KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Western Equipment Dealers Assn. announced today that it is acquiring Friend Management Systems in a transaction pairing two leading providers of management consulting and professional development programs and services for equipment dealers.
Friend Management Systems is a Canadian-based management consulting firm providing leadership development and peer-to-peer learning to leading agricultural, consumer and golf equipment dealerships in Canada, the U.S. and Australia. Friend Management Systems is John Deere’s recommended provider of Leadership Dealer Performance Groups and also provides aftermarket and golf distributor specific leadership groups.
In addition to peer-to-peer learning, Friend Management Systems provides dealers with a discipline and structure of achieving performance results through peer approval of annual objectives using the 180+ dealer benchmarks.
After 30 years of providing management and financial advice and peer group facilitation to John Deere dealer groups, Doug Friend felt it was the right time to look at succession. “I felt WEDA would be the right partner for future sustainability and growth of Friend Management Systems. WEDA is the leading equipment dealer association in North America and a perfect fit,” says Friend. “One of WEDA’s (largest) divisions, Dealer Institute, provides consulting, education and training to dealers. By taking on Friend Management Systems, they are able to offer an expanded suite of services to their members through peer group programs backed with a bench strength of people and members to assure continuity.”
Friend Management Systems will continue to be available to John Deere dealers in North America and beyond. “Our consolidated energies will make us well-positioned to offer deeper client consultative analysis, broader scope of products and enhanced geographical footprint, to the already large ($6.0 billion annual sales) data base,” says Friend. “I am pleased to join with WEDA. We are convinced that building exceptional leaders is the key to transforming individuals, companies and the industry,” he adds.
With more than 45 years of operational, consulting and facilitation experience with John Deere dealerships, Friend Management Systems has significantly helped improve dealer performance. “We’re delighted with the opportunities presented by fusing our collective consultative approaches with Friend Management’s technology and support,” says WEDA CEO, John Schmeiser. “This joining of talent not only brings leading-edge expertise to our association but will further expand on our ability to offer specialized experience and insight that dealers rely on for strategizing and growing their business,” he adds.
Through peer-to-peer learning, numerous industry leading John Deere dealerships have developed their organizational vision, leadership teams, succession plans and personal leadership skills with Friend Management Systems. “We are thrilled to have Doug Friend join our efforts to provide the most comprehensive suite of business management services tailored to the specific needs of the industry,” says Cory Hays, WEDA’s vice president of Education and Training.”
Doug Friend will join WEDA and the Dealer Institute as a subject matter expert (SME) and continue to lead on-site John Deere performance group consulting. In addition, Boyd Hofmann, formerly a partner of JayDee AgTech, a large multi-store John Deere dealership, will also join WEDA and Dealer Institute as a SME and will focus on the facilitation of the current Large Ag and Large Turf Dealer Performance Groups as part of this transition.
“The new internal structure will enable us to better service existing clients as well as offer our unique expertise to our client base,” says Friend. In the future, Friend Management Systems will be made available to non- Deere dealer members with the development of their own database.
For more information about Friend Management Systems, visit the WEDA website.