Once Briggs Equipment officials decided to build upon their dealership by adding to its territory, they knew the key to the success of the venture would rest in the hands of its staff.
And after seeing the results of the massive hiring wave, Regional Manager Scott McGuigan said he has no reason to doubt Briggs will become a major player in the new areas.
Briggs opened branches in Lawrenceville, GA, and Chattanooga, TN, on Jan. 1 and before the doors were opened the company hired 65 people – only 23 of whom came from the former dealer. Briggs closed the previous dealer’s third location in Duluth, GA.
“We’ve been pleasantly surprised that our message is being received so well by prospective employees,” McGuigan said. “I think it’s created a buzz.”
While the route the employees traveled to call themselves Briggs employees varies, they all seem excited about being involved in the expansion.
Rich Dundon, the regional sales manager in Lawrenceville, has experienced a great deal during his 35 years in the construction equipment business. But when the industry veteran talks about the company for which he has worked for seven months, his words are underscored with the anticipation of a promising future.
“Briggs has the asset base to do what we need to do,” Dundon said. He added that its dedication to hiring experienced employees and its attention to creating top-notch facilities, “should make a statement to the industry.”
When Mike Ardiff relocated from New Jersey to join the Briggs team as the service manager in Lawrenceville he played a part in searching for qualified employees in his department, a task that isn’t complete just yet.
“The talent base is here, we just have to go out and find them and let them know we’re here,” he said.
Ardiff has eight mechanics, along with three field service trucks.
“It seemed like a good fit all around and a first-rate company to work for,” he said of his decision to relocate.
Prior to the location’s opening, Ardiff ensured the shop was equipped with the best tools to maintain the equipment.
“The goal for our whole facility is service,” he said. “If we can’t keep the machines working, the customers don’t want to see us.”
As Briggs officials saw the purchase as an opportunity to expand its presence in northern Georgia, the single biggest market in the South. McGuigan said the move fit well into the organization’s long-term goals and filled in some geographic gaps in its territory.
From Lawrenceville, Briggs serves the northern and northeastern area of metropolitan Atlanta, which includes the Interstate 85 corridor. The 38,000-sq.-ft. facility, which sits on 9 acres, boasts 12 service bays with four 10-ton overhead cranes. A relatively new building, it only required minimal renovations.
While contractors in the Atlanta area work on all types of projects in this booming city — from landscaping to quarries — McGuigan promises Briggs will try to make inroads into the demolition market.
“Especially in the city, if anything needs to be built, more than likely something needs to be torn down,” he said.
McGuigan expects Briggs will add more locations in the Atlanta area to handle the demand of the market. It already has another branch in the western side of the city.
In Chattanooga, Briggs moved from the former dealer’s location to a new facility with greater visibility closer to some of its competitors. The 24,000-sq.-ft. building has 12 service bays and four overhead cranes. He expects Chattanooga, which also serves the most northern parts of Georgia, will present the same variety of customers as Lawrenceville.
Chattanooga Branch Manager Dennis Moyer sees a bright future for Case and Briggs in his territory. And he’s the right person to ask. Moyer joins Briggs from the previous dealership (as well as its predecessor), where he served 10 years. He believes customers should expect a higher level of customer support, as well as better availability of equipment and parts.
“We’re the talk of the town, just based on the amount of iron we have,” Moyer said.
Additionally, Briggs now offers rentals, so contractors in the Chattanooga area are being introduced to Case equipment they may have only seen in brochures.
“Briggs is looking at the long term goals and is willing to invest in the future,” Moyer said. “It’s a different game now.”
Within both territories, McGuigan hopes to maintain and build upon the former dealer’s customer base. And he promises those who maintain their loyalty to Case products a better experience.
“They’re going to get a higher level of service and professionalism that they’re probably not used to,” he said. “Hopefully, they see the difference in the commitment we’ve made to the market. I think they’ll be able to recognize that it’s not business as usual for the old sleepy Case dealer.”
In addition to Case, Briggs also represents Wirtgen, Hamm, Vogele, Sennebogen, JLG, Lull, NPK and Eager Beaver Trailers. CEG