Eagle Power and Equipment is a full-line dealership for top-flight Case and Kubota construction equipment. To back up its sales and rental of new and used equipment, the company delivers an equally high level of service and support.
Two of the company’s four locations were originally dealership locations owned by the manufacturer Case. Jerry MacDonald began working at the store in Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania, in 1971 and remained loyal to the company for 25 years. However, in the mid-1990s, Case Corporation began selling off its dealerships to private ownership and offered Jerry the opportunity to purchase the operation he had been running for years. Pulling in his son, Matt Macdonald, he formed Eagle Power and Equipment in September of 1996. One year later, his daughter Bridgette MacDonald, the current Vice President, joined the company.
Expansion takes off
Eagle focused entirely on Case equipment until the early 2000s, when a few new products appeared on the market that Case did not yet offer. This prompted Eagle to become a Kubota construction equipment dealer in 2005. Since then it has expanded to include other product lines such as Allied hammers, Trail King trailers, Eager Beaver Trailers, and Toro Dingo.
In 2017, the company acquired Histand’s Equipment in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and this became its fourth location. Histand’s was a Kubota dealer providing turf and tractor equipment and the acquisition enabled Eagle to expand its product offering with Kubota’s agriculture line.
After purchasing Histand’s Equipment, a decision was made to form a second company, called Eagle Power Turf and Tractor, which would run as a separate entity from Eagle Power Equipment and would be based solely in Doylestown. In 2018, this same Doylestown location introduced Kubota’s construction equipment product lines with the result that both Eagle Power companies now operate under the same roof while remaining independent of one another.
Combined, the two companies have about 77 employees – vital employees, because businesses are built on the abilities of staff members and customer service has always been the priority at Eagle Power.
“We have customers with us today that have been dealing with us since the 70s and 80s, many of whom just started small and came to us to buy their first backhoe. We’ve helped them and watch them grow into substantially-sized companies,” says Matt MacDonald, president of Eagle Power and Equipment. A good number of the company’s repeat customers began as solo operations and continue to remain loyal after reaching success due to the exceptional services delivered by the team at Eagle Power.
The company is known to go out of its way to provide loaner equipment to keep its customers’ businesses running when machines go down. “We do whatever we can to get to the job site if the machine goes down, and I find that people will remember that.”
The company personnel, and the customer-oriented approach at Eagle Power, are without a doubt its biggest assets. A potential problem is that many of the long-term staff members well versed in the company culture are approaching the point of retirement.
A good problem to have
“Our newest salesperson that we have at Eagle Power and Equipment has been with us for eleven years, so we have a very seasoned and experienced staff. It is fortunate, but the challenges lie ahead of us when these wonderful people retire, and we try to find people that share our values,” explains Matt.
The company is presently working to mitigate this problem and ensure that the culture is passed down to the next generation. In truth – if it’s really a problem – it seems a good problem to have, that your current employees are so highly skilled and experienced, they’re hard to match.
Eagle Power is very particular about the people it hires and so puts job applicants through the wringer at interview time. In the couple of hours usually given over to each interview at the company, the interviewee is just as carefully exposed to the values of the company, and the requirements of the position, as he or she is questioned and assessed.
Can’t be faked
The customer-first ethos at Eagle Power is a conviction that is held deeply and widely throughout the company. And not just among the company’s representatives on the sales team, or management. It is no happy accident, either. Instead it’s the result of long years of effort culminating in that can’t-be-faked blend of genuine care for the customer and pride in work. Whether it’s the technicians, the service managers, or the parts division; everyone will go the extra mile to make sure the customer is happy.
Customers are thrilled with the support they receive. Eagle Power carries two of the best brands on the market, but of course many of the world’s machines are closely comparable and the deciding factor is not always, or solely, the clear superiority of a brand. It’s more likely for a contractor to factor in who they feel most comfortable purchasing from, and who will provide the best support.
Eagle Power has frequently had the experience of customers who purchased other products in the past based solely on price, and soon regretted it, after failing to get the support they needed. “In addition to carrying what I consider to be two very premium products, our level of support that we offer and the customer service that we provide is what sets us apart from the competition,” says Matt.
Close to clients
The services of Eagle Power primarily cover the southeastern region of Pennsylvania. For the Case product line, the assigned territory is Montgomery, Bucks, Philadelphia, Chester, and Delaware counties in Pennsylvania, Newcastle County in Delaware, and a section of Cecil County in Maryland. For Kubota, its area of responsibility covers the Pennsylvania counties.
To support its customer base, the company has considered other brands and manufacturers over the years. These brands often present an opportunity to cover a larger geographical base, but Eagle Power strongly believes in limiting its territory to guarantee a high standard of service. The farther the customers are located from the company, the more difficult it is to respond to their needs.
“We feel the responsible way to manage our territory is to stay within a reasonable area, and with our four stores right now, we have the ability to take care of customers throughout our territory. A technician at any one of our stores could be on a job site in our territory within an hour. And customers have the ability to get to us quickly for buying parts,” says Matt.
Diamonds and gold
The result of this close attention to customers is that for approximately a decade, Eagle Power has been consistently recognized with either Gold or Diamond Dealer status by Case. Only a handful of dealerships have reached that level in the United States.
To achieve this standing, there are approximately 40 different categories of requirements that must be fulfilled. These vary from the stocking rates of parts to the hours of training and the diversity of the equipment inventory. Additionally, the company has to attain a certain market share in its territory. A significant amount of effort and expense goes into reaching these standards, including the cost of extra training.
On the Kubota side of the business, Eagle Power is an ‘Elite Dealer,’ which is another upper level certification with a long regulation process. The requirements are similar and also stipulate that the facility is maintained to particularly high standards.
“You have to maintain a quality facility that meets the standards such as proper signage, all the way down to the proper levels of light in your shop, so they’re pretty specific about what they expect and we work hard for both manufacturers to get those statuses,” Matt says.
For both manufacturers, Eagle Power participates in dealer meetings with other dealerships a few times a year to exchange best business practices and new ideas, and to tour each other’s facilities. The collective of companies is called the “20 Group” and they give each other critiques and recommendations on what changes could be made to become better dealerships.
“We always return from those meetings with new ideas, new ways of doing things, and it really helps us become a stronger dealer because you get to see people doing things differently,” says Matt. “In fact, every time I go to one, I come back and implement a change or try to add something new. And that’s been fantastic for us, we’ve gained a lot from it.”
Underlying everything at Eagle Power is the driving force to provide the best support possible through transparency and clear communication. “Our plan for the future is to concentrate on what we currently offer and make sure we do it the best we can. I like to describe what we try to do going forward as conservative growth.”
For the near future, although the company plans to expand some of its product offerings, its primary vehicle for growth in the short term will be acquisition. All evidence is that Eagle Power will manage this with its customary excellence both of products and supportive service.