Canada's Young's Equipment and Idaho's Bonneville and Madison County Implement earned the industry's top honor as 2009 Dealerships of the Year.
A Farm Equipment Staff Report
The Dealership of the Year Judging Panel
Dr. W. David Downey
Executive Director, Center for Agricultural Business (CAB), Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.
Downey is responsible for the development of education programs at the CAB, which is largely regarded as the U.S.' leading center for agribusiness education. A distinguished agricultural marketing professor and a proficient author, Downey also consults extensively throughout North America on a variety of agribusiness issues.
David L. Kahler
Retired CEO of Ohio-Michigan Equipment Dealers Assn., Dublin, Ohio
Kahler spent his entire 38-year career assisting equipment dealer-principals with their business affairs, the last 20 as CEO of the association serving Ohio and Michigan. An active industry participant who earned the respect of both dealers and manufacturers, Kahler retired from full-time employment last January.
Charles R. Glass
President, Glass Management Group, chairman emeritus, Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association's (FEMA) Dealer Relations Committee, Arlington, Texas
Glass has been actively involved in the sales and marketing of farm equipment to dealers throughout his 40-year career. A board member of FEMA, he is also a frequent presenter and author, including several white papers on the future of farm equipment distribution.
Judging in Farm Equipment's 5th Annual Dealership of the Year awards program has concluded and the two dealerships earning 2009 honors are — Young's Equipment in the over $50 million category, and Bonneville and Madison County Implement from those dealerships reporting $50 million or less in total sales for 2008.
In 2005, Farm Equipment editors established the Dealership of the Year program "to elevate farm equipment dealerships that are leading the industry in best practices, operations management and customer care."
Nearly 130 U.S. and Canadian dealerships were nominated this year. Nominations were submitted by a diverse group of individuals and companies, including equipment suppliers, farmers and dealers. One even came from a local banker. Past recipients of the award that comprise the "Dealership of the Year Alumni Group" also provided nominations. In all, 38 dealerships met all of the criteria necessary for final consideration.
The challenging job of choosing this year's Farm Equipment Dealerships of the Year went to three highly experienced and involved individuals that comprised the independent judging panel. This year's group included Dr. W. David Downey, Center for Agricultural Business, Purdue Univ., David Kahler, former CEO of the Ohio-Michigan Dealers Assn., and Charles R. Glass, Glass Management Group, and past chairman of the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Assn.'s Dealer Relations Committee.
The six dealerships that make up the class of 2009 excelled in nearly every category with combined revenues of more than $696 million. On average, they had sales of $718,415 per employee. But it was in the critical area of absorption rate where these dealerships really shined. Together they averaged an astounding 95.27% absorption vs. the industry average of 61%. The lowest among them came in at 84.88% and the highest registering an absorption rate of 114.68%.
While six dealer organizations are being recognized nationally this month for their 2008 performance, the "Dealership of the Year" recognition is one that the industry can — and should — celebrate. The industry has come a long way.
We hope that you'll join us in congratulating these dealerships and their employees for their industry-leading achievements.