Former Thomson Plant Manager Moves On, “Cracks” Open a Bright Future

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When Ford Motor Co. recently announced that massive layoffs will result from several plant closings, Randy Bechman of Indianapolis experienced pangs of empathy for the workers facing unemployment. Almost two years ago, Bechman, as management at the Marion Thomson plant, had the unenviable task of notifying the workforce of the plant closing. Today, on the eve of the second anniversary of the shut-down, Bechman can provide words of encouragement for those forced to confront a new phase of their careers.

Randy Bechman was the last employee to leave the Thomson plant in Marion, Indiana. As Human Resource and Site manager, he had the agonizing task of notifying the work force of the plant closing and mass layoffs, then stayed through the bitter process of plant sell-off and shut-down. After 16 years working at the Thomson Marion plant, Bechman, 53, had much to consider when charting the next phase of his career.

His goals: stay in his native Indianapolis area, nurture a business he could eventually turn over to his son, now 29, and maintain ultimate command of his career and future. While investigating options, he fielded several management offers, but still felt they did not give him enough control over his own destiny.

An intensive search led him to franchising. His subsequent investigation into franchise opportunities led him to one company in particular. The Crack Team, St. Louis-based foundation repair specialists, satisfied all of Bechman’s career objectives.

The effect of the Thomson layoffs, and general decrease in US manufacturing, on the local economy influenced Bechman’s choice of franchise opportunity. Economic insecurity continues to play into a “cocooning” trend, where homeowners may likely choose to update their current home rather than spend money on a new home.    

With that, homeowners recognize the wisdom of repairing a foundation crack before installing expensive carpeting, drywall or paneling that could be damaged if that crack leaks. “I realize that with an uncertain job climate, people are conservative with their finances,” says Bechman. “The appeal of The Crack Team’s permanent, cost-effective repair with a life-of-structure warranty is one factor that drew me to The Crack Team. It just makes sense to fill a leaking, or potentially leaky, crack before finishing the basement.”

The unenviable position of handing pink slips to over a thousand people understandably had a deep impact on Bechman. The Thomson plant in Marion employed entire families. Generations had retired from the plant, and their relatives expected to do the same. After such a drawn-out, depressing experience as a plant closure, Bechman finds focusing his energy into building the Indianapolis-area branch of The Crack Team rewarding. “It is a positive from the very start. There’s less risk than with outright self-employment. I’m working with the benefit of an established, unforgettable brand and outstanding reputation behind me from the beginning,” he says. “And this is definitely an entrepreneurial endeavor I will be proud to someday hand off to my son.”

The Crack Team, St. Louis-based foundation repair specialists, is now in its 21st year in business. The company has 15 locations in 12 states nationwide. To find The Crack Team that serves your area, visit For a free estimate, visit Contact Randy Bechman at 866-CRACK-TEAM. For more information about The Crack Team foundation repair services or company mascot Mr. Happy Crack, contact Cary Goldwasser at 866-HAPPY-CRACK or visit

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Cary Goldwasser
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