We’ll be announcing the top North American equipment dealers in our annual Dealership of the Year program in the July/August of Farm Equipment. What stood out for me is how the top dealers continue to set the bar a little higher each year.

As I wrote in this space a few weeks back, I’m glad these three industry veterans  — David Downey, David Kahler and Charles Glass — make the decision, and not me. The quality and performance of the dealerships that made it to the final round this year may have been the best group we’ve seen since we started the program seven years ago. Each deserves to be recognized and saluted.

Following the judges’ selection, we spend some time on the telephone discussing what stood out for them about the dealerships that topped their list for that particular year. That’s followed up with an “official” letter from the judges telling the Farm Equipment editors of their selections and the reasons behind their selections. 

In any case, what set the top dealers apart this year came down to revenue dollars per employee. For the record, the average of the top three dealers in the $50 million and over in annual revenue category was $1.03 million per dealership employee. The parts and service absorption rate for these three dealers averaged 86.9%.

In the category of $50 million and under in annual revenue, sales per employee for the three top dealers came in at $596,729. Their average absorption rate was 73.3%.

Of course, more goes into selecting the top dealers than just the numbers, as you’ll see. But it’s obvious that North American farm equipment dealers are intent on getting better in all aspects of their businesses. They continue learning from the best and setting performance goals just a little higher each year. They want to be the best and it shows.

As Oliver Cromwell once said, “He who stops being better, stops being good.”