Providing Quality Construction Equipment with Exceptional Customer Service
Bobcat of Omaha
Bobcat of Omaha is a full line dealer of Bobcat and Doosan equipment. It provides parts, service, sales, and rental services for a wide variety of construction and landscaping equipment. It strives to be a one-stop-shop for contractors and utility companies. The company also carries several short lines and provides trailers to complement its line of business.
Bobcat of Omaha was founded in 1981 by two entrepreneurial-minded brothers in a small town on the outskirts of Omaha, Nebraska, and it was primarily focused on agriculture equipment. The two brothers separated approximately twenty years later; one focused on John Deere agricultural equipment and the other went with Bobcat and Kubota machines.
As time went on, the company built a second store for Bobcat and ran the Bobcat and Doosan dealership separately until two years ago, when two of its long-term employees bought the Bobcat dealership with the goal of maintaining the same company culture. Bobcat of Omaha is now strictly a Bobcat and Doosan dealership, and it has been very successful. It offers its services to the nine surrounding counties and mainly serves customers within a hundred-mile radius of its location in Omaha.
The company has thirty-one full-time employees and two part-time employees. The staff looks after each other in the close-knit, family-oriented group. Bobcat of Omaha aims to hire good people with potential from the start, take good care of them and provide the tools required to be successful. The employees all get along and often participate in activities outside of work together. This creates a workspace where people are proud of their position and enjoy coming to work each day.
Bobcat of Omaha credits its success to the hard work and dedication of its experienced employees. “We’ve had a salesman in the top ten of North America for Bobcat for almost thirty years straight, and two different times they were the number one. My parts and service managers have both multiple times been selected for an advisory council for our manufacturers,” says General Manager Murray Fletcher.
After recovering from the financial crisis, Bobcat of Omaha has been growing by leaps and bounds. It has grown every year since 2010, and in the last four years, in particular, it has experienced tremendous growth. It is currently in the process of doubling the size of its shop because it is outpacing its facility rapidly. In the past six months, it purchased the adjoining land to prepare for the expansion.
“Obviously, we’ve had constraints with facilities. We’ve added service trucks to compensate until we can get our shop expanded. It’s just growing pains and trying to decide when the right time is to add and be able to take care of the customer because that’s the number one focus,” says Murray.
The biggest challenge to overcome is finding quality employees – especially service technicians – to keep up with the company’s rapid growth. Nationwide, there is a huge shortage, and Bobcat of Omaha engages with its employees and community to help solve the problem. The two part-time employees at the company are going to school in their time off, and Bobcat of Omaha has offered to pay for their education with the hopes of developing future full-time employees.
The company also works with the local middle school and high schools by speaking with counselors and volunteering to speak with students about the options available for service technicians. “There are a lot of kids that need some direction, and we let them know that they can make a good living without having to have a four-year college degree,” says Murray. The company builds these relationships to alleviate workforce challenges proactively.
The employee training efforts are multilayered. They begin with a strong foundation of finding employees with the right personality traits and training them from the ground up. The company also uses online training provided by its mainline manufacturers and offers incentives to its employees to complete the extra training by paying for the class. It is a great way to keep all employees up to speed on the latest technologies involved with the business. Bobcat of Omaha also pays for offsite training and sends approximately three to four service technicians a year to a different Bobcat or Doosan facility for hands-on training.
The guiding principles at Bobcat of Omaha are honesty and integrity, and those are two of the primary characteristics that it searches for when interviewing potential employees. “It’s all about trust with a customer. Having a good relationship with customers is what sets you apart,” says Murray. “Take accountability. If you make a mistake, ‘fess up to it right away, so we know and we can get ahead of it.”
Customers who have worked with Bobcat of Omaha rave about its exceptional customer service. The company considers itself to be a solutions-based company; it builds partnerships with its customers to try to solve any problem that may arise. Every time it works with a customer, it puts great effort towards making them more successful. If its customers are more successful, it will benefit Bobcat of Omaha in the long haul through repeat business.
“The customer’s best interest is mine as well, and that’s how all of us from the front door to the back of the shop feel. We truly do give the best customer service we can, and we try to find solutions,” says Murray. The company is interested in any new project by one of its customers, and if it can find a necessary piece of equipment offered by a different company, it will do so to save its customers time or money. The objective is to help customers succeed; the results of this are that they return at a later date or send referrals.
The marketing budget at Bobcat of Omaha is fairly small due to its repeat business and the significant amount of referrals it receives from its regular customers. A few years ago, it hired an experienced salesman who said he had never seen such volume of foot traffic in this type of business. New customers often come into the office and explain that they had been told not to consider any other service until speaking with Bobcat of Omaha.
The company regularly donates equipment to members of the community that are involved in local projects. Several of its machines are used by Habitat for Humanity a few weeks out of the year for their large building projects, and it provides equipment to churches that have established charitable organizations. Bobcat of Omaha donates the equipment to set up the Omaha International horse show and tear it down afterward. The horse show brings in a great deal of business to the community, and it is great for the economy. The universities in the area are also recipients of donated equipment from the company.
The short-term goal for Bobcat of Omaha is to expand its facility and continue to train its employees. In the long term, the goal is to open new facilities in different locations. Bobcat of Omaha is currently the largest single-location dealer in the United States; it does more business from its one location than several other dealers do with four or five facilities. As opportunities continue to grow for the company, it will expand to the rest of the country.
“We talk about customer service and keeping our customers happy, but that all starts with our employees being happy and having the tools they need,” says Murray. Bobcat of Omaha is extremely proud to have built a team of employees that have greatly contributed to its success over the years. The company is three-and-a-half times bigger than it was fifteen years ago, and its progress is solely due to the service provided by the employees.
“They [the employees] all go above and beyond all the time, and they are representing our company when they’re outside the company. They’re just good people, and I like to try and take care of them, so they continue to take care of us,” says Murray.