Niche Equipment Markets

Advice from dealers on how to sell unusual or niche products.


One Career, Two Chapters & Endless Adaptation

George Annen of Annen’s Machinery Ranch in Arlington, Wis., reflects on the digital transition that shaped his career, sharing the benefits, pitfalls and lessons learned trading used equipment in the modern age.
There was once a simpler time in the career of George Annen, a used equipment specialist and owner of Annen’s Machinery Ranch Inc. in Arlington, Wis. A typical day before the internet started with a freshly-brewed pot of coffee, a trip to the convenience store to process tractor photos taken on a film camera, mailing them overnight to a set of interested buyers and preparing for a sales trip the next day if the phone rang.
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Sponsored Content: Success in Shortline Machinery

For Pattison Agriculture, No Line Is Too Unique

With 60-plus shortlines to their name, the Saskatchewan-based dealer network strives to meet every customer’s needs and build long-term relationships in the process.
When JayDee AgTech and Maple Farm Equipment merged together under the Pattison Agriculture ownership group in early 2014, the result was a dealer network that has since expanded to 19 locations across Saskatchewan and Manitoba. While it brought in a diverse customer base with opportunities to grow further, it also brought in over 60 different shortlines across all locations, some with unique restrictions in their distribution contracts.
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Keeping Oil and Fluid Waste Down

When the department kept running out of oil at the end of each quarter, Service Manager Brent Whetstone of Ellens Equipment discovered a discrepancy between how much fluid was used vs. how much was available. Having identified the problem, Ellens Equipment was able to determine a number of solutions, such as changing the volume metrics by which the oil was purchased as well as fluid counters for the pumps. By spending more on preventative measures, the company was able to save a larger sum in the long run.
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Cleaning Up the Service Job Board

Brent Whetstone, service manager at Ellens Equipment, displays the company's new digital job board. Whetstone explains how upgrading from their old white board system has improved accuracy and productivity for the other service members, cutting down on skipped over work requests and miscommunication.
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The Ellens Approach to Finding Good People

A business is reliant on finding and training the best person for the job, however the perfect employee can show up in the last place you'd expect. Linda Ellens, co-owner and controller at Ellens Equipment, further explains this as she recalls how having an eye for character and personality were key in finding someone perfect for the company.
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Incentivizing Parts & Service to Improve Absorption

Any business leader knows that a good idea can come from anywhere. Linda Ellens, co-owner and controller at Ellens Equipment, understands this and impresses upon her employees that no money saving idea is too small as they strive to improve their parts and service absorption rate. The employees are further incentivized as Linda provides examples of how expense savings come back to benefit the employees in a big way.
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