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Alta Equipment Company NY Names Director of Sales

Thu February 10, 2022 - Northeast Edition #4

Ryan Curtis has been named director of sales of Alta Equipment Company's New York division.

Recently, Construction Equipment Guide (CEG) was given the opportunity to spend some time with Curtis to learn a little bit of his background and to learn his vision of Alta Equipment's future direction.

Curtis' first significant job right out of college was as a Liftech sales representative at the company's Buffalo, N.Y., branch, where his father was employed.

"My father had a position with Liftech as marketing manager for a number of years and I had enough exposure to the industry that I felt confident that it could be a good fit," he said. "Essentially, my job was to sell new JCB construction equipment in western New York State.

"When I joined Liftech, we were selling a few JCB machines in our first year as a construction equipment division startup in western New York territory compared to now when we were just awarded by JCB for selling the most new JCB machines in North America. We've come a long way and it's great to be a part of that success."

In 2014, Liftech offered Curtis the position of company sales manager over all of the company's branches in the northeast, overseeing ag and construction equipment sales.

In February 2020, Liftech was purchased by Alta Equipment Company, an award-winning and publicly traded company which boasts 57 full-service locations throughout the United States, over 700 mobile service vans, a rental fleet comprised of over 10,000 units, over 900 factory-trained technicians, and the investment capital to rapidly increase its footprint of construction equipment dealers across the United States. As winners of the "Top Places to Work For" award, they can better attract the talent it takes to succeed in a competitive landscape.

"At Liftech — now Alta Equipment Company—we quickly found out that we were now working in a brave new world," Curtis said. "We almost immediately received a significant influx of inventory and personnel investment with the end result being we had our best year ever in 2020."

In January 2021, Alta Equipment purchased Vantage Equipment, the Volvo distributor of eastern, central and western New York State. Shortly thereafter, the company started transitioning what was the Liftech company and Vantage Equipment company into the Alta Equipment Company New York, a single construction equipment distribution company that primarily represented the Volvo and JCB product lines.

Curtis was managing the compact construction equipment division, or essentially the JCB product line and, again in 2021, Alta experienced another record sales year.

"Moving forward as director of sales for Alta Equipment Company New York, I will be overseeing all sales efforts for all product lines that fall under the Alta umbrella in New York State for contractors and agricultural customers," he said.

"Working with Alta Equipment has been an enlightening experience," he added. "There are a couple of company mantras that we try to adhere to. First, we want to have our customers and employees be customers and employees for life. Essentially, when a customer decides to partner with us, whether it be for service, parts or sales, we want that customer to feel like we are going to take care of him down the road no matter what. We want our employees to feel the same way about working here.

"Another mantra is one team, one goal, meaning essentially that everyone comes into the office every day trying to accomplish the same goal: trying to row the ship in the same direction, accomplish the goal as a team and share the benefits of success together. Those are the guiding principles for our company moving forward."

Merging the two companies together has had a significant impact on all Alta's efforts, the most obvious being commitment to inventory, Curtis said.

"In 2022, we have nine-and-a-half times the number of machines on order than we did a year ago at the same time. That is a tremendous commitment to inventory, and that is commitment to both our rental and our sales efforts.

"We are building our rental fleet at our locations all across the state and adding personnel—including rental coordinators—at all of our locations. Our sales staff has grown from 10 to 16 representatives, along with three product support reps. That's a total of 19 individuals in the field supporting our sales efforts, and those individuals are spread across our territory, which covers Buffalo east to Albany, and the Canadian border south to the lower Hudson Valley."

Alta currently offers approximately 62 product lines to its customers in a very diverse product offering, including everything from excavators to loaders to pavers. The company recently added the Toro line, which gave it some new offerings in compact machines like the Toro Dingo and other compact machines that are ideal for the landscaper and other clientele who work in very confined spaces or have a need for a light duty machine, Curtis said.

"It's important to stress that Alta is a service-based company," he said. "No one in our industry can weather a difficult economic storm without a great service reputation and team of technicians. At the time of the acquisition, we had about 28 technicians; today, we are at 37, an increase of nine. Looking down the road, it is our goal to drive that number to 100 technicians. Obviously, that's going to take time, but it certainly demonstrates our commitment to service. We have received approval for and have started building a new engine and transmission rebuild center and we will continue to add specialized repair facilities into the indefinite future.

"When two teams are merged together its only natural to expect transitional bumps in the road and I can honestly say we have had very few problems," he added. "I can count on one hand the number of issues we have had with customers. Our existing support staff at Vantage is an exceptional group of people and if anything, we are gaining traction with customers through the transition process."

"To summarize, I want all of Construction Equipment Guide readers to know that when you partner with the Alta team you are truly partnering with us in every sense of the word. Whether it's a repair, a rental or a sale, you are partnering with an organization that will not and does not want you to go backwards as a result of the partnership. We look at each partnership as a long-term relationship with a customer. We don't look at any transaction as a one-time sale. We are committed to you for the long haul." CEG

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