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Thinking More Like A Customer Than A Business Drives Expansion Success At Compact Power Equipment Centers

July 28, 2011

If you remember April 2008 and the condition of the U.S. economy – home construction at a standstill; credit availability frozen; rising bankruptcies and unemployment – you’d think it was the worst time to launch a business expansion program.

Officials at Compact Power Equipment Centers (CPEC) had a different view. That month, CPEC’s pilot program opened outlets for renting light-construction and landscaping equipment at seven locations of The Home Depot in the Atlanta and Charlotte markets.

The plan: supply customers all the power equipment they need to replace hand labor and boost productivity – including mini-excavators, trenchers, skid steers, tractor/loader/backhoes and related attachments. And service and maintain the equipment using a team of skilled mobile technicians.

What a plan! Over the past three years, the CPEC pilot campaign has made dozens of smooth landings across the U.S.  In fact, Compact Power Equipment Centers are now operating at 279 locations of The Home Depot with plans to add as many as 103 more centers over the next 12 to 18 months.

Recent expansions took CPEC into Tennessee, Colorado, Virginia and New Mexico. On the horizon are additional centers at more than 100 stores in the Mountain West (Salt Lake City), the Pacific Northwest (Seattle and Portland), California, the Southwest (Phoenix and Albuquerque) and along the Gulf Coast (New Orleans).

Ramping Up The Fleet

Eyeing future expansion, CPEC recently added to its fleet nearly 400 units -- the newest, most popular models from the leading manufacturers for light-construction, utility, site prep and landscaping applications. Plus an array of attachments and accessories to maximize productivity.

They include the Terex TSR50 wheeled skid steer with ¾-ton capacity; the PT50 track skid steer with load sensing hydraulics; compact PT30 loading skid steer with tracks that won’t damage lawns and the TC16 diesel-powered 1.5 ton mini-excavator – all industry respected Terex products.

Also available are the new Kubota K008 1-ton, rubber–track excavator – small enough to fit through a doorway – and the popular Kubota BX25 four-wheel drive tractor/loader/backhoe with hydrostatic power steering for easy operation. CPEC also added 100 Boxer trenchers.

Thinking Like A Customer

As carefully planned as CPEC’s growth has been, at the heart of the expansion success is a simple philosophy, according to Andy Lewis, the company’s marketing communications director.

“We understand what customers want, while some of our competitors do not, Lewis said. “We know our equipment inside and out and how it best fits the task at hand. Whether they’re renting for an hour or a month, our consumer wants a fair price and streamlined transaction. It doesn’t have to be any more complicated than that.” 

“Our CEO, Roger Braswell has seemingly done the impossible.  He led us through to a partnership with the world’s largest home improvement retailer, The Home Depot, to provide added value to their customers by completing the equipment rental offering.  The Home Depot had tools and trucks, we provide the towable power equipment.  Together the customer experience is unmatched by any competitor’s offering.”

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