Archive for the ‘Spotlight on Dealers & Pros’ Category

Coe Wins Exmark and Dream Trip to Help Build Mower…

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Collierville, TN landscape contractor visits Exmark to watch his mower on the production line

As he watched the bare chassis of his new Lazer Z X-Series zero-turn riding mower moving onto the production line, Tennessee landscape contractor Brian Coe said he still couldn’t quite believe his good fortune.

Brian and Gene Coe sit down with Exmark Director of Marketing, Daryn Walters

Brian and Gene Coe sit down with Exmark Director of Marketing, Daryn Walters

Coe, owner of Coe Lawn Care, won the new mower, valued at more than $13,000, along with a trip to Exmark’s Beatrice, Neb. headquarters. His name was chosen in a random drawing by Exmark on the final day of the 2013 GIE+EXPO show in Louisville, KY.

In late-November 2013, Coe flew to Nebraska with his father, Gene, to visit Exmark where they received an in-depth tour of the company’s production line and testing facilities.

Coe said one highlight of the trip was the opportunity to participate in the manufacturing of his mower on the Exmark production line.

“To see how much research and testing Exmark does on their products was incredible. And it was really great to be able to help on the production line as my mower was being built.

“What made it even better was the fact that, prior to this I didn’t know my dad was from Nebraska, or that my sister was actually born in Lincoln. While we were there, we drove by the house where my mom and dad used to live.”

Located just 40-miles from the Exmark factory in Beatrice, Lincoln is not only the Nebraska State Capital, it is home to a number of Exmark employees. It was also where Gene Coe and his young family spent its early years.

Coe's Lazer Z X-Series mower was personalized with a custom name plate.

Coe’s Lazer Z X-Series mower was personalized with a custom name plate.

The timing of his new Lazer Z X-Series mower worked out very well, Coe said. He was in the market for a new zero-turn mower for the 2014 season and the Exmark was one of the brands at the top of his list.

Exmark Director of Marketing, Daryn Walters, said he was proud the mower could go to an owner-operator like Coe, as he’s an example of why Exmark is never satisfied with the status quo.

“All of us at Exmark are committed to helping landscape professionals like Brian increase productivity and decrease operating costs,” Walters said. “We were honored to host Brian and his father, Gene, in Beatrice, and we’re proud to welcome Brian and Coe Lawn Care into the Exmark family.”

Upon completion of manufacturing, Exmark shipped Coe’s new Lazer Z X-Series mower to him in Tennessee.

Brian and Gene Coe (at right) stand with Brian's new Lazer Z, which is ready to ship off to him in TN. The Coes are standing with Exmark General Manager, Judy Altmaier; Director of Marketing, Daryn Walters; Associate Marketing Manager, Katie Tauer and Marketing Manager, John Cloutier.

Brian and Gene Coe (at right) stand with Brian’s new Lazer Z, which is ready to ship off to him in TN. Exmark General Manager, Judy Altmaier, Director of Marketing, Daryn Walters, Associate Marketing Manager, Katie Tauer, and Marketing Manager, John Cloutier stand with the Coes.

‘Tis the Season: Part 2

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

This week’s post comes from our very own CEO, whose celebration is steeped in tradition

Rick Olsen – General Manager

Our holiday celebration is shaped by two things: my Swedish ancestry and my birthday. My birthday is on December 24th. This is great for me since that’s the day my entire extended family comes together to celebrate Christmas. We kick things off with a little midday lunch that includes cake and birthday presents. After lunch, we usually spend the rest of the day catching up and enjoying each other’s company. Before we know it, it’s time for dinner. We always have a traditional Swedish meal that takes me back to my roots. A family program follows dinner, where the children play musical instruments and the eldest read Christmas stories. Then it’s time to open presents. But no matter how many presents I get on that day, whether for my birthday or Christmas, my absolute favorite present by far is seeing my entire family in one place.

No matter how you and your family celebrate, everyone at Exmark wishes you a happy holiday season.

‘Tis the Season: Part 1

Monday, December 20th, 2010

The lights are up. The mall Santas have taken their rightful thrones. The deal-hunters are out in full force. The lists and cookies have been made. Everywhere you turn, it’s beginning to look a lot like the most wonderful time of the year. To keep in the spirit, we’d like to take a moment and shift focus from mowers to people. Specifically our Exmark people. The next few posts are dedicated to three of our employees and how they like to spend their holiday season.

We’re kicking off the holiday posts with one from Debbie Hartig.

Debbie Hartig – Materials Coordinator

Ever since I can remember, we’ve celebrated Christmas on the 24th. We always get together at a relative’s house, eat a delicious prime rib dinner and open presents. We have the best time just sitting around and catching up. And if the mood strikes, we’ll pop in a few home movies and catch up on Christmases past. And haircuts past! I can’t imagine spending the holidays any other way.

No matter how you and your family celebrate, everyone at Exmark wishes you a happy holiday season.

U.S. Lawns. A national company with local roots.

Friday, September 24th, 2010

This month we bring you U.S. Lawns, a unique landscaping company built on a strong foundation of local franchisees with offices strategically placed across the country. The idea of U.S. Lawns is to have local presence in different communities by providing landscape professionals with resources and key business strategies to be successful. With the backing of a large company, franchisees can offer customers the personal service of a landscape pro and commitment to excellence of a local business owner.  U.S. Lawn’s commitment to delivering a superior product is in line with our thinking, and we’re proud to be one of their partners.

We asked U.S. Lawns a few questions and here’s what they had to say:

When did your operation first open its doors?

U.S. Lawns was founded and began franchising in 1986. However, the real growth of the concept began in the late 1990’s after the business model had been tested, refined and proven by our early “pioneer” franchise owners. We now have offices in more than 200 markets in 34 states.

What is the one unique thing about your business?

We offer national strength with a local commitment. The combination of local providers and national resources help make U.S. Lawns a leader in the commercial landscape management industry. Our territories for franchisees are set up with a 20-30 minute drive time in mind, in order to serve the customer quicker and more efficiently while our home office is staffed with professionals who are leaders in their respective fields, from agronomics to economics and from marketing to accounting and HR to support our franchisees.

How do you want to be viewed in the marketplace?

We want to be viewed as our Mission Statement proclaims: provide our clients with the highest quality landscape management program at competitive prices through a national organization of dedicated owner-operators and their employees, supported by the expertise of today’s most accomplished industry leaders. In pursuit of excellence we are committed to honest and forthright dealings with our clients, our employees and our vendors.

Typically, what do owners/franchisees look for in the machines they use?

Our franchisees look at equipment as necessary tools to consistently and efficiently service the customer’s property. For this reason we want our employees to operate equipment that is safe and easy to operate, cutting-edge efficient, has been engineered for zero down time and will last well past its warranty period. Since we perform only routine maintenance on our equipment, not major repairs, we put a great value on a good dealer network that understands the commercial contractor market.

What kinds of practices do you look for and expect in mower manufacturers?

We expect the manufacturer to fully understand the key drivers in our business and then proactively address these key drivers as they design and build both their machines and, more importantly, their customer support teams. We also expect what every customer expects – good warranties, proactive communication, advance notice of product developments and issues, and continued research and development that supports the future of our industry.

Is it important to have a strong relationship with your dealer?

YES! It is paramount. The buying decision is based largely on the strength of the dealer. The local dealer’s influence on getting a repair being made quickly, for us, is paramount. Equipment will break, but the cost, ease and speed of the repair will determine a strong relationship.

Where do you see the industry headed, generally speaking?

A recent trend focuses on green initiatives. More energy-efficient electric mowers and mowers with less noise would seem to be the way of the future.

What is the one thing that’s currently affecting the industry?

The customer is not willing to pay more today than yesterday for the same services.  There have been no significant improvements in the equipment industry that improve field efficiency. This restricts the contractor’s ability to improve margins by upgrading equipment, forcing the contractor to either increase efficiencies in other areas of their business or to accept lower margins for their work.

Where would you like to see the industry headed?

Upward and green! We firmly believe the future of the equipment industry is dependent upon change –not incremental change as we’ve seen over many years, but exponential change: different power sources and radically different designs allowing for far greater efficiency while addressing environmental concerns.

What is next for your company?

U.S. Lawns will continue to be a leader in the commercial landscape management industry. We continue to grow our business, even in a challenging economy, and keep our eyes on the future at all times. We push forward every day, keeping up with technology and constantly building our pool of resources for our franchisees. Our goal is always customer satisfaction, and we believe we deliver it better than anyone.

Want to read more about U.S. Lawns visit

Dealer Spotlight: Tony Weston

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Cheif- SH- PBThis week we’re featuring Tony Weston. Tony is that rare breed of dealer, landscape professional and all-around nice guy. His business philosophy is simple: Be respectful, be honest and never sell your customers a product you wouldn’t use. Who can argue with that?

As a dealer, what do you look for in a product? I look for machines that are well-made, dependable and deliver the best cut out there. That’s why I only sell Exmarks. They’re the machines I use for my landscaping business and I would never sell my clients anything I wouldn’t use myself. We have a saying in my shop: We sell ‘em…We use ‘em…’nough said.

What is the one thing you focus on when it comes to your customers? Honesty. I am a dealer and a landscape pro so I know what it takes to get the job done right. And what it takes is a combination of experience and quality mowers. I’ll never sell a mower I don’t believe in, even if it means a bigger profit for me. I just can’t do it. I also believe in loyalty. I got baseball caps with my customers’ logos on them hanging on a wall in my shop. And I’ll never underbid a customer on the same job. Never. It’s not the way I do business.

What similarities/philosophies do you think you share with Exmark? Exmark always puts the customer first. They’re only interested in making the very best mowers, so they ask a lot of questions, are open to feedback and take their time crafting their machines. I am all about doing what you can for your customers.

How would you define a quality cut? First, start by picturing a large, open field with grass that’s about 13” long. Now picture a red laser beam coming in and slicing right through it. In one smooth motion, it creates an even cut from one blade to the next. No stragglers. No pushed over grass. What you end up with is my definition of a quality cut.

Thanks for answering our questions, Tony. Keep up the good work.

Exmark’s Virtual High Fives

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Every month we will feature dealers and landscape professionals who stand out in the industry. They are companies and people who share our philosophies, going above and beyond the expected to deliver not just a great product or service, but a great 360-degree experience. We’ll be asking them a few questions that will highlight what they’re doing right, how they’re doing it and how they will continue to do it in the future. We hope you keep coming back to read these well-deserved pats on the back.

For our first feature, we spoke with Dean Meyer from Waconia Farm Supply. We’ve had a relationship with Waconia since 1998 and it’s still going strong. Not only are they focused on their customers’ needs, but they’re a progressive-thinking company that’s not afraid to try new things.

How long have you been in business? 61 years.

What do you look for in the products you carry? For us, it’s all about the reputation of a company, how easy they make the process, the quality of their offerings and availability. And having competitive terms doesn’t hurt.

What do your customers look for in a mower? They want something that’s reliable, that’s built to last, that’s low in maintenance and high in productivity. They also want to work with a company and dealer that stand behind their products.

How do you feel you do things differently? We strive to provide the best customer service possible ― before, during and after the sale.

What are your goals for your dealerships? This can be easily answered with our mission statement: Be a value-added supplier of goods and services, and enhance our customers business and lifestyles in a manner beneficial to both customer and our company.

What is the one thing you focus on when it comes to your customers? Customer satisfaction. Always.

Where do you see the industry headed? It’s definitely becoming more competitive and specialized.  Consumers have more knowledge at their fingertips forcing dealers to know more about the products they sell.

Where would you like to see the industry go? I’d like to see dealers having more control over what the manufacturers provide for service to dealers.

What are some of the things currently affecting your customers and how are you dealing with this situation? Our customers are scrutinizing each aspect of their business, like dealers are.  They are running as lean as possible and only doing what they are profitable at. We try to be efficient, offering our customers exactly what they need through diverse yet relevant product offerings.

What similarities/philosophies do you think you share with Exmark? We strive to be the best and be proactive.  We never want to be in a situation where we are reacting to the market…we want to be the ones other dealers are reacting too.

Thanks Dean, for taking the time to answer our questions and for doing things right. Way to go.