In a time when many companies are looking to slim down staff or cut out some services to save money, Rasmussen Equipment is taking a different tack with its service department. Instead of downsizing or getting rid of higher-paid experienced workers, Rasmussen is investing in experience. In fact, recent hires and rehires have the service management staff boasting a combined 92 years of equipment service experience.
Mark Bilanzich, service manager, has 28 years of experience working on Cummins engines and has been with Rasmussen for two years.
Ron Aitken, field service manager, has been with Rasmussen steadily for 34 years in a variety of roles.
Tom McElreath, shop service manager, worked for Rasmussen for 18 years, moved to another equipment dealership for 10 years, and returned “home” to Rasmussen last fall.
That’s quite a breadth of experience, but what’s stronger than experience is the loyalty these guys have to Rasmussen.
“Rasmussen is great to work for,” said Bilanzich. “They treat us fairly and with respect. Better yet, we all know one another personally and we feed off of one another’s strengths.”
“We are proud to have a dealer like Rasmussen who invests in quality people to service our Link-Belt excavators,” said Mike Davis, director of marketing and sales for LBX. “A customer’s relationship and trust in their dealership makes all of the difference in the world.”
Ron Aitkin describes why he has made a career with Rasmussen. “My dad worked as a field manager for Frank Rasmussen, who founded the company in 1948,” said Aitken. “When I got out of the Army, I worked for a few years and quickly realized I needed to get a ’real’ job to make some money. So my dad suggested I interview with Rasmussen. I had machinery training in the service, so the company gave me a chance. My first day on the job, they told me to get some wood and build my workbench, and then gave me a pump to fix and a stack of books to study. I learned by doing.” Thirty-four years later, he still feels challenged and excited about servicing equipment and customers.
Since Aitken and his father worked for the same company, they didn’t want their co-workers to think there was favoritism or nepotism within the business. So they steered clear of each other when his dad was in the shop. So much so that co-workers began to worry about their relationship after three or so years of “ignoring” each other.
“We got along great,” said Aitken. “We just wanted to keep our work relationship professional.”
McElreath agrees that Rasmussen is all about professionalism, but that the family feeling is what drew him back to the company. “I like Rasmussen. I like to work. They treat their people well,” said McElreath.
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