Market certainty is a manufacturer’s best friend. So, a positive extended economic forecast provides reason to celebrate with projections showing optimism in the foreseeable future.
Confident markets encourage opportunities, allowing a company like us to be more aggressive in pushing our growth initiatives.
The saying goes, strike while the iron is hot. Following last year’s record sales, we did exactly that. For instance, we have been investing heavily in new systems, products and most importantly, people, ultimately benefitting our customers and dealers.
Putting the Right People in Place
When considering company growth, business performance and the economy are key factors. As evident by our historic growth over the last several years, both play in our favor.
Still, growth is not something that happens overnight, it comes with its own set of unique challenges. This includes putting the right people with the necessary experience in place and adding personnel fast enough to keep up with demand.
Without enough team members, it makes it tough to provide even adequate support to our customers and dealers. For a business in our line of work to succeed, support needs to be top-notch. This is why we created new positions to help keep our support at the highest level.
The first phase of this was increasing our sales regions from seven to 10, reducing the physical size and average number of customers in each region. Our regional managers are now able to dedicate more time to each customer and dealer.
With an increase in full-time staff of over 20 percent, Takeuchi is at an all-time high for team members. We are hiring at a steady pace, allowing us to not only keep up with demand, but also be proactive about it.
Most recently, we made a few critical moves, including Kim Robinson, our director of dealer sales to a newly created role as director of dealer development. He will be tasked with the recruitment of new dealers and the development of our existing dealers. His years of Takeuchi experience combined with his knowledge of dealer networks make him the perfect choice as we continue our investment and focus on growing our dealer sales.
This strategic move allowed us to welcome Todd Granger back to our company in Kim’s former position. He brings many years of experience, including his time as a regional manager for our company in years past. Todd’s responsibilities include overseeing all sales activity through our North America dealer sales channel.
Jeff Stewart was hired as vice president and general manager earlier this year, which was also a new position at Takeuchi. He is overseeing parts, service, IT, facilities and non-machine related warehouse operations in an effort to improve product support.
Our people are an investment and when it benefits the customers and dealers, it is a win-win. Takeuchi values our relationships and I am confident these changes will add more value to everyone supporting us.
Why the Economy gives us Confidence
In a good economy, a contractor will build a strong lineup of machines to get the job done in the most efficient way possible, while during a shaky economy, a contractor will scrape by with what is already in their lineup.
With this in mind, it is reassuring to see all signs point to a positive outlook now and in the next five years, especially in construction and rental.
There is no shortage of employment in the construction industry. In fact, construction employment is at the highest level since 2008. So much so, the Associated General Contractors of America says the industry is having difficulty finding enough qualified workers.
According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), housing production is near the post-recession high, a mark set in March. There is growing consumer demand for single-family homes. As of May, the Housing Market Index (HMI), which gauges builder perceptions of single-family home sales and sales expectations, reached 76.
This was the fourth time this year the HMI reached 70 or more. A score over 50 means more builders view conditions as good compared to poor, so over 70 is a great number.
Nonresidential construction has been slightly up and down, but overall has increased since this time last year, expanding 2.5 percent. Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) chief economist Anirban Basu believes this area of the marketplace is moving in the right direction for the next few years.
The challenges of rising material prices and finding qualified workers remain, but overall construction is in a good place.
Rental revenues are forecast to grow by an average of five percent in the next five years, according to the American Rental Association (ARA). All in all, the ARA forecasts the U.S. equipment and event rental industry revenue to exceed $64 billion in 2022.
As for Takeuchi, our machines are performing well in both of these markets. With total revenues increasing over 10 percent in 2017, we are currently forecasting better numbers this year.
We will celebrate a good economy by continuing to provide the best products and service possible, supported by the best people in the industry. The plan has already proven successful not only for our company, but also for our loyal customers and dealers alike.
— Clay Eubanks, President at Takeuchi-US