This is What Long Term Success Looks Like
Without a doubt, jobs in the construction and industrial sectors have been among some of the hardest hit by the recession, and recovery is slow to come. It's easy to focus on the negative impact of the recession on businesses — it’s much harder to find organizations that pushed through the bad times and continue to grow. There is something we can all learn from the approach those organizations have taken.
Mainland Tool and Supply in Texas City, TX celebrates its 35th Anniversary in 2014. Established in 1979, the tool and rental supply store had humble beginnings as a tool repair shop, and has evolved to rental service as well as tool and equipment sales. With the majority of its business in the industrial sector, Mainland has let the needs of their customers fuel their steady growth over the years.
"Tool repair continues to be a core part of our business," explains Mark Campbell, general manager at Mainland Tool and Supply. "Many of our customers will buy their tools someplace else. However, it's getting more difficult for them to find a place that knows how to fix them after the sale. Once they’ve had a chance to work with us on a repair, they start to buy tools from us, and rent other equipment too.”
Around 20 years ago, Mainland expanded its fleet to include compact equipment. "From municipalities to refineries, many of our customers were looking to supplement their fleet with rental," explains Campbell. "We began to grow our rental inventory, but were pretty calculated with what was added. Our rental inventory includes tools, compact equipment like compact track loaders and excavators to small lift equipment.”
Mainland's commitment to the customer extends beyond simply having popular types of equipment in its fleet. Campbell says the quality of the equipment in their fleet is also extremely important. "When you've been doing this as long as we have, you understand that partnering with quality manufacturers is part of the formula for success. For example, we've had Takeuchi compact track loaders in our fleet for more than 14 years now. In those early years, Takeuchi was one of the only companies to make a tracked loader but now there are a lot of brands to choose from. We've looked at and tested other machines but we like the way Takeuchi loaders are built and our customers love to operate them."
The folks at Mainland believe that there are other benefits in buying quality equipment too. "In order to thrive over the last few years, rental stores have had to look for ways to cut expenses," says Campbell. "Everyone's trying to get an additional year or two out of their equipment. Quality equipment from responsive manufacturers can handle that. However, there are many manufacturers that don't make or support their machines for those extra couple of years. Often times, quality costs more upfront, but you'll never be disappointed down the road."
Finally another important part of Mainland's success is its involvement in the community. Customers can see a wall lined with plaques from the store's charitable involvements over the years. Mainland supports everything from Meals-on-Wheels to youth football and baseball programs.
"This place is more than just a business to our team," adds Campbell. "We believe the foundation of giving starts locally and then can continue to grow from there."
With 35 years under its belt, the people at Mainland Tool and Rental Supplies have established a respected organization among their customers and the community.
That’s how you build long term success.