Montana and Wyoming farmers and ranchers are proudly served by the second largest multi-store John Deere dealership in the country. C&B Operations, which owned 16 John Deere dealerships across five states, has just acquired three more John Deere stores in southeast South Dakota.
"It's a good time to be in agriculture and this is a very good acquisition," said Larry Radi, regional manager over C&B's Montana and Wyoming stores. Radi has been working for C&B for 14 years.
"We are diverse across five states and a variety of different farming practices and types of crops. John Deere makes the finest equipment on the market, bar none," Radi said.
Radi knows that John Deere invests a lot of time and effort into research and development. "They are on the cutting edge of technology in the manufacture of equipment."
C&B Operations, LLC, began in 1988 when Dan Cronin and Rod Burwell purchased the John Deere store in Gettysburg, S.D., in an effort to maintain a dealer in Cronin's hometown.
Since that time, the company has grown to its current size with over 450 employees. Their mission statement is to "exceed" customer expectations.
"When you combine excellent people who work together as a team you are able to offer superior customer service," he said.
Radi said the company is able to stay strong even in difficult times.
"We've never had a year when some of the stores haven't felt a challenge with weather conditions. When one store is faced with a challenge we can quickly react by moving inventory and resources to where they are needed most," he explained. It is like working on a diverse farm and it helps keep the entire operation strong.
Another aspect about the multi-store dealership which Radi says is a plus for their customers is their service technicians.
"In my area alone, we have 12 trained field service technicians," he commented. "They are out in the country taking care of our customers needs at their farm or ranch."
Combine those 12 technicians with all the other technicians in the C&B operation and Radi said, "you don't have to search through a book for an answer. You already have someone who has dealt with those individual issues and challenges first hand and come up with a solution that best meets the customer's needs."
Their network of parts and service offerings is also strong.
"We carry a very high fill on parts. We try to have the parts on hand that they will need for their operation at the time of year they are needing those parts," he explained.
C&B can offer over $60 million dollars in quality used John Deere equipment through their 19 stores. They also maintain a very high fill percentage on parts. "If we don't have what you want at one locations, we can get it from one of our other locations. And, since that used equipment came in as a local trade, we also know the history of the machine and any service work that was done to it," Radi said.
Radi is excited for the future of agriculture and the role John Deere will be playing in that future.
"They are on the cutting edge for guidance systems and ag management solutions. Our business is growing dramatically on satellite guidance systems and auto-steer features on combines, tractors, windrows, and self-propelled forage harvesters," he said.
Radi feels that multi-store dealerships are also a growing trend because of the variety and diversity they can offer, along with a wide base of knowledge and experience.
"It's good to be a multi-store dealership with John Deere," he concluded.
In Montana, C&B Operations has stores in Billings and Miles City. In Wyoming they operate stores in Sheridan and Powell. The Idaho region also has C&B stores in Idaho Falls and Rexburg. For more information, visit the website www.deerequipment.com.