Taking Care of Business
NFL Quarterback Roger Staubach once said the best teams have consistency. You could say Jeff Deen, owner of Deen Kubota, takes that to heart. Consistency is one of the reasons the 87-year-old company is still going strong, he says.
His great grandfather, J.E. Deen, established the company – then known as J.E. Deen & Sons – in 1933. It sold and serviced the International Harvester brand. Jeff’s grandfather, Ted Deen, took over in the 1950s. Jeff’s father, Ted Deen Jr., added the Kubota product line around 1978. Jeff took over the business in 2018. He continues the family’s commitment to consistent service.
Established: In 1933 as J.E. Deen & Sons, became Deen Implement in 1959, became Deen Kubota in 2018
The Texas dealership primarily serves construction customers and “sundowner” farmers east of the Dallas metropolitan area. It also sells and services turf and utility vehicles. The dealership’s two stores each sell and service equipment within about a 50-mile radius of locations in Forney and Wills Point.
“We like the diversity,” Deen said of the company’s customer base and the Kubota equipment available to meet the needs of those customer segments.
Deen Kubota sells and services construction equipment for commercial- and residential-construction companies, which have enjoyed a booming market. Dallas-Fort Worth was the country’s second-busiest building market in 2019, reaching about $22.5 billion. Last year also was the fourth consecutive year that annual building starts in North Texas reached $20 billion, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Attracting and retaining employees
While the Deen Kubota stores are close to Dallas they’re just far enough east of the city to appeal to job candidates wanting to avoid commuter traffic. And it enables people to work in the communities where they live, Deen said.
“We’re also trying to create an atmosphere where people want to work,” he said.
The dealership’s new facility in Forney features a state-of-the art shop and work areas for technicians. The facility also features conference rooms and other amenities.
Deen Kubota provides a competitive benefits package, including health insurance and the ability for employees to carry over or cash out vacation time.
And if a technician, for example, needs a special tool to do his or her job more efficiently, the dealership is willing to invest in that tool, he said.
Efficiency and consistency matter
Doing things more efficiently also happens to be what Deen wants to accomplish in the next few years.
“I want to get continually better and more efficient so our days run more smoothly,” he said. “There are areas where we want to incorporate more technology that’s not available off the shelf.”
Jeff’s brother, Jack Deen, recently left corporate America to rejoin the dealership. He is helping to lead the effort in developing custom technology solutions for the dealership. At the same time, the dealership will continue to focus on what it has done for decades – be consistent.
“We preach customer service every single day,” Jeff Deen said.
The dealership relies a great deal on repeat business and referrals. Asked what he thinks are the keys to outstanding customer service, Deen shared some insights.
“We work to anticipate what the customer needs,” he said. “We try to volunteer solutions before a customer asks. And we continually remind our employees what we’re trying to do so that everyone has a good experience.”
The dealership stocks heavy on parts. It also volunteers to do hauling for customers and provides them “loaners.” It currently has eight skid steers available as loaners, for example.
And when things don’t go as smoothly as planned, the dealership takes ownership of the problem.
“The quicker you own a problem and pick up the ball the better,” he said. “We want to make it easy for the customer to do business with us.”
Keys to Success
- Good reputation
- Quickly taking ownership of problems
- Making it easy to do business
Strong association relationship
Deen Kubota has been a long-time member of the Western Equipment Dealers Association. Jeff Deen is a past president of the association.
“The number one reason we’re a member is that WEDA protects dealers – whether that’s at the state level or with manufacturers. Because of WEDA there are state laws that protect us. It serves as the liaison between dealers and OEMs. I’ve also enjoyed the comradery with other dealers and learning from them.”
Article Written By Lynn Grooms
Lynn Grooms is an agricultural journalist living in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin.
Photo Credit: All photos provided by Jack Deen.