To read the introduction to this "Greatest Mistake" series click here.
“Our team is always looking to the future. We use our mistakes as an opportunity to learn and move on. In hindsight, however, there are two areas that we could’ve chosen to handle differently.
“First, eliminate some shortlines. Second, have the discipline needed to reduce parts inventory.
“Both would’ve improved our inventory turnover and our financial return on assets. But, by deciding against this course of action, we feel we enlarged our total customer base, improved overall customer satisfaction and grown our entire business.
“Another area of improvement is to do a better job of challenging and motivating our employees to meet the seasonal demands of this business. We need to provide them with the environment and training necessary to succeed. This culture we’ve created has contributed to our success and made us southwest Wisconsin’s market leader.”
Keith Kreps, Executive Vice President, RDO Equipment, Fargo, N.D. (2010 Dealership of the Year)
“My biggest failure occurred in the lead-up to the used equipment market crash in November 2013.
Leo Johnson, President, Johnson Tractor Inc. (2012 Dealership of the Year)
“The fact that I’ve been in the same farm equipment dealership for 38 years may not equate to success as much as stamina.
Brian Carpenter, General Manager, Champlain Valley Equipment, Middlebury, Vt. (2009 Dealership of the Year)
“When asked to share a mistake I’ve made with other dealers, I was challenged to find a lesson learned that was instructive.
Tom Rosztoczy, CEO, Stotz Equipment Co., Avondale, Ariz. (2013 Dealership of the Year)
“In 2001, we purchased 6 locations from 4 owner groups in Utah and Idaho over the course of 4 months (Mistake #1).
Kent Buchholz, Finance Manager & Sales, Kennedy Implement, Philip, S.D. (2012 Dealership of the Year)
“Own everything you do or don’t do. Good or bad times don’t matter; every decision made, or not made, must be owned up to.
Steve Cubbage, President, Record Harvest, Nevada, Mo. (2007 Dealership of the Year)
“If there’s one mistake those of us in the precision ag business make, it’s falling into the trap of thinking there’ll always be something new and better to sell tomorrow — the ‘next big thing.’
Don Van Houweling, Owner, Van Wall Equipment, Perry, Iowa (2016 Dealership of the Year)
“As I look back at my most significant mistakes, I’d say that I’ve entered into sales agreements with companies that didn’t possess the capabilities financially or from a management standpoint to support our goal of being the ‘Clear First Choice.’
Ron Ritchie, CEO, Ritchie Implement Inc., Cobb, Wis. (2015 Dealership of the Year)
“Our team is always looking to the future. We use our mistakes as an opportunity to learn and move on.
Tom Janson, Janson Equipment, Reese, Mich., (2011 Dealership of the Year)
“I don’t dwell on mistakes but instead look forward on how best to improve my business.