U.S. market is only one of many more world-changing products to come.
“Our company is focused on driving innovation into the markets we service,” said Jones, “I am thankful for always having something new and exciting to bring to our customers in new and old markets.”