Challenges Met—and Exceeded
Meyer Manufacturing Corp. has received the 2022 Dealer’s Choice Award in the Short-Line category. In addition to the overall honor, this is the first time a company has ranked first in all the dealer-rated categories. “It’s a pretty special privilege,” says Larry Meyer, Vice President. “That we could do this with all the competition out there, isn’t an easy task. We’re humbled, and I couldn’t be prouder of the people we have working for us.” Meyer Manufacturing works with more than 400 dealers throughout the United States and Canada.
The company was founded in 1944 by Larry’s father, Alvin, who patented a false-gate forage box, which was redesigned and became the first-known self-unloading forage box. The family business now extends to the third generation and continues to grow based on the same dedication to product innovation and serving its customers—both dealers and the end customers.
To deliver that service, Meyer says they try to put themselves in their dealer’s or retail customer’s shoes and to understand how they would like to be treated. And that includes putting the dealer first in the company’s decision-making and extends to discussing issues or concerns with them on a weekly basis.
The Dealer’s Choice Survey is also a key tool for the company. “There is no unimportant category in the survey,” says Meyer. The team uses the survey to see where improvements are needed—and then makes them. That’s one thing that Meyer emphasized: There is no waiting eight, 10, 12 months to make a change. If something needs to be changed, they do it immediately.
For example, Meyer says that the company came in lower than they would have liked on the survey in the warranty category. That was the impetus for the team to find out what was holding the warranty work back and making immediate improvements. This year, they came out on top among all the competitors in that category.
The Force of the Pandemic
Meyer is frank about the challenges that the pandemic has imposed on the industry in general and his business specifically. From trouble getting parts to shipping delays to increases in container costs, there are myriad ways the pandemic continues to put pressure on meeting and exceeding dealers’ and customers’ demands.
“This year, the biggest challenge was to keep the organization running—trying to get product out the door and make the delivery dates we’d promised. And from feedback we’ve heard from customers and dealers, we’ve been more successful at that than anyone in the industry,” says Meyer.
While success in any business is a complex set of factors, he isolated several that have served the company well over the pandemic and specifically this past year: inventory and being financially secure. Having parts on hand—instead of delayed somewhere along the supply chain—gives them the ability to meet demand more quickly. That often means they need to “over inventory,” which is only possible if when you have the capital. “There are companies who can’t do that. We can. We’ve got the ability to, say, take twice as much as we need when it’s available. So, we take it when we can get it,” says Meyer.
As far as maintaining their top ranking for the coming year, Meyer has a clear strategy: “Do the same types of things we’ve been doing, keep our staff improving and our salespeople out on the road. If everyone can improve a bit, we will stay in the top spot.”