|IN THIS ISSUE FEBRUARY 2012|
Mike Lessiter, Editor/Publisher
With the first-ever “Dealership Minds” edition on Birkey’s Farm Stores in February 2011, we set out to detail how each of the“cogs” in a benchmark-worthy dealership function together as one “machine.” What became the most talked-about project of the year created challenges for our editorial team when it came to this year’s encore performance.
We’d gotten to know Iowa-based Elder Implement via survey and article participation and our Annual Dealership of the Year program (the 5-store group earned “Best-in-Class” recognition in 2010). Because of their growth, and a willingness to openly share both successes and challenges, we set our sights on Elder as the subject dealership for the 2012 “Dealership Minds.”
What happened next was serendipitous, and, for Farm Equipment subscribers, fortuitous. Last November, just days before our staff piled into our trucks and cars to head to Iowa, Elder merged with the owners of another 3 stores to form an entirely new entity, Precision Equipment LLC (PEL). On the drive down, we rewrote our interview questions to also explore what many of you will face in the coming years — M&A.
So, we received a rare, inside look into a merged company’s earliest days, as employees were still meeting one another. The PEL staff candidly answered our questions about the thought processes leading up to M&A discussions, the go and no-go moments and the challenges to overcome. We returned with a primer on the pre-merger process, and how to bring different (and competing) cultures together to start pulling in one direction. That book is still being written, but we’ll circle back later to report on how that chapter unfolded.
I’m confident that this special edition is so captivating you’ll want to grab a coffee and immediately pore through these 13 articles. But, I’ll also “sell you” with a few personal observations:
For video interviews and additional web-only content gathered in Iowa, visit www.DealershipMinds.com.