J.M. Equipment is moving into a new facility and headquarters in Manteca, California. Located on the seven-acre site of a former Chevrolet car dealership, the new 32,000 sq. ft. facility has several benefits for
First and foremost, it’s a much nicer facility. It has a beautiful showroom, ample parts storage and nice service bays. I call it our “luxury location” compared to the cramped, 60-year-old buildings that had pretty much reached their limit. At the Manteca site, we have seven acres of pavement, so we’ll have plenty of yard for equipment storage.
We are moving some people around to avoid duplication, but we’re adding more aftermarket sales and service people to cover the territory and improve our marketing efforts. In all, 80 employees will work in the new space, and they are going to love coming to work at a beautiful facility. The new facility will improve our administrative and service potential because everyone will be together. Internal communication will be greatly improved. Most important to many of the employees, we now will have a protected parking area. They won’t have to park on the street anymore. We feel that the improved employee morale will transfer back to our customers.
Visibility and accessibility will be much better. In northern California, the three major highways are Interstate 5 and state routes 99 and 120. We’ll now be within two miles of all three. That will allow us to improve our service capabilities in terms of time and management. We’re going to have a central dispatch rather than having two dispatchers that sometimes overlapped territories. Having one dispatcher will be more efficient and allow us to respond to the needs of the service customers much more quickly.
The move to Manteca will also include brand-new parts drop locations located at five customer sites throughout our territory. Customers can order parts from us and we’ll deliver them on a daily basis to a site that they’ll have a key to and where they can pick up parts. Customers can also drop parts that need fixed and we’ll take it back to the shop for them, so they don’t have to travel more than necessary. We believe this arrangement will improve efficiency, lower costs and eliminate hassles for both customers and staff. We’re making it beneficial to the customers that are allowing us to use their facilities by offering them some additional discounts for letting us do this.
In the past, we’ve had consignment parts inventories at certain accounts where a service technician could go pick up a part in lieu of coming all the way back to our store. This new drop-box idea takes that concept a step further because we’ll be checking them twice daily instead of weekly. Our parts manager will oversee the process and the personnel. Each southern and northern run should take about three hours. During that time, the drivers will be accessible by cell phone to not only drop off parts to the various locations but also to pick up items at outside suppliers.
Leaving Modesto, which had been our home for 70 years, won’t be easy, but these changes will help us make a smooth move.
|Meet the Author
Audie Burgan is president of J.M. Equipment, located in Manteca, California, and on the Web at www.jmequipment.com.