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Leadership focus transforms material handling company

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Often, to reach your goals, you must be totally focused. David O. Turner was managing multiple responsibilities for Pon Holdings when the desire to focus all his energy on Equipment Depot grew strong enough for him to take an ownership role. In March 2017, Turner resigned from the Executive Board of Pon Holdings to take an ownership and shareholder position in Equipment Depot. As the primary shareholder, Turner can now devote his full attention to Equipment Depot’s growth strategy and guide the company toward its full potential.

“Over the past four years, the people of Equipment Depot have become like family to me. I wholehearted believe in this team and its future, so much so, that I am willing to personally invest in all of you and the company,” Turner said in his announcement to the employees.

Pon Holdings continues to be a major stakeholder, yet this move allows Turner to exercise more direct control over the future of its operations. Turner continues to fine-tune Equipment Depot’s growth strategy by utilizing resources that many competitors cannot access, made possible with Pon Holdings’ continued financial backing.

Having worked for Pon and Pon-related companies for more than 25 years, Turner says, “In my wildest dreams, I couldn’t have imagined the impact this company would have on my life. I’m not talking about the nine moves, or the six-and-a-half million air miles, or the many different Pon businesses I’ve been part of -- I'm talking about a family of people who have made such an impact on my life.”

Who is Equipment Depot? It is America’s largest independent material handling and rental business with a trusted legacy of keeping businesses moving since 1951. Today, Equipment Depot offers five core products and services to customers. All five are available across their 35-branch network, stretching from the Northeast to the Mexican border, and are delivered by a dedicated team of 1,500 employees.

  1. Material handling equipment – The nation’s #1 independent material handling business offering only the most respected OEM brands in the lift truck industry.
  2. Service – With 750 highly trained technicians on the road every day, across a 1,500-mile footprint, the Equipment Depot team is working to delight customers.
  3. Parts – With more than $12 million invested in OEM parts inventory, on-hand and ready when and where the customer needs it, the large OEM parts inventory and network virtually guarantee minimal down-time for customers.
  4. Rental – One of the youngest fleets in the industry with over 11,000 rental units is available to meet customers’ short-term or long- term rental requirements.
  5. Used – An on-hand inventory of more than a thousand units is available for immediate sale.

Under Turner’s visionary Pon corporate leadership, Equipment Depot has achieved tremendous success. Always an incredibly passionate and hands-on leader, Turner’s vision was to re-create the company and build on the foundation of dependable, helpful, driven and accountable people. He envisioned a re-imagined, best-in-service, here-for-you kind of company – with a primary mission to help its customers succeed.

Turner has been intimately involved in realigning Equipment Depot’s mission. The focus is on industry-leading customer service and its one-of-a-kind promise – Performance. Guaranteed. This pledge was developed following extensive customer, industry and competitor research. It addresses the day-to-day operational challenges customers face in their own businesses and creates a powerful message that resonates with them.

“Within the last four years, we have implemented strategic initiatives that put us on the right path,” Turner said. “I believe in the Equipment Depot team and our business partners. Working together, we can serve our customers better. Delivering the very best service to our customers is our strategic vision, and it’s how we will stand apart from other dealers.”

Service commitment is about providing support to minimize customers’ downtime and help them maximize productivity: Prompt service, reliable parts, on-time rentals, and product guarantee. Turner understands customers will not believe Equipment Depot is the best service provider in the industry until all its team members demonstrate, day in and day out, their passion to serve each customer.

Since introducing the Performance. Guaranteed. pledge, the invigorated team has rallied behind the mission of being the BEST SERVICE ORGANIZATION. The Performance. Guaranteed. promise features five key elements:

  1. Problem Resolution – Employees are empowered to solve customer concerns on the spot. If a customer isn’t satisfied, it’s elevated to one of 5 regional leaders for immediate attention and resolution.
  2. Prompt Service – Ready to roll 24/7/365 days a year and backed by a 4-hour emergency response time, or the first hour of labor is free. Free loaners are provided on forklift and aerial lift repairs if technicians fail to fix it right the first time or by the time promised.
  3. Reliable Parts – All parts purchased are guaranteed for 6 months.
  4. On-time Rentals – Rental equipment will be delivered on-time as promised or delivery is free.
  5. 30-Day Buyback Guarantee – If new equipment fails to perform as promised and the customer isn’t satisfied, Equipment Depot will buy it back. It’s that simple.

Moving forward with their growth strategy, Equipment Depot is ensuring all its customer interaction points align with their service-first mission and improve the ease of doing business with them. For example, Equipment Depot is pursuing a digital transformation to make relevant information available when and where the customer needs it. Making inventory and pricing easy to obtain online will enable customers to better manage their rental fleet needs – quickly, easily and more efficiently.

Turner concludes: “Service has always been, and will continue to be, the heart and soul of the organization. We want our customers to know we stand by our service and our commitment to support them. You hear other companies making promises, but we’re willing to make our Performance. Guaranteed. pledge, which we believe is a clear differentiator within the industry.”

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