Joe Foster took his new position with Bobcat of Atlanta in February because, he stated, “I had been out of the retail side of the equipment business for three years and decided I wanted to get back in.”
Joe Foster began his career in the equipment rental business in 1984 after graduating from the University of Alabama School of Commerce and Business Administration. He started with Grace Equipment, which eventually became Prime Equipment and then RSC Equipment Rental. His career path started in Mobile, Ala. He also served in Corpus Christi and Pasadena, Tex., and Atlanta. Foster was with RSC and its predecessors for 25 years. At the pinnacle of his career with RSC he was senior vice president of the Eastern Division.
When asked about the challenges of the rental business Foster stated, “The biggest challenge was working through the numerous acquisitions and mergers. We were sold several times throughout my career. Every time ownership changed it was a challenge. We worked with the changes in the financial structure, the capital restrictions and the change in philosophies. Economic ups and downs always present a challenge in any capital intensive business.”
During the last three years Foster worked with Southeast Equipment Plus, Acworth, Ga., a company that refurbishes and sells used construction equipment. Foster’s duties were in overseeing the day-to-day operations.
Foster took his new position with Bobcat of Atlanta in February because, he stated, “I had been out of the retail side of the equipment business for three years and decided I wanted to get back in. There was an opportunity for me here. It’s a good company; it’s stable and has a great brand. I felt we could improve the organizational structure of the company.”
Foster plans to take his long history in the equipment business and use that experience to tackle what he sees are about five or six aspects of process improvement.
“Our number one project will be building on our customer service. With a core focus on customer service, we are then able to more clearly drive new equipment sales, used equipment sales, parts sales, service and of course, rentals. I think to say any one of these is more important than the other would take away from the efforts of each department and the importance of each person. There’s work to do in every department, but we have a good base and we are going to focus on the customer and all avenues of revenue.
“My initial assessment is that parts sales are pretty good, new equipment sales are good and rentals seems to be the lowest hanging fruit here.”?continued Foster. “But I don’t want to say that we are going after one thing or the other, we are after it all. As I said before, our number one priority is driving customer service. If you service your customers properly, the business will come to you.”
Foster looks forward to growing his role with Bobcat of Atlanta with a great deal of enthusiasm.
“I’m excited about the opportunity here. We can grow this business to be a market leader. My drive in any operation is customer service. The only way you are going to build and develop your business is with more customers. To get more customers you have to develop them, but you also have to retain the ones you have. To retain customers you must provide good service and do what you say you’re going to do. This philosophy has worked for me throughout my career,” Foster concluded.
Bobcat of Atlanta has two metro locations in Atlanta and Marietta, Ga., and also is a part of Rhinehart Equipment Company, Rome, Ga., and Bobcat of Oxford, Oxford, Ala.
For more information, visit www.bobcatofatlanta.com.