Bedrock Machinery Rises to Top Following Humble Start
Wed June 05, 2019 - West Edition #12 CEG
While it is common to hear about companies that failed during the great recession, others were born and achieved growth during this challenging period. Bedrock Machinery of California is one of those companies. Jack Yao, owner of Bedrock, learned quickly to think outside the box and sell heavy equipment when few contractors were buying.
Today, Bedrock Machinery manufactures and distributes a complete line of attachments for machines ranging in size from compact equipment to dozers.
However the beginnings were humble.
Yao, living in China and having just graduated university in 2007, was looking for steady employment. His first job was as a translator for Nationwide Equipment, an American-based firm.
Jack Yao, owner of Bedrock Machinery.
"Jean Bakkes, partner of Nationwide, had come to China to buy new and used machinery," said Yao. "He was my mentor and taught me a lot. We knew no one and had no connections. We literally just picked up the phone and started dialing and within the first two months had purchased about 13 machines."
Over the next year, Nationwide bought machines in China and resold them in Africa. When the recession hit in 2008, Nationwide Equipment ceased operations, according to Yao. He decided to venture out on his own and start brokering.
"Even though it was hard to find buyers, I would still go out and do inspections. I started a website and started to compile all the equipment data online," he said. "I worked very hard in the beginning because I had zero customers. Ultimately I was able to complete two deals in my first year."
He leveraged these new relationships to attract more customers in Africa, South Africa, Nigeria and Australia.
"What really helped me to secure these deals was my honesty. At the time, a lot of my competitors in China were not truly forthcoming about the used equipment. I gave real numbers and real data on all my inspections. Slowly, I began to earn everyone's trust and was soon in a position where I could start buying the equipment myself," said Yao.
A turning point for Yao was in 2009 when he started selling to BLC Plant, one of the largest machinery traders in South Africa.
"Because they were too busy to come to China, they trusted me, they would buy the machines sight unseen," said Yao.
In 2011, Yao's customers were looking for more affordable quality attachments.
"I saw the need was there, so I decided to start manufacturing my own attachments. I opened the company, 2 Machine, with my father, Jiaqi Yao," he said.
Bedrock Machinery's D6T/R foldable stickrake.
The senior Yao, with more than 30 years of experience at Volkswagen, had an extensive background in managing engineers and builders. They soon hired engineers to help design and build the attachments.
Initially, the company's main purpose was to produce attachments exclusively for its machines. Soon customers began asking for custom design/build solutions. Business began to expand rapidly at this point.
After focusing on global development for several years, 2 Machine moved its corporate headquarters to the United States and began doing business as Bedrock Machinery in Southern California in 2017. Bedrock has evolved into a company that offers attachments as diverse and unique as a single shank ripper for a Cat D10 dozer to a foldable stick rake for larger dozers. Most of its products will fit a variety of machines.
"Because the U.S. market is so big, I felt there was a lot of opportunity here for us to market directly to the end user. Prior to the move, I would say our U.S. customer base constituted of about 10 percent of our business. Last year the U.S. made up 40 percent of our total revenue." said Yao.
He attributes this growth to marketing and stock availability.
Bedrock Machinery's D7E ripper and screen sweeps.
"We now have four warehouses strategically located in California, Texas, Utah and Georgia. We maintain between four to six containers at all times, so it is much easier and faster to fill a customer needs quickly. We can generally fill an order within a week," said Yao.
Bedrock has successfully overcome the challenge of finding quality supply chain partners, Yao said.
"To manufacture equipment is much more challenging due to your reliance on the supply chain," he said. "Finding good suppliers was difficult at first. It's much better now, as we can afford to do inspections on every process and send engineers to make sure everything is being done correctly."
Yao has been proactive as it pertains to current and potential new tariffs.
"The uncertainty with the tariffs has really affected our business. It's very hard for us to plan ahead. We started looking months ago and have recently secured manufacturing in Malaysia and Thailand. The cost is low, the quality is good and the customer will not have to incur the increased cost of the tariffs," said Yao.
Currently, Bedrock Machinery employs more than 100 people worldwide; distributes to more than 70 countries; manufactures more than 160 models; and still has plans for further expansion.
"I want to continue to build a brand name that's known for quality and will continue to grow for generations to come. We appreciate our customers, offer excellent warranties and will always do whatever is needed to keep our customers satisfied," said Yao.
For more information, visit bedrockmachinery.com. CEG
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