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Thu September 16, 2021 - Southeast Edition #19
Mason Tractor, based in Blue Ridge, Ga., recently opened its fifth Kubota dealership in Villa Rica, Ga.
The location had previously been a Beshears Tractor & Equipment branch owned by Randy Beshears, who continues to own and operate Kubota dealership locations in Oxford and Opelika, Ala. Mason Tractor owner Bill Mason said that he and Randy Beshears are good friends and the whole transition began as just a simple impromptu phone conversation: Beshears was looking to keep its operations focused in Alabama, while at the same time Mason was looking to expand. It worked out perfectly for both. The father and son ownership of Mason Tractor, Bill and Will Mason, said growth was anticipated "but not this way."
The sale and transfer of the ownership happened in fewer than 30 days.
Mason Tractor's Villa Rica branch started with a core group that transitioned from Beshears and within a couple months, the staffing almost tripled to promote a rapid and immediate increase in sales and service. Mason said he's extremely pleased with the growth.
"Mason Tractor as a whole had the best year ever in 2020 and is already about 40 percent ahead of last year at this point."
When asked about what drives the company's growth, Mason said "Parts availability is key to our success. We ramp up our inventory at each location to accommodate our customers' needs so we don't have to rely on outside resources. You can have great retail sales, but you must have the parts and service capabilities to maintain sales success.
"When we bought this location, Will and I decided that we needed to make some changes to make sure we are self-sufficient at this branch facility and to ensure we don't have to sub out any work needed by our customers.
"We had Kubota come in and tell us exactly what we needed to accomplish this and we acted on every recommendation. Plans are already in the works for expansion of the building within the next 12 months or so. Probably double the size of the facility to make it more conducive for rapid growth.
"For servicing our customer's machines, we have lots of rollback trucks to easily pick up a machine and deliver to the closest facility to quickly perform the required service where the parts and tooling are all in one place. Our philosophy is to keep our technicians working on machines in house, rather than spending their time driving to a machine repair."
Mason Tractor is Kubota's highest volume construction dealer. Bill Mason said they are going to bring a higher volume of construction equipment sales and service business to the west side of Atlanta and combine it with the robust mower, small tractor and turf management machine sales and service that has already been a mainstay at the Villa Rica facility.
"We're going to bring Bandit chippers to this area. There's a big opportunity here." Mason Tractor already is the Bandit dealer in this area — but will now have a location in the heart of this rural area to fully serve the line in west Georgia.
With more than 100 employees, Bill and Will Mason rely on all of their staff to help guide them with their decisions. As a growth-oriented company, Mason Tractor's business is approximately 60 percent construction equipment. Currently, at its newly acquired Villa Rica location, only about 10 percent of sales is construction-related machines, so the company has its work cut out for them to balance the construction/non construction equipment sales percentages.
Will and Bill see it as a growth challenge and an opportunity to do the same thing they've already accomplished at their other Kubota locations.
Core employees who transitioned from Beshears ownership to Mason Tractor made this an easy conversion, the Masons said, specifically naming Ricky Cole, who continues as the branch general manager; Sue Cole, who continues in finance; Joey Giles, who continues as parts manager; Tony Entrekin, who continues in sales; and Chris Pressley, a Kubota technician who was elevated to the position of service manager.
Mason said the staff at Villa Rica are people they've actually known for years through decades of distribution and through generations of family relationships and friendships.
"When our team from other Mason locations came to help with the transition, they rolled up their sleeves and did the work needed to clean up, reorganize and re-set under the Mason Tractor name. It didn't matter if it was family ownership, marketing or any other departmental staffer, each that came to Villa Rica to work hard and get dirty with a total team approach.
"We've added the people needed to make sure the efficiency is where it needs to be and that we've come through on what we've promised. When we first started the ownership transition, we started purchasing tooling, shelving and necessary system items before the purchase was even finalized."
Bill Mason has always said, "if you take one step — I'll take two." Because of this philosophy and a culture of hard work from an extremely talented family and staff, the Villa Rica branch facility is set up for success.