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ASC’s Greenville, Huntsville Branches Reflect New Era

Wed February 15, 2006 - Southeast Edition
CEG



It’s one thing for a company to shout from the hilltops that it has hired an army of new technicians and increased its parts availability. But if it is still working from a dingy facility, that message may not sink in with the people it is targeting.

“As a customer, I wouldn’t believe that we’d made the improvements in parts and service we’re talking about,” said Ron Huibers, president of ASC Construction Equipment.

That’s why ASC focused on renovations that create a welcoming aura at all of its locations, including the two newest ones in Greenville, SC, and Huntsville, AL.

And so far, ASC’s customers have caught on to this exciting time in the company’s growth.

“They’re saying, ’Ah ha. Something’s going on here,’” he said.

Both locations opened Dec. 5 — the first anniversary of when ASC purchased the assets of LB Smith — in areas the company had only served with resident technicians.

The new facilities double the number of technicians available to ASC’s customers from two to four and create a place to conduct business.

Both include a customer reception area with a coffee bar and spot for socializing.

“We want our customers to feel welcome and relax for awhile,” Huibers said.

The 6,500-sq.-ft. Greenville location has four service bays and a parts warehouse. The full-service branch has four technicians, including two in the field, and eight other employees.

Tom Moore leads the sales team and Lee Grant is the parts manager.

Service Manager Dean Branyon got his start as a technician in the trucking industry, eventually working his way into managerial positions. He joined ASC in December.

“I am very impressed by the professionalism and ASC’s commitment to not only its customer base, but to the company’s employees and their families as well,” Branyon said.

Greenville was an attractive location for a new branch, as the Interstate 85 corridor has been ranked among the top ten growing markets in the nation, Huibers said.

The massive amount of residential development in this area of South Carolina has created a high demand for compact equipment from ASC’s customers.

Before the location opened, Branyon said ASC’s goal was to maintain its customer base in the Greenville area. But now, the staff is working hard to increase their business.

He said the area is known as a strong territory for a competing manufacturer, “but we’re trying to sell them over to Volvo products.”

In the two months since the branch opened, it has attracted plenty of walk-in customers from varying backgrounds. In addition, “We’re getting out and trying to meet the customer base,” Branyon said.

Huibers said its customers in both of these areas have relied on the strength of the machines they purchased from ASC. But now, with a physical presence, “We expect that their confidence in ASC will rise. We want to demonstrate that to them.”

Huntsville has 12 employees, including four technicians. It being expanded to 15,000 sq. ft.

The sales team is led by Elon Holley.

John Monroe, the Huntsville branch’s operations manager, has been working with heavy equipment since 1987, starting as an operator for Denbo Iron & Metal. He also has had experience in product support for a dealer in Florida and as parts manager for dealers in Alabama before joining ASC.

Monroe said the fact that ASC had customers around Huntsville even before it opened a branch says worlds about the quality of Volvo equipment. Previously, they were served out of the Birmingham location, approximately 80 mi. away.

New customers have already been attracted to ASC, including a local sand quarry that purchased an A40D truck, an EC460 excavator and two L220E wheel loaders. But they’re not waiting for people to knock at their door. A customer support representative roams the territory to inform potential customers of ASC’s presence.

Once they come into the facility, “They’re very impressed with the location and the way the building looks,” Monroe said.

With the upcoming expansion of the military’s presence in Huntsville following base realignment, the construction industry is preparing for an influx of residential and commercial development and plenty of new roads, which means a lot of new equipment will need to be purchased.

Customers in Huntsville have been buying medium-sized loaders and excavators to work on commercial developments and in sand and gravel operations in the area.

ASC represents Volvo in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, eastern Tennessee and the Florida panhandle. Other lines represented in select parts of the territory include BTI, Broce, Bomag, Champion, Hypac and Dynapac products. CEG Staff