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Monk JCB Celebrates Five Successful Years in Houston

Tue May 28, 2024 - West Edition #11

Monk JCB is celebrating five years as the Houston-area dealer, where its 13,000-sq.-ft. facility has helped propel the business to unprecedented growth numbers in new equipment sales, service hours and parts sales.
Photo courtesy of Monk JCB
Monk JCB is celebrating five years as the Houston-area dealer, where its 13,000-sq.-ft. facility has helped propel the business to unprecedented growth numbers in new equipment sales, service hours and parts sales.

Monk JCB of Houston is celebrating five successful years as the Houston-area JCB dealer despite an eventful half-decade of challenges, including a major construction project and a pandemic.

Founded in spring 2019 in a temporary facility, Monk JCB began construction almost immediately on a building on Houston's busy North Freeway, according to Company President Bryan Monk.

The facility — a 13,000-sq.-ft. building on 5.5 acres — has helped propel Monk to unprecedented growth numbers in new equipment sales, service hours and parts sales. But it was not all smooth going, according to Monk.

COVID Factor

By 2020, the walls were up on the new facility, but COVID-19 brought construction to a halt shortly thereafter. With pandemic regulations relatively less restrictive in Texas compared with other states, progress resumed in the fall and Monk took occupancy on an unfinished building in December 2020 (there was no permanent power to the structure at that time and the company relied on generators for several weeks). Also, it did not have internet connectivity, yet, making typically routine internal processes challenging.

Finally, in May 2021, Monk was able to be fully operational and the company has been on an impressive trajectory ever since.

Meeting Customers' Needs

Product support is the lynchpin of Monk's growth strategy.

"From the start, our goal has been to bring unparalleled service and quality to the construction equipment sector in Houston," Monk said. "Houston is a great place to be in this business and we aim to build a dealership worthy of the market we are in."

The company maintains a parts inventory of more than $4 million and has a record of 94 percent availability within 24 hours.

"Our parts department plays a crucial role in ensuring minimal downtime for our clients," Monk added.

The service department is a key component of the operation, equipped with advanced facilities that include eight service bays.

"We offer customized service programs, including 24-hour service," Monk said, highlighting his commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction.

The approach is working. Parts sales doubled from 2021 to 2022 and rose an additional 30 percent in 2023. In the first year in the new facility, service hours doubled and unit sales grew by 300 percent and has since grown exponentially, tripling the number of JCB machines in the field in just five years, Monk said.

"We have done well with civil contractors, underground and water, as well as the landscaping market," he added.

Retaining key personnel over the long-term ranks among the major components contributing to Monk JCB's growth — all four original Monk employees remain on the staff today, along with approximately 25 additional team members.

"All of the original cast, if you will, is still here," Monk said. "Original members like technicians Luis Hernandez and Carlos Zepeda, along with Renee Young, our office manager, have been pivotal to this journey."

Currently, Monk's staff includes six equipment sales representatives and a product support sales representative. Travis Monk, Bryan's son, is the strategic accounts manager and will eventually be at the helm of the family business. "He is the next generation of Monk JCB," Bryan said.

Monk added that his current team puts him in a position to achieve their goals going forward.

"There is plenty of work in Houston and there will be for the foreseeable future," he said. "There are good, solid contractors here. We know every customer by name. All customers are not the same, nor are they just a number to us. They put their trust in us and we don't take that trust lightly. If we don't perform, it affects their livelihood and we take that pretty seriously.

"There are lots of highs in terms of potential in this market," he added. "We intend to reach that potential and a key advantage we have is that we can grow without making a huge splash. We can sneak up on competitors, so to speak. We are locally owned and customer access to ownership is encouraged. Mid-sized contractors are very important to us.

"We are Houston-based," Monk added. "We live here. This is our home. It is incredibly exciting to be able to grow a company in the place that I call home."

As such, Monk JCB is deeply involved in the local community, engaging in various initiatives that support the Houston economy and contribute to community development.

"We believe in giving back to the community that has supported us," Monk said, referencing the Houston Rodeo as an example of community involvement. Monk serves on the finance committee while several staff members also contribute to the popular annual event.

For Monk JCB, the next five years promise to be both challenging and fulfilling. A $9-billion construction project on I-45 will disrupt traffic for years while trimming 100 ft. of road frontage at the dealership. While it might affect traffic flow, Monk said it will not change their focus.

"Our vision extends beyond just selling equipment," he said. "We aim to revolutionize how construction businesses operate. We'll continue to judge ourselves by a different standard. We feel like we need to overperform." CEG

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