Prospering with three equipment turns – yeah, right
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Well, I did it again. I got worked up and shot off my mouth. Let me explain as I apologize. At the Omaha Dealer Minds Summit in August, our panel discussed various wholegoods commission structures, which are driving used equipment sales and increasing turns. We were the last group to speak at the two-day event hosted by Farm Equipment magazine.

Over the two days, there is always lots of time to visit with old and new friends. In the course of my career, I have attended many manufacturer and dealer events with owners and employees and most are willing to share their issues. These are not only used inventory issues but issues throughout the dealership. Two days of hearing the same stories about the same problems can grind on a guy. These are the same things I heard a few years ago and, in some cases, a decade ago. My first mistake was asking, “What are you changing in order to get a different result?”

The most common response was, “Nothing to different, would not want to shake up the store too much. What we are doing has allowed us to survive.” You can imagine the bubbling point that brought me to. If we’ve learned anything about the used iron game in recent years, we’ve learned that change is a must in order to survive and just maybe we might prosper in the years ahead. Status quo is not going to move our dealerships ahead.

On the surface, the comments made in my presentation may have appeared to be aggressive – and likely they were aggressive. However, how are we going to drive home the message to stop sitting on your hands. My intention was not to slam but to challenge everyone to think differently and to change in order to improve.

As dealership owners, my partners and I were not any smarter than anyone else in the industry. We’ve experienced cash flow issues and were forced into thinking differently about used equipment. As youngsters, we’d been brainwashed from hearing “too much-used iron for too long will drive a dealership to bankruptcy.” Here’s the challenge we are giving dealerships. Double the dealership’s used equipment turnover rate in the next three to five years. The starting number should be based on the 10-year average used equipment turnover measurement.

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Western Equipment Dealer Magazine Winter 2017 Issue
By Trent Hummel

 

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