Case Studies

Rish Equipment Company: Reliable Equipment and Responsive Service

  • Written by: Rish Equipment Company: Reliable Equipment and Responsive Service
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Lon Rish founded Rish Equipment Company (REC) in 1934 as an off-road equipment distributor franchise of Bluefield Supply Company (Bluefield) in Virginia. Bluefield opened several similar franchises in West Virginia and Ohio 10 years later, all of which were eventually combined and are now owned and operated by REC.

Today REC has grown to 12 locations spanning Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland. In addition, REC is affiliated with several major equipment manufacturers, including Komatsu, NPK, Leeboy, Rosco, Sennebogen, Dynapac, Sakai, Esco, Hensley and Wacker Neuson. REC is owned and operated by Jack Davis, who purchased the business from Bluefield in 1983.

REC has become a family business after one of Davis’ sons began serving on the board. “We went through a total change in executive positions in January 2012,” says Buddy McGlothlin, vice president of sales at REC. “We have a new president, CEO and new COO. The only remaining officer is our CFO.”

Products and Services

REC offers sales, rental and service on all major brands of machinery. The company offers a broad range of equipment, including hydraulic excavators, backhoe loaders, crawler dozers, wheel dozers, wheel loaders, articulated trucks, hydraulic shovel, asphalt rollers, road wideners, motor graders, compact hydraulic excavators, skid steers, pavers, compactors, trailers, rigid frame trucks and hydraulic tools and attachments.

REC’s customers also come from a variety of industries, including mining, forestry, oil and gas, as well as heavy construction. The company’s clients rely on a knowledgeable and accessible sales and service team to find appropriate equipment for the job, and keep such equipment in top condition. The team at REC strives to ensure each customer is delivered such services. The company operates on a 24/7 work schedule with the support-driven attitude prevalent throughout the organization. According to McGlothlin, the REC team’s first priority is total customer satisfaction.

The service department operates with a fleet of 90 fully equipped service vehicles that perform maintenance and repairs on site. The mobile units reduce downtime for clients and save transportation costs as well. Through its relationships with manufacturers, REC has access to thousands of components for replacement needs. A skilled staff carries decades of experience with machines, guaranteeing that at each of the company’s 12 locations, the team can work together to quickly solve any operational issues with equipment.

REC’s sales and rentals offer nearly unlimited options for customers. New and used models of equipment are available that fit any job and price range. While the selection is already enormous, McGlothlin says it is still growing. “We recently added a new line to our inventory,” he says. “Sennebogen manufactures scrap handling and log mill machinery, and we have several new products in the pipeline for 2013.”

Equipment Evolution

A major factor in REC’s success as a business is flexibility. The team knows what to keep the same, and where to tweak. While the construction industry took a beating during the recession, the company managed to adapt. Rentals boomed and used equipment became the sensible option for contractors who needed replacement machinery but couldn’t invest in new equipment. The skilled sales team continues to help customers find the best solutions for their needs.

“What makes us really stand out is our ability to understand our customer base,” explains McGlothlin. “We work with our clients and develop relationships with them based on mutual accommodation. We help provide solutions. When the phone rings and there is an issue, problem or need on the other end, we’re available. We’re a support-driven business. Everything we do is geared to offer solutions and support to our customers.”

To continue a corporate culture of support, REC has made several changes to its business structure recently. “We’ve adjusted our support process to make it friendlier to our customers,” explains McGlothlin. “We’re doubled our training budgets and invested in software, hardware and service vehicles to streamline our process.” Success in service has allowed the company to change in other ways, too. With revenue on the rise, REC is expanding its inventory.

The company is continuously building relationships with more manufacturers to obtain equipment that serves the changing needs of customers. “We’re in the process of doubling our equipment inventory,” says McGlothlin. “We’re positioning ourselves for the economic recovery. We plan to grow within the next few years by expanding our current line and looking into some acquisitions.”

After nearly 80 years in business, one thing remains consistent: customer service. Rish built a foundation in 1934 out of customer service, and the team continues to work with valuable customers offering unique solutions to equipment needs. Whether a contractor is looking to replace a worn-out excavator, or a mine operator is looking for parts to a primary loading tool, REC’s team is not only available; all hands are on deck until a solution is found. Rish Equipment Company embodies expertise, with the knowledge and experience to offer service and support that leaves a lasting support-driven impression.

Published on: March 13, 2013

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