In late June, we reported on RDO Equipment's acquisition of Triple W Equipment, a 3-store John Deere dealer in western Montana.
Last week, David Erickson of The Missoulian and Ravalli Republic caught up with Travis Williams, the store manager at the Missoula, Mont., location, to see how the transition is going. According to Erickson:
"Any time a locally owned company with 53 employees and between $35 million and $40 million in annual gross sales is sold to an out-of-state corporation, as was the case when Triple W Equipment in Missoula was sold to RDO Equipment earlier this summer, there can be cause for consternation.
"Triple W Equipment, which also had stores in Ronan and Kalispell, was the only John Deere dealership in western Montana. The company’s 50,000-square-foot facility near the Wye also has service and parts departments as well as a large showroom. RDO Equipment, which was founded in North Dakota, is the largest John Deere seller in the country, in terms of the sheer number of its dealerships.
"However, Travis Williams, the Missoula store manager, said the new owners have been great to work with.
"'They didn’t come in and do anything as far as our employees,' he said. 'So far they’ve been extremely good to work for. They want to come in and give us anything we need. They’re big into technology. Anymore, whether it’s construction or farm, we’re seeing a lot of things, whether it’s guidance control and they’ve got integrated control systems for laser leveling. With ag equipment, it’s all GPS controlled and it knows how much fertilizer you need in certain areas. Technology has become a huge part of our industry and that’s something that RDO is well established in. And it’s something that as Triple W, we weren’t able to really take that on...'"