JWH Equipment LLC
Founded by Joey W. Hayles as a franchise of CASE, JWH Equipment LLC has been providing sales and service of construction equipment since 2011. Located in Jackson, Mississippi, JWH utilizes its own sister trucking company to ship equipment all over the South and Midwest.
For more than 20 years, Hayles owned and operated Hayles Towing, a trucking and towing service company. Hayles’ knowledge of equipment appeared to offer a smooth transition into sales and service once he was presented with the opportunity to become a CASE franchisee. With a sharp learning curve, Hayles tapped a personal friend and business associate, Don O’Briant, to join in the venture as operations manager.
With no experience in the construction industry, O’Briant hailed from a retail grocery background. “I had been in the grocery business for 30 years, all the way from a bagboy to ownership,” recalls O’Briant. “I’m hardly an expert in the world construction machinery but business is business.” O’Briant was called upon after the first three years JWH was in business. With the desire to incorporate new marketing ideas and methods, O’Briant has been able to step in and the company is now experiencing annual growth.
Sincerity in its endeavors, creativity in working with customers and providing a quality product with quality service has helped to establish JWH as the leading CASE distributor in Mississippi. “When we decided to apply some different ways of thinking and develop a different kind of footprint things really started happening for us,” explains O’Briant. “We’ve taken the approach of not being a traditional equipment company and have experienced a lot of success with it.”
JWH has experienced enough success that O’Briant is projecting that this year the company will add five more full-time employees to its staff of 20. The commitment to customer service coupled with a great product is what O’Briant attributes the company’s expansion to. “I think we try to understand our customer more acutely than our competitors,” says O’Briant. “It’s easy to throw a price out there but it’s all about how you follow that up. We’re not interested in just making an initial sale, we’re interested in establishing a relationship with our customers that will last years.”
To accommodate the growth that JWH is experiencing, the company is building a 40,000 square-foot addition to its current facility. Due to the amount of service work JWH is providing, the new addition will include three additional work bays for the JWH technicians. The company is also working to add two new satellite stores in Mississippi that will also be sales and service locations. “Of the five associates we will be adding, two will be technicians and three of them will be sales associates.” O’Briant explains. “Since both departments are growing we’re adding to both sides of the equation.”
Like any company the bottom line at JWH is ultimately the lifeblood for survival and strength. In keeping with its method of thinking outside the box, the company chooses to delve deeper into the development of its employees. “We like to take people at the beginning of their careers and help develop them into something that benefits us both,” O’Briant explains. “We’ve had people that have come in here as traditional technicians and we give them some schooling and seen them become innovative and skillful people by combining their traditional skill set with all the new technology that’s available.” CASE provides multiple training opportunities for all of its employees in both sales and service departments.
While also incorporating innovative financing techniques, JWH is witnessing not only the growth of its employees but also its customers. “We’re getting creative with our interior financing,” says O’Briant. “We’re reaching out to more sources of innovative financing for our customer base and in turn we are seeing their businesses grow.”
O’Briant says that the overcoming the daily challenges of his job are the most rewarding aspects of his career. “The opportunity to put together some dreams and watch them become reality has been great,” says O’Briant. “We have created a work environment where we encourage innovation and thinking outside of the box. We believe that it’s OK be different and to think differently.” The folks at JWH do challenge each other constantly. “I personally challenge the owner every day to do better than he did yesterday, because eventually we’re going to have to pass this business off to the next generation.”
As JWH progresses forward, the company will continue its commitment to customer service with exponential growth as a primary focus. “Over the next 24 months we plan to see about 20 percent growth to our headquarters,” says O’Briant. “That would give us an opportunity to be in a position to complete some acquisitions and expand our territory.”
Thinking outside the box has proven to be effective for JWH Equipment LLC. While the company expands it will continue to be a leader in innovation and the construction equipment industry.
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