“Making your presence known the old-fashioned way — beating the streets, meeting customers face-to-face, explaining the machine and setting up a demo.”
According to Charlie Snyder, one of the company’s three founders/partners, that’s the formula for success at CCS Equipment Sales LLC, a fast-growing dealership in Youngsville, NC.
CCS was founded in July 1998, by three men involved in construction equipment sales for a company, which was experiencing financial problems: Snyder, Steve Jefferies and Charles Davis. Snyder was president of the company’s retail division.
“We had an opportunity to sit down and discuss where we wanted to go with our futures,” Snyder said. “We just came up with CCS which stands for Charles, Charlie and Steve. We initially emphasized used big iron, especially excavators, but the company has evolved over time so that the majority of our business is now used equipment sales.”
The three partners first worked out of a small 8- by 10-ft. office which they rented. When they purchased their first used excavators, “We had customers that were so loyal to us that they allowed us to store our equipment in their facilities,” Snyder said. “We operated that way for the first year and then purchased our own two-acre facility in Youngsville.”
After focusing on used equipment for the first year, the three began picking up new lines. They especially used past associations to build sales. The three had a combined 35 years of experience within the Raleigh/Durham area, where Snyder had worked 20 years, Jefferies 10 years and Davis five years. Their reputation also helped immensely.
“We were known in our area for being honest and we had a big following,” said Snyder.
CCS grew fast. The three first picked up the Rammax line, followed by Gehl, Takeuchi and Link-Belt. Next came Yanmar, and Terex, “our most recent line.”
“It just kind of steamrolled so that we now have six lines of new products,” Snyder said.
Multi-Quip/Rammax has recognized the company as its top dealer in North Carolina for the last five years. Takeuchi recently named CCS as its number two dealer in the Southeast. Gehl recognized it as one of its top 20 dealers in the United States in 2003.
CCS sales are approximately 70 percent new equipment and 30 percent used equipment.
Snyder described Terex as “a good fit because we were looking for a rubber-tired backhoe product line and we also wanted a ride-on vibratory roller to complement our Rammax trench roller.
“We’re also very excited about the Link-Belt line,” he added. “It’s an excellent product, very well-built and competitively priced. Although Link-Belt was already represented well in this area, 2004 has been a breakout year for us in sales of their excavator line. We told our customers all along that, if they would just try the machine, they could see for themselves what a great machine it is. That’s what has happened. A customer will buy a machine and come back and buy another one. That’s a testimony to the product and I guess to the fact that they’re pleased with us as well.”
Rentals have been geared to utility contractors, especially trench and shoring units.
“I guess Rammax has been our top rental emphasis,” Snyder said. “Rammax trench rollers, Gehl skid steers, Gehl mini-excavators, and the Takeuchi track loader and mini-excavator have been big rental machines for us as well.”
New Service Center
CCS recently moved into a new 60- by 100-ft. service center behind its existing facility in Youngsville. This was the third expansion at the original dealership.
“We’ve simply grown out of that facility, acquiring additional land to provide more space,” said Snyder. “We also plan to expand to other locations.”
Four full-time technicians serve in the five-bay service facility. The company also offers service capability at contractor sites. It has two trucks and is purchasing a third.
Gehl, Takeuchi, Rammax and Link-Belt all offer field training at the Youngsville facility.
Co-owner Charles Davis said CCS faces the same challenges as other small companies.
“We need to manage growth as we continue to address the ever-changing demands of the market to meet the needs of customers. As the industry changes, it brings new challenges.”
People Make Success
Snyder said people are an important reason behind the continuing growth of CCS. He singles out the following:
Office Manager Lela McCarson. “She runs the company. She’s the right-hand man, so to speak, probably the key player here because she handles all the administrative duties.”
Shop Foreman Brian Dillard. “He facilitates all our service needs and requirements. Brian has been with us for about three years now.”
Rental Manager Mike Richardson. “Mike has been with us for about four years. He was wearing two hats, rental manager and parts manager, for a while. As business increased, we had to take some of those responsibilities.”
Parts Manager Kyle Jefferies. “He’s Steve’s son and is doing a great job.”
Sales Representative Todd Snyder. “Todd was the top salesperson for Neff Rentals for several years and we’re benefiting from his experience.”
Sales Representative Scott Martin. “Scott represented JD for about five years and has been a great addition to our company since he joined us about a year ago.”