Southeastern Equipment’s Cambridge location.
William (Bill) Baker founded Southeastern Equipment Company in 1957 selling motor grader blades in southeastern Ohio while his wife, Nancy, served as the company's first bookkeeper. Baker's founding principle — establishing lasting customer relationships by providing world-class equipment backed by exceptional service — has been the driving force behind the company's continued growth.
From a business which began out of the back of Baker's truck, Southeastern Equipment Company has grown to 18 locations throughout Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan. With more than 225 employees, the company serves the agriculture, construction, industrial, landscaping, municipal, oil and gas and waste industries with more than 30 lines of new, used and rental equipment with full in-shop and field technician service and a dedicated parts department. The company has become one of the largest privately-owned Case dealers in the Midwest and among the largest Kobelco dealers in the United States.
Recognizing and anticipating industry trends and customer needs has become a benchmark of the company's success. Its recent move to position the company as a major rental equipment provider offers a perfect example.
While Southeastern Equipment Company has seen a great deal of success in its rental business since launching the division in 2014, company management saw an opportunity to expand the business and widen its customer base while providing enhanced service to its existing customer base.
Twenty years ago, lacking other alternatives, builders and construction professionals were faced with the requirement to purchase the equipment they needed. That trend has changed significantly over the past two decades as the culture has become accustomed to renting everything from cars and clothing to vacation homes and office space.
Whether it's industrial construction, environmental services, or even weekend warrior projects, the growth and popularity of the rental platform has been phenomenal. A survey by the American Rental Association (ARA) revealed that renting equipment in the construction industry is at an all-time high. In fact, 93 percent of respondents reported renting equipment in 2019, and more than 50 percent plan to rent even more machines in the coming years.
"Renting equipment offers flexibility from both a capital standpoint, as well as the kinds of projects businesses and individuals can tackle," said Dave Stimpert, Southeastern Equipment Company's new rental director.
Dave Stimpert, rental director of Southeastern Equipment.
Having played a key role in dealership development and growth in rental markets, Stimpert brings a wealth of knowledge to his new position with Southeastern Equipment Company. He's been involved with the construction industry for more than 30 years, initially as a superintendent for one of Ohio's largest construction firms, followed by involvement with the equipment rental market for the past 20 years.
Along with bringing Stimpert on board to grow Southeastern Equipment Company's rent-to-rent business, Southeastern Equipment Company has significantly expanded and diversified its rental equipment fleet and products while making major investments in manpower and customer support. While equipment rentals provide customers with more options, they also serve to strengthen all areas of Southeastern Equipment Company's business.
As Stimpert noted, it's part of a long-term approach toward giving customers the best solution for their situation, whether that involves a rental, a purchase, or parts and service. While offering customers an alternative to purchasing equipment, the company's rental fleet also will provide a source for quality used equipment for purchase.
According to Stimpert, "Developing our Rental Division provides a full complement to our retail sales and gives customers multiple avenues. The rental market provides a whole new customer base and a huge opportunity for growth."
The division will provide a wide range of rental equipment to address the needs of businesses ranging from its core customer base to the homeowner. The rental fleet consists of the company's major lines, including Case, JLG, Kobelco and Bomag machines along with new lines of equipment, such as Skyjack and small tools. Initial steps involve developing a dedicated rental fleet in the Dublin and Cambridge, Ohio markets and updating the Dublin branch as a rental hub.
"We'll start by ramping up offerings in these two markets and eventually employ the growth model to expand into the dealership's other branches," said Stimpert. CEG
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