As the Houghton, Iowa, location of Precision Equipment moves beyond its days as a single-store operation to one in a family of eight, customers will expect more from their neighborhood equipment dealership.

“At one time, customers knew the owners of the ‘mom and pop’ store that used to sit in Houghton and were a little more forgiving if a small part wasn’t in stock,” says Curt Moeller, corporate parts analyst. “But now, if we’re seen as a big corporation, customers will expect us to have even the higher ticket items in stock.”

The dealerships will have them, he promises. Whenever possible, Precision Equipment sends in corporate orders to support the locations. “While we don’t want to stock a high-dollar component at every location, we better have a couple of them close by.”

Using the sales history for each location helps Moeller determine what to order for each store as well as to share among the corporation. “I can’t look at a machine and guess about what part’s most likely to break. When it does and you tell a farmer, ‘we don’t carry it because I don’t remember it ever breaking,’ he’s going to say, ‘I’ve heard that one before.’”