Case Studies

R.B. Everett & Co.: Family-owned with a Focus on the Client

  • Written by: R.B. Everett & Co.: Family-owned with a Focus on the Client
  • Produced by: R.B. Everett & Co.: Family-owned with a Focus on the Client
  • Estimated reading time: 4 mins

Emma and Ralph B. Everett founded R.B. Everett & Co. (RBE) in 1911 after relocating from Atlanta, Ga., to Houston, Texas. Construction equipment was only available directly from manufacturers in the North at the time so the couple took a chance and set the company up as Houston’s first construction equipment supplier.

Emma saw the company through the Great Depression, the disastrous fire of 1946, and three husbands with great perseverance and an unwavering sense of responsibility to the local community. Today the company is overseen with a great respect for RBE’s history and the same client-centric approach that propelled RBE to its place at the forefront of Texas construction.

“There have been many individuals on the executive side who are responsible for RBE’s growth over the years, but no one will deny that Mrs. Everett-Neblett had a huge role in our history,” admits Dustin Henderson, treasurer of RBE. Henderson is the third generation to work at the family-owned company, which also happens to be the oldest equipment distributor west of the Mississippi River. However, RBE has always positioned itself as a company where a shared teamwork ethic makes every employee and customer a member of the family.

The 1946 fire destroyed RBE’s Harrisburg-based headquarters, so the company rebuilt a new facility, where it was based until 2001. Then, a brand new facility was constructed in Pasadena, Texas, to accommodate a growing selection of construction equipment. The 11-acre site is strategically located just off of Beltway 8, allowing clients from across the greater Houston area to expect swift delivery of equipment and expedient service response times.

New Beginnings

RBE expanded its geographical reach again in 2009 with a second rental location in Arlington, Texas, to serve the Dallas-Fort Worth area. “We had some key customers in the area with years worth of work requesting we service them,” says Henderson. “It gave us confidence to move into the area. We’re very focused on developing the market to become as strong as our presence in the Houston area.” The move ultimately proved so promising that RBE began construction on a full equipment dealership in fall 2011 that is scheduled to be up and running by mid-2012.

RBE may be busy expanding and evolving, but the company’s commitment to consistent quality remains steadfast. The company has represented some of its manufacturers since its inception, and RBE offers clients the flexibility of purchasing, leasing or renting equipment depending, giving the client greater financial flexibility. RBE supports clients long after the sale with a parts-and-service department of factory-trained technicians to keep equipment in top working order. RBE will service and repair equipment even if it doesn’t represent the manufacturer, because what matters most is getting the client back in business.

RBE’s expansive equipment portfolio runs the gamut of excavators, wheel loaders, rollers/compactors, re-claimers/stabilizers, shears/concrete processors, as well as dozers and hammers/breakers of all sizes and capacities to get the job done. Many of RBE’s clients have been working with the company for years if not decades, but the construction industry continues to evolve and so RBE must also evolve with new products from trusted and recognized manufacturers to stay competitive.

“We began representing products from Doosan last year that we’re making a lot of headway with,” adds Henderson. RBE also represents manufacturers like Entyne, Broce Broom, Cimline, Genesis, Tramax, Durapatcher, Terex Road Building and Dynapac. RBE has been representing Broce boom products for over four decades, and the company extended its representation into the North Texas market in early 2012.

A Strong Bottom Line

All the new-fangled equipment in the world can’t make up for a strong reputation for service. “Word of mouth is a huge component of our business,” expands Henderson. “A lot of it has to do with tapping into clients we have built relationships with in the past, but our entire staff is dedicated to getting to know every customer and giving the customer what they want. It’s great to have new customers telling others about us, but we still have to be able to deliver.”

In the wake of the economic downturn RBE has had to fine tune aspects of its operations to stay competitive in an industry with profit margins that seem to be wasting away. The up side is that equipment financing has remained affordable, but equipment prices are on the rise. RBE adjusted to keep its rental business healthy by constantly updating its fleet to meet each deserving customer’s needs, supported by RBE’s already strong service and parts department.

Overall RBE has seen its target markets remain steady and strong throughout the past few years, which will allow the company to continue settling into its new location. Henderson hopes to expand some of RBE’s distribution agreements into the North Texas area. As the company establishes itself in the new location the team will be sure to bring the company’s trademark perseverance and dedication along with new equipment, satisfying existing customers and establishing new opportunities for growth for R.B. Everett & Co. in the next 100 years.

Published on: March 13, 2013

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