Southeastern Equipment Company Inc., a dealer for Case Corporation and Kobelco equipment, celebrated 50 years of service in 2007.
Bill Baker and his wife, Nancy, began the company in Old Washington, Ohio, in 1957 with just two employees and one store that only covered the southeastern quarter of Ohio.
“For the past 50 years, my wife, Nancy and I have seen Southeastern Equipment Company grow from a two person operation with one location and one contract to a well-established company with over 16 locations, 200 employees and dozens of manufacturers,” Bill said. “This was only possible with support from our loyal customers and vendors.”
Southeastern boasts more than 200 employees and 16 locations spread throughout Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. Additionally, the company has an 8,000 sq. ft. training center at the Cambridge location, which is equipped with an auditorium capable of seating 200 individuals.
Bill’s first contract was Shunk Manufacturing Company in Bucyrus, Ohio, and, in just one year’s time, he picked up the Adams Motor Grader Company contract, later known as LeTourneau-Westinghouse.
“Bill’s total dedication to the work of running the business is the force which has made Southeastern what it is today,” Nancy said. “He is hands on in every detail of the day-to-day running of the business and has interacted with the political powers from township to federal level. The company’s success comes from knowing customers from fifty years ago and the descendents of those customers who are the buyers of today.”
In 1977, Southeastern purchased the J.I. Case Company stores in Brookfield and North Canton, Ohio. The two were consolidated on 6 acres of land in North Canton.
By 1979, a computerized inventory was established so that personnel could order parts from all branch locations. With major manufacturers offering 24 hour delivery of parts, this system helped Southeastern provide an even more efficient service to its customer base.
Southeastern purchased King Equipment Company in 1980 and doubled its size. King Equipment Company had three locations in Dublin, Ohio; Monroe, Ohio; and Burlington, Ky. As a result, Southeastern incorporated equipment lines including E.D. Etnyre Company, Athey and Galion.
By adding Galion, Southeastern made deals to acquire the old W.W. William territory in the Toledo area.
In 1983, Southeastern relocated its Maumee store to Perrysburg and purchased two Case facilities in Cleveland. That purchase doubled the company a second time.
In 1990, Southeastern expanded westward into Indiana and, since that time, the company obtained equipment lines such as New Holland Construction, Terex, Gradall, Alamo and Broce.
Finding other niches, Southeastern opened branches in Mansfield, Heath, Marietta and Brilliant in Ohio and Evansville in Indiana.
For more information, call 800/798-5438 or visit www.southeasternequip.com.
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