Wayde’s Equipment – Filling Customer Needs


Taking Care of Business – Dealer Profile

Look after the customer and the business will take care of itself,” said Ray Kroc, who helped make McDonalds the world’s most successful fast-food restaurant chain. Wayde Grandstaff ’s approach to the equipment business is similar. “If you take care of customers, they’ll take care of you,” he says.

It’s something Grandstaff learned in the automobile-service business in the 1980s and continues to practice today as owner of Wayde’s Equipment with two locations in Cuba and Union, Missouri. He transitioned from auto service to agricultural equipment in the mid-1980s. A big reason was that he and his team already were providing small engine and tractor repair and satisfying a growing demand. As the repair business grew, Grandstaff began buying and stocking used equipment.

Expansion fills a need By 1992 Wayde’s Equipment had outgrown the building Grandstaff was leasing in Steelville, Missouri. After doing his research, Grandstaff decided to build a new facility just east of the town. And in the next two years, he added Vermeer and Kubota product lines.

Again, Wayde’s Equipment was filling a need – at the time the closest equipment dealership was more than 50 miles away, he said. “We helped fill a need for area farmers and ranchers,” he said. “We also started adding construction equipment.”

In 2016 Grandstaff purchased a facility eight miles north in Cuba, Missouri. It was located on Interstate 44, which provided increased exposure to more customers.

Grandstaff had the facility remodeled and the dealership moved into it in March 2017. Then in January 2018 he acquired a second store in Union, Missouri.

Wayde’s Equipment has added lawnmowers and other equipment to serve residential and commercial landscape customers. The dealership sells and services Stihl, Honda, and Echo equipment.

Taking On The Mass Merchandisers

Big-box stores present competition on price but Wayde’s Equipment frequently converts customers by maintaining a strong parts inventory and service by trained technicians. Many of the dealership’s customers are sundowners. They have full-time day jobs but have acreages they tend to in evening and weekend hours. “We’re flexible in how we serve them; they can always reach us on our cellphones,” he said. “We work on just about anything. We keep a lot of inventory; you can’t sell out of a book anymore. And we help fit equipment to customers’ needs. We sell value.”

The dealership shows customers products that are fully equipped and ready to work. Wayde’s Equipment hosts an annual open house as well as “Hay Days” on nearby farms where customers and prospective customers can see haying equipment in the field. Th at Kubota event regularly attracts more than 400 people, Grandstaff said.

In addition to equipment demonstrations, the dealership invites the local radio station to do a live broadcast. Factory representatives are available to talk with customers. The dealership also offers special pricing and a meal during the event.

Grandstaff advertises the dealership in a variety of other ways as well – billboards, radio, Facebook, and the internet. “We’re trying to get better at social media and internet advertising,” he said.

The internet has changed the way consumers shop. Many have thoroughly researched a product by the time they’re ready to make a purchase. Wayde’s Equipment employees keep updated about product lines and participate in sales training and service schools offered by Kubota and Vermeer, for example.

The dealership also does a lot of in-house training since area technical schools don’t provide much in the way of equipment repair and servicing, Grandstaff said.

Experience Matters

Experienced technicians help their fellow employees. One technician, for example, has worked at the dealership for 20 years and shares his expertise. The dealership also provides internships to area high school students where they learn how to set up equipment for demonstrations.

The student program and employee referrals have helped the dealership’s recruitment efforts. To retain employees, the company provides competitive pay, insurance, a retirement plan, vacation, and incentives for exceptional customer service.

“We are a big family; our people work together well,” he said. That team atmosphere helps make customers feel comfortable, he added. They can come into the store and be waited on by the same faces.

Family Pride

Asked what he’s most proud of, Grandstaff says he’s pleased that his son and daughter have joined the family business. He also has five grandchildren. Perhaps they will someday also be involved in the business.

“I’m proud of having a family-owned business,” he said. “And I’m proud of keeping our growth steady and customers happy.”

(picture on right: Wayde Grandstaff (right) is flanked by his son, Cody and his daughter, Lindsey Grandstaff McGinnis)

Article Written By LYNN GROOMS

LYNN GROOMS is an agricultural writer living in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin.




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