Unfazed by a rainy, chilly day, more than 150 guests gathered at 4610 E. Saile Drive, ready to get a firsthand view of Milton CAT’s future western New York home.
The tour was organized so that upstate New York customers could learn about the advantages of the 103,000-sq.-ft., purpose-built facility and so that management could directly address customers’ questions. The facility will open toward the end of 2007 and will consist of more than 4.5 acres of equipment storage space and more than 1.5 acres of display area.
The event was well attended by representatives of regional industry, local authorities and media. There was a special guest, too — Caterpillar Chairman and CEO James Owens.
“Having Jim Owens join us was very exciting,” said Milton CAT President Chris Milton, who emphasized the company’s strong ties to the region and added, “Jim Owens’ presence really helped drive our point — we are committed to raising the bar in product delivery and support in upstate New York.”
Divided into small groups, the guests were given hard hats to don during the tour and keep as souvenirs. Guests also wore headphones as they toured the site, stopping at several key points to hear detailed explanations from representatives of Milton CAT.
Presentations included an overview of the facility layout, a closer look at the plans for the upcoming parts operation and a discussion of Milton CAT’s plan for service at the Batavia facility. In-store and in-the-field features of the plan, for both earthmoving equipment and the power systems division, were discussed.
Ken Reukauf, parts manager and Mark Wengewicz, warehouse supervisor, showed customers the new parts department, which will house more than 15,000 parts. It will be enhanced by PartStore, which will allow customers to order parts online.
Steve Earle, N.Y. equipment PSSR sales manager, showed customers how parts drops will work and Jared Utz, equipment field service supervisor, showed customers the field service area, which includes night pickup capability for techs to respond to early morning service needs.
At the tour’s conclusion, a sit-down lunch offered guests an opportunity to catch up with peers, talk to members of Milton CAT staff and hear the views of Jim Owens, who talked about the crucial role of the dealers in the Caterpillar network.
The tour was a success with guests. Many commented that they learned how the new facility’s efficiency and size would impact their own operations and improve their uptime. Several people agreed that the guided tour helped them to understand the advantages of a purpose-built facility.