Snead Ag Supply & Services Inc.
- Written by: Snead Ag Supply & Services Inc.
- Produced by: Snead Ag Supply & Services Inc.
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Snead Ag Supply & Services Inc. (Snead Ag) launched in 1993 when Steve & Diane Clowdus purchased the local John Deere dealership in Snead, Ala. Fast forward almost 20 years and Snead Ag continues to pursue growth, even in the wake of the economic downturn.
Simply put, the Snead Ag team believes it has a responsibility to see that every customer has access to the tools, equipment and products needed to maximize their agricultural output. Snead Ag also works with industrial and commercial contractors, supplying the parts and smarts to ensure equipment stays in good working order for as long as possible.
“Our diversification really sets us apart,” expands Kenneth Williams, general manager and vice president of operations at Snead Ag. “Not only do we serve a wide geographical area, but we work with everyone from homeowners to major commercial agricultural producers.” Snead Ag’s product line includes turf products, consumer products like leaf blowers and lawn mowers, tools, and, of course, a wide range of John Deere equipment and parts.
Overall, the business splits evenly between agriculture and construction, with consumer products accounting for a smaller and steadily growing amount as well. The extra diversity has helped the company weather the storm of the economic downturn, as upgrading to newer equipment on both the agricultural and construction side helped contractors stay ahead of the curve with more efficient and cost-effective equipment.
Covering a Lot of Ground
Snead Ag represents John Deere Scraper products for markets across northern Alabama and into eastern Tennessee and northwest Georgia. The company is also proud to represent several product lines, including Stihl and Honda Power Equipment in markets across central and northeastern Alabama. In addition to the variety of representation, the Snead Ag team sells new equipment off-the-shelf from the manufacturer, as well as completely customized John Deere products and the extra customization packages for upgrading equipment after the sale.
Clients also look to Snead Ag as an authorized dealer and service provider for John Deere products, whether new or used. “We started buying and refurbishing equipment very early on in our history and it’s something we still take pride in providing today,” adds Williams. Customers rest easy knowing that the experienced, manufacturer-trained Snead Ag service team will restore used equipment to the exact working condition it was in when it first rolled off the sales lot.
This also means that Snead Ag can support the client throughout the useable lifetime of the product, and that all work performed will meet the criteria covered under the piece’s warranty requirements. In fact, the only technical or mechanical component Snead Ag doesn’t perform with in-house labor is painting, which the team trusts local contacts to complete.
When the economic downturn made its way into Snead Ag’s markets, the company decided that it would pursue a rigorous growth plan instead of trying to just wait it out. The company opened a second location in Oxford, Ala., in 2006 totaling over 15,000 square feet of space complete with a fully loaded shop with seven bays. Third and fourth locations followed in 2007 and 2009 respectively, adding Snead Ag’s presence in the towns of Fort Payne and Centre, Ala.
Taking Risks, Getting Ahead
The expansion brought Snead Ag’s numbers from roughly 53 professionals in 2006 to the 90 professionals it employs today. As of 2012, the Blount-Oneonta Chamber of Commerce listed Snead Ag as a Top 20 Employer in Blount County, which includes Snead, Ala.
The pace of Snead Ag’s growth naturally presented some challenges, though the company doesn’t plan on scaling back any time soon now that it’s settled in. “We went looking for trouble and we got it,” jokes Williams. “Our growth pushed us to pursue more of a corporate structure as we fit all our pieces together, but it was mostly a question of finding the right balance for our own staff and for the customer.”
In other words, Snead Ag’s growth didn’t push the company to veer so far away from the homegrown attitude that clients appreciate about the company. “We have a lot of good people here and we pride ourselves on just doing a good job and serving our customers well,” says Williams.
Part of the admired company culture stems from the family-owned atmosphere Snead Ag proudly fosters, as many members of the Clowdus clan are imperative attributes. Mitch Clowdus, Steve and Diane’s son and also manager of Snead Ag’s industrial rental fleet, works alongside his sister and her husband, Amy and Eddie Williams, to steer Snead Ag to success. Amy, CFO of Snead Ag, and Eddie, industrial service manager, extend the credit even further to the many long-time employees Snead Ag has been able to retain over the years.
It is clear that the familiar ambiance doesn’t stop at kinship, as Williams himself joined the company in high school when it was just the local John Deere dealership, even before the Clowdus family became involved. And Williams is hardly alone in having proudly stuck with the company for all 20 years of its history as Snead Ag.
The next few years will grant Snead Ag further growth opportunities, as the team is currently in the process of adding two more locations in the northwest Georgia area. The expansion is right on time, ensuring the team can focus on finding the most memorable way to mark the occasion of Snead Ag’s 20-year anniversary in 2013. In whatever respect the team chooses to celebrate, clients across Alabama can rest easy knowing that Snead Ag Supply & Services Inc. is here to stay.
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