Dealer Profile: American Pride Power Equipment
“A few years ago, I was walking around a parking ramp because I couldn’t remember where I parked my rental car,” said Ryan Dodson, president of American Pride Power Equipment in Zanesville, Ohio. “As I was looking for my car, I kept thinking about how many mowers you could fit in here.”
He’ll soon know exactly how many mowers will fit. Because Dodson will have the final inspection this week on American Pride’s new parking ramp. “When I got home from that trip, I talked to an architect and we made a plan for a parking garage,” said Dodson. “Yes, construction costs kept going up the whole time, but we couldn’t stop the project part way.”
Where Did I Park My Mower?
Dodson and American Pride now have a four-level parking garage just for mowers. “Even before it was finished, the new garage gained a lot of attention. It will pay for itself, from a marketing standpoint. It’s like half of it is working space and half of it is marketing.”
Read about Ryan Dodson earning a 2023 OPE Business Movers & Shakers award.
Dodson’s power-equipment dealership sits on a 3.5-acre lot, and he said they were always running out of space. “So we went up instead of going out wider,” he said. The new garage makes more sense, he claims, than the “wildly inefficient” rental space he’d been spending money on.
“In this parking garage, we can store the units,” said Dodson. “It’s not a service workspace, but it does allow us to better use our existing warehouse space to keep crated units, and it’s much better flow overall.”
They Profit in Different Ways
Dodson said that American Pride performs about 3,000 mower tune-ups during the winter, about 30 a day from November through March. “We used to mail postcards to market these tune-up services. But that made planning more difficult. So now we put people on a tune-up list.”
Dodson sends messages to those on the list, and they can say “Skip” if they don’t want a tune-up this year. They get about 85 percent participation; that gets them to the 3,000 or so. “Customers get a free mower blade plus free pickup and delivery,” he said. “They get spoiled because the unit comes back clean and serviced with a new blade.”
This is not a big profit center for American Pride. “It’s minor for profit,” he said, but for all the staff benefits and the customer relationships, it’s well worth it. We don’t do layoffs in the winter. This tune-up work keeps our techs busy all winter. It helps us keep good technicians and keeps most of the staff busy.”