Case Studies

McClelland Marketing Inc.

Representing Educated Construction Equipment Manufacturers
  • Written by: McClelland Marketing Inc.
  • Produced by: McClelland Marketing Inc.
  • Estimated reading time: 4 mins

Two brothers founded McClelland Marketing Inc. (McClelland) in 1983 operating from a two-car garage in Missouri. The company is now a full-service agency providing manufacturers with territory sales managers to represent and sell products. McClelland focuses its work with construction equipment and supply businesses in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Illinois.

Cofounders Allen McClelland, current president of McClelland, and Bob McClelland started talking about opportunities. Bob was a sales manager at the time, while their brother Dave, current vice president and office manager of McClelland, owned a manufacturer’s representative agency in California.

Together, Allen and Bob launched McClelland. Since then, Bob sold his share of the business to Allen, while Dave joined the team in 1993. Allen now operates the 12,000-square foot warehouse with the help of six employees. “I was actually doing construction work before starting the company,” he says.

McClelland focuses on supporting manufacturers within its territory that rent or sell construction equipment and supplies to homeowners and contractors alike. This enables customers to purchase directly from the manufacturer with the customer service of a representative. Services McClelland provide to its customers include sales and service training, on-site demonstrations, lead referrals and unending customer support. “Our entire team is dedicated to the success of each of our customers,” says Allen.

Representing Industry Leaders

Allen is proud to note that McClelland’s sales team is among the industry’s best. “They have a lot of experience in the rental and construction business,” he says. Led by Dave, who boasts an impressive 47 years of industry experience and is now celebrating 20 years with McClelland, the company’s sales team is well respected.

McClelland’s esteemed sales team includes Tom Klabunde, who has been in the industry for 19 years and with the company for 13 covering the northern territory; Bert Dowell, who boasts 33 years of industry experience of which four years have been with McClelland covering Kansas and western Missouri; and Paul Burkholder, who is the newest addition to the team and covers the northern territory, where he applies 22 years of experience in the industry. All in all, the notable sales team at McClelland is more than capable of guiding each client with a wealth of industry knowledge and experience.

Due to its qualified team, McClelland takes pride in representing manufactures that are well-known leaders in the industry. Companies represented by the firm produce high-quality products and provide after sales support. “We’ve kind of carved out a niche,” explains Allen. “We try to hang our hat with high-profile lines. About 80 percent of our lines are No. 1 or No. 2 in the world.”

McClelland represents manufactures such as Atlas Copco, Bluebird International Inc., General Equipment Co., Norton Construction Products, Bomag, Spectra Precision and Shark. The companies manufacture products, such as concrete-cutting equipment, compaction, lawn maintenance, pressure washers, hydraulic breakers and more.

Regardless of the company or product, McClelland’s team remains educated on what is being sold. “We pride ourselves in product knowledge,” says Allen. “We stay focused on a set of core areas of construction. This makes training and cross-selling a much easier task. All my guys drive trucks. We tow and show.”

Allen is gearing up for Bauma, the world’s largest international trade fair for construction machinery, building material machines, mining machines, construction vehicles and construction equipment, held in Germany in April 2013. According to Allen, trade shows for McClelland serve more as a platform to work with current clients than to prospect for new lines.

“We go there and set up meetings with our customers,” says Allen. “But we also start talking to the contractors there and you get a real idea what’s going to happen in the next year or two years.”

McClelland will be represented at the Bauma trade show, and Allen will use it as a platform to support the company’s reputation as a manufacturers’ representative. Bauma is one of many trade shows the company attends.

Navigating the Economic Climate

The company recognizes the importance of growth; therefore, the company goes above and beyond well-known trade show attendance to ensure continued success. According to Allen, the company’s profits bottomed out about three years ago. He explains there were signs of progress in 2011 and things were even better in 2012. However, McClelland is slowly starting to gain ground. “I don’t think it is due to economics,” he admits. “We kind of had to refocus and rebrand ourselves.”

This included taking a keen look at how McClelland could run more efficiently. The office used to be staffed by four full-time employees, but in 2009 that was cut to one full-time and one part-time employee. “We’re going to nurse it through another year at least,” says Allen. “We’re like a lot of companies out there. You’ve got to figure out how to get work done with less people. It has made us all better business people. I really think twice before I spend a dollar.” As the company continues to watch the ever-changing economy, McClelland Marketing Inc. will remain a one-stop source for rental and construction equipment supply needs.

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Spring 2018



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