Elliott & Frantz Celebrates 50 Years in Business we’ve stayed true to their founding principles. “There is no way a company can remain successful and continue to be in business, especially for 50 years, if the customer isn’t always right. Here, the customer is always right and that will continue for the next 50 years of Elliott & Frantz.” Many Elliott & Frantz customers have been with the company since the start because of that philosophy. As Vice President of Marketing Catherine Elliott said, while the way in which technicians do their jobs has changed since the 1960s, with computers and software playing critical roles today, the way Elliott & Frantz does business hasn’t. “It’s about relationships,” she said. “People value honesty and integrity in our industry. I think it’s a traditional industry. People in this industry value friendship and honest conversations maybe more than in other industries.” “The success or failure of any business is its employees and its leadership from the upper management,” said James Elliott. “This starts from the moment someone comes in to interview for a position at Elliott & Frantz. If we see any hesitancy from a prospective employee about adhering to our business philosophy, they don’t work here; it’s as simple as that.” Honest conversations are the foundation of developing long-lasting relationships with customers, but those relationships begin with first (L-R): Bob Schaeffer, president; Jim Elliott, CEO; and Bill McLoughlin, vice president, all of Elliott & Frantz, have been leading the company for many of its 50 impressions. “You have a shot at someone and you either years in business. make the right impression or the wrong one,” said Sally Englehart, service manager. “We try The equipment dealership founded in 1962 by James “Jumbo” Elliott and Harry Frantz was predicated on a philosophy of cus- to make the right impression and hold on to customers. That’s tomer service. Fifty years later, many things about the equipment basically what customer service is: not letting them go. That’s the and the construction industry have changed, but a couple things most important part, because once they’re gone, it is so hard to get haven’t: Elliott & Frantz Inc. continues to provide quality prod- them back. This is a tough industry because competition is fierce. Each customer has different needs, so it’s about meeting those ucts and exemplary service. “It has always been about the customers,” said James M. needs and keeping them happy.” Keeping customers happy requires service with a personal Elliott, CEO of Elliott & Frantz. “My father [James “Jumbo” touch. Elliott ] and Harry Frantz started with that philosophy and
“We go the extra step and give a more personal service than the big companies do,” said Joe McGlinchey, parts manager of Elliott & Frantz for 25 years. He believes that, as a company, they are personable. It may be that working for a “small” family-owned company creates a relaxed atmosphere that engenders an ambiance of approachability, or it might be that the genuine interest and selfless concern of Elliott & Frantz employees contributes to sincere relationships with their customers. “We try to develop a relationship with the people we deal with,” McGlinchey added. They’re not only customers, explained Pete Schaeffer, sales manager at Elliott & Frantz’s Jessup, Md., branch, they’re friends. “I go to their houses for dinner. I know their wives and kids. I go to their little league games. Sometimes it feels like they’re more than friends. “Most of our customers say we treat them like family,” said Ted Kushner, parts manager at the Jessup, Md., branch. “We like to joke around with our customers. We keep it light.” The tone may be affable, but he’s quick to note that their number one goal is to service the customer as quickly as possible, with the highest quality of professionalism. “It’s real easy to say you’re in the customer service business, but it’s not nearly as easy to prove it,” added James Elliott. “Fifty years in business proves it. Hard work, long hours and most important, listening is what gets a company to a half-century in business. Not nearly enough do people listen well. We do; in fact,
The father and daughter team of Elliott & Frantz are Jim Elliott, CEO, and Catherine Elliott, vice president of marketing.
Father and son — Bob Schaeffer is the president of Elliott & Frantz, and Pete Schaeffer is sales manager of the company’s Jessup, Md., branch.
it’s a job requirement at Elliott & Frantz.” Serving customers quickly starts with the phone, which is always answered by a person, not an automated system. “All of our branches have someone there to pick up the phone,” said Bob Schaeffer, president of Elliott & Frantz. “No ‘press one’ or ‘press two.’ We are dead set against automated phone systems. We have never had one and we never will. It’s one of the things we do that is different from a lot of businesses today.” Another difference between Elliott & Frantz and its competition is accessibility. As Bob Schaeffer explained, there aren’t a lot of levels of management to go through to get answers. continued on page 6
Congratulations to Elliott & Frantz, Inc., a valuable equipment source for 50 years Gradall Industries, Inc., congratulates Elliott & Frantz, Inc., for its half-century of dedication to contractors and governments that require productive, versatile construction equipment in Maryland, Delaware and eastern Pennsylvania. Elliott & Frantz is your authorized source for versatile Gradall excavators including the new Series IV highway speed models that deliver greater productivity and versatility along with new mobility benefits. Youâ€™ll appreciate faster, easier travel up to 60 mph with a new Tier 4i engine and an automatic transmission. From the upper cab, mobility is also improved with a new transfer case and other features. See Elliott & Frantz for details about Gradall excavators with the power and versatility to handle the work of many different machines, and undercarriages to handle virtually any terrain.
For information, demos, parts and service, contact your nearest Elliott & Frantz location:
King of Prussia, PA 19406 450 E. Church Rd. (610) 279-5200 Delmar, DE 19940 38420 Sussex Highway 302) 846-3306 Jessup, MD 20794 10421 Guilford Rd. (301) 725-7394
BY NOT BUILDING
WE COMPROMISE ON
What happens when you don’t build all equipment for all jobs, but specialize in excavators? You build them better. You don’t cut corners. You make them more reliable and productive.
from page 3
“You can get to the right person quickly. Other companies don’t do that. If you have a problem and you need to get to the top guy, one call does it. You can get a hold of me 24/7. You can get a hold of your salesman. If you want to talk to the owner of the company, you can call and ask for him. The receptionist won’t ask what you want or if you have an appointment. He picks up the phone. That doesn’t happen in other businesses.” That accessibility is part of Elliott & Frantz’s service and support. Bob Schaeffer believes support is more important to contractors than the price or brand of equipment. “The customer has to trust you. They have to trust that you are going to stand behind this thing you’re selling. That’s more important than price or brand. Are you going to stand behind me? Are you going to be around? Are you going to be able to fix it? Are you going to sell me parts for it? It’s their bread and butter; it’s what makes them money. It has to run.” Schaeffer, like everyone else at Elliott & Frantz, knows that if you don’t take care of a customer, you will never sell anything. “The customer is the most important thing in the world,” he said. “And the most important thing to a customer is loyalty from the person they buy from. If you want customers, you have to take care of Harry Frantz (L) and James “Jumbo” Elliott founded Elliott & Frantz in 1962. The initial lines included Allis Chalmer, Buffalo Springfield, and Northwest Engineering.
them. Do what you say you’ll do and make sure the factory does what they say they are going to do. Customers can choose anyone to spend their money with. You have to be different.” The difference at Elliott & Frantz is a balance of service, integrity and loyalty — a loyalty that is reciprocated by satisfied customers.
Steve White, vice president of sales and marketing, stand in front of a Gradall excavator in King of Prussia, Pa. Elliott & Frantz is consistently a top U.S. dealer for Gradall.
Leading by Example The sense of loyalty shared by employees and customers is a direct result of the allegiance formed between the company’s founding partners. Jumbo Elliott, a famous and successful track coach at Villanova, also worked as a salesman for Frantz Equipment Company in Philadelphia. When the company went out of business in 1962, he formed a new partnership with Harry Frantz, based on the principles of commitment, dedication and hard work. Even after forming the business partnership,
Jumbo Elliott continued coaching track until his death in 1981. His son, James, who is today CEO of Elliott & Frantz, remembers his father’s partner Harry Frantz as funny, honest and hardworking. “He was a terrific guy, well-respected by everyone in the industry. The two men were equal partners.” The hard-working, loyal pair brought a lot of the old Frantz employees along to the new company. These days, Elliott & Frantz employs more than 50 parts and service personnel at five branches located in King of Prussia, Pa.; Harrisburg, Pa.; Jessup, Md.; Delmar, Del.; and Manassas, Va. Of their 16 territorial managers, 12 of them have more than 20 years of experience in the industry and the remaining four have more than 10 years of experience. Having survived some difficult times in the industry, James Elliott credits those loyal employees with the company’s success. “It’s all about relationships and friendships. All your friends come in and you either try to sell them something or try to hire them. That makes this business a lot of fun to work in; it’s a reason to be in this business. Most people who get into this industry never leave.” His career began at age 16, when he worked as a mechanic during summers and holidays through college. After graduating, he began working full time, first as a salesman and then as sales manager. It’s a familiar story. Another sales manager started working at the company one summer after high school 34 years ago. Steve White joined his uncle, Tommy, who was the parts manager, at Elliott & Frantz in 1977. “It’s been a great career. I started out working in the warehouse, gradually taking on more responsibility with other roles. I’ve been a parts driver, parts counterman and a salesman. It’s still a great career. There’s no reason to leave. It’s a good company,” White said. Another long-time employee who worked his way up through the parts department, Joe McGlinchey started with the company 33 years ago. For the past 25, he has served as the parts manager, but he first began delivering parts. He continued on page 10
Sally Englehart is the service manager at Elliott & Frantz’s headquarters in King of Prussia, Pa.
Joe McGlinchey has been the parts manager at Elliott & Frantz’s King of Prussia, Pa., headquarters for 25 years.
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company in 1979. Every morning from about 6:45 to about 9 a.m., he works in the Philadelphia office with the sales team. “It’s what we do. We sell,” he said. Another long-time employee who rose through the ranks to management is Bob Schaeffer. “I started out as branch manager in Maryland 31 years ago. I opened the Jessup and Delmar branches for the company. Then Jim decided he wanted me involved in everything, so he made me president in 2000.” Schaeffer, a former punter for the Baltimore Colts in the early 1970s, epitomizes the company philosophy of hard work and customer support. This philosophy derives from Jumbo Elliott, who spent much of his time with customers. Son James followed suit and now Schaeffer does as well. “We are not a big company. We try to hire people who are pros, so I don’t have to look over every single Ed Russell is a former Navy Seabee and currently Elliott & Frantz’s gener- thing or micromanage every department,” he said. “It frees up my time, so I can do things that are more al service manager in Jessup, Md. important, like take care of our customers. You can’t grow without customers. In order to grow and keep your cusfrom page 7 tomers, you have to take care of them.” Taking care of customers during the recent economic downturn moved up to the warehouse for a year or two before working at hasn’t always been easy, but Schaeffer credits the company’s vast the parts counter. A few years later, he became parts manager at rental fleet and flexibility in helping proven customers continue to the King of Prussia branch. Now he works as general parts manoperate. ager for all branches. “Our customers have the ability to weather the storm. They will Not only has Vice President Bill McLoughlin been with the stay in business and they still need equipment, whether we can company for more than 30 years, but as a former Villanova crosscountry runner on scholarship, he had an early personal relationship with Jumbo Elliott. “He was a very charismatic person — one of those bigger-than-life-type of guys. He had a big personality.” McLoughlin remembers James Elliott from his school days, although he was a few years ahead of Elliott in class. Now the younger man is Bill’s boss. “Jimmy was really running things when I started; Mr. Elliott was semi-retired in 1979, so there were only a few years I worked with him. Jimmy [James] is extremely knowledgeable about the business and the equipment and he is very good at what he does. He never asks me or anyone else to do anything he doesn’t do.” Despite having been the vice president for 12 years, McLoughlin also is still a sales represenElliott & Frantz’s Manassas, Va., branch. tative, just as he was when he started with the
The Elliott & Frantz service department lines up for a photo in front of several of the company’s service trucks at its headquarters in King of Prussia, Pa.
avenues to resolve it: calling the service department, the sales person or our mechanics. They have a direct line to our mechanics. That is rare, but we’re comfortable letting customers we’ve had for a long time go directly to the mechanic.” Englehart believes Elliott & Frantz has some of the best mechanics in the industry. “We’ve been told that by the manufacturers,” she said. The majority of the senior techs have been with the company 20 years or more; one has been at Elliott & Frantz for 28 years. “It makes my job easier,” said Ed Russell, service manager at the company’s Jessup, Md., branch, and former Navy Seabee. “All I need to do is say, ‘here, go fix this.’ I trust them. They know what they’re doing.” Part of the reason they’re tops in their field can be ascribed to ongoing training. “These machines are highly complicated. None of them are simple anymore and there are always updates. Mechanics have to be constantly trained because things are always changing, so we put them in every available class we can,” he said. Because Elliott & Frantz carries equipment from numerous manufacturers, it can be difficult to keep up on training. “It’s always a challenge,” Russell said, “because they all have different needs. It takes different training requirements to keep the guys up to speed. A lot of the bigger contractors have their own
provide it on a short-term rental basis or a long-term lease or sale.” As president, Schaeffer’s primary duties are to handle the company’s manufacturers and to spend time with customers. “I spend 75 percent of my time with customers,” he estimated. “I want them to know I care about their business.” He proves how much he cares by going to their job sites and demonstrations, following up with them to ensure they receive service. “It’s essential because it provides value to them. It makes them feel that they are getting value by me going on the demo or meeting the customer. It gives them a direct line to us, providing a comfort level so they know that if something happens, they will be taken care of. It sets us apart from the others. That’s important, because a customer can spend money anywhere.” Relative newcomer Sally Englehart also understands how important it is to focus on taking care of customers. As service manager at the King of Prussia branch for the past year — a role she shares with Sean McMenamin, the previous service manager — she is responsible for overseeing the seven technicians in the service department and for making sure the customers’ warranty issues are dealt with. Responding quickly and directly to customers gives Elliott & Frantz an edge, she said. “We try to have a very quick response time. Because we have a long-standing rapport with most of our customers, if they have an issue, they can go through three different
continued on page 14
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The Wirtgen Group congratulates Elliott & Frantz, Inc. on their 50th anniversary. www.wirtgenamerica.com .com
Hitachi and Kawasaki iron is lined up and ready for customers in southeastern Pa.
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Equipment Sales and Service Just as Elliott & Frantz has evolved, so too has the machinery it carries. Back in 1962 the company started with simpler yet high-quality lines such as Allis Chalmer, Buffalo Springfield and Northwest Engineering. Today, the company offers a much more extensive line, including Gradall, Hitachi, Kawasaki, Terex haul trucks, Wirtgen, Hamm, Vogele, Morbark, Atlas Copco, JRB and Geith. Steve White recounted the journey as the company expanded its inventory. “At the start of my career, we were probably the number one Fiat dealer for 10 years. We were big in Euclid trucks back then. Lines changed to Link-Belt and then Hitachi. “We sold Hitachi for about 20 to 25 years,” White recalled. “We replaced the Fiat line with Kawasaki and sold that for 20some years. We’ve had Terex [trucks] for about 10 years now. We had Ingersoll Rand rollers, milling machines and pavers. They also have off-road, artic and quarry trucks. The T1 and TA series were the primary ones.” Elliott & Frantz carries an extensive inventory and is always looking for new prod-
mechanics, but we get called in when the customer can’t figure out what is going on. Training is a big issue, because they look to us as the dealer. They think we should be able to fix things.” The pace is changing, he added, with the new Tier IV engines. “There’s a whole new world of things to learn.”
Elliott & Frantz is an authorized Morbark dealer.
Hamm rollers are among Elliott & Frantz’s extensive product offerings.
Schaeffer pointed out that “80 percent of your business comes from 20 percent of your customers” and of that, 75 percent is repeat business. That’s why Joe McGlinchey makes himself available 24 hours a day, although he said he rarely gets an early-morning call. When he does, he takes care of the problem. “A few years back when we had about three feet of snow, a customer needed a part for a Kawasaki wheel loader. The call came in at 6 or 7 in the morning on the weekend. We had the part in stock, so we drove in and got it to them. I lived five minutes away, so it took about a half hour to 45 minutes until we got it to the customer. The customer was thrilled, because while that loader was down, it wasn’t making money for them.” Everyone at Elliott & Frantz understands the threat of downtime, no matter if it’s a big job like the shale pits in northern Pennsylvania where one of the major contractors purchased and rented more than 50 Hitachi excavators and support equipment including trucks and compaction equipment, or a single contractor doing a sewage job. “To him, it’s just as valuable,” Bob Schaeffer said.
uct lines, Pete Schaeffer, sales manager in Maryland, said. Not only does the company invest in equipment, but he said it also puts money into parts. McGlinchey estimated that the parts inventory company-wide is in the $3.5 to $4 million range, with “off-the-shelf availability at about 75 percent.” “Our parts and service are second to none,” Pete Schaeffer insisted. “That keeps people coming back. You can sell anybody one tractor, but when you sell them five and 10 and 15 and 20, it’s because of something: parts and service and relationships.” Elliott & Frantz has been ranked “Top Ten Dealer” with every major account in its product line. According to Pete Schaeffer, in 2011, it was in the Top 5 for Kawasaki, number one in the United States for Hitachi and number one worldwide for Gradall. “We have been tops for Gradall for 10 years in a row. Our market shares exceed those of other companies. We are getting a higher portion of the business in the product lines we handle than the average dealer.” While he attributed that to their philosophy and sound financial position, it says just as much about its service as its sales record. No matter how financially sound a company may be, “you still have to get the business, and that is what is important.” Keeping business is as important as getting it. Pete
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“Every hour they’re down, it costs them money. We try to handle each customer’s situation as critical.” Some jobs are time-sensitive. If a paving customer has a problem at 3 a.m. and the office isn’t open, what is he supposed to do? “His sales representative has his phone by his bedside and he will pick it up,” Bob Schaeffer pledged. “It doesn’t happen that often, but it does happen.” Explaining that they’re usually notified in advance about critical after-hours operations, he said they put in place a mechanism to handle the situation should it arise. There also are plans for parts delivery. Hitachi parts are typically received next day. Other manufacturers are about two days away, McGlinchey estimated, although anything can be overnighted or drop-shipped directly to the customer. “That way, they don’t have to lose a day or send someone in to pick it up. Some customers fix their own machines.” Turnaround time at the Jessup branch is two to three days, said Ted Kushner, parts manager there for the past nine years. Knowing that customers face downtime when they can’t get parts through their normal channels, he said his staff of six will research and sell parts beyond their usual product lines. “We look for things out of the norm if our customers can’t find it locally because they don’t have vendors or contacts. We try to help them out if we can. They call us because they know we’ve helped in the past. When they can’t get something and they need it right away, they come to us. We go out of our way to get it for them.” There would be no need for parts or service if there were no sales. Although dealing primarily with heavy highway contractors, Bob Schaeffer said Elliott & Frantz works with “all kinds of contractors.” He believes it’s their persistence and their ability to provide equipment that gets them jobs — including big jobs like the shale pits. “Our sales rep did a terrific job putting that deal together. We went to them for it. There’s another 10 years of major construction, so it’s going to be busy.”
A technician works on equipment in Jessup, Md.
Elliott & Frantz technicians work on a Hitachi excavator in King of Prussia, Pa.
continued on page 18
50 YEARS AND GROWING Terex Congratulates Elliott & Frantz On Their 50th Anniversary Building and maintaining a stellar business reputation isn’t easy. Your dedication to customer service and support is to be commended and is reflected in your success. Terex is proud to be your partner and we look forward to another 50 years of success.
Selling and Servicing Equipment is Your Business. Insuring Equipment Dealerships is Sentry’s Business.
1-877-373-6879 sentry.com Property and casualty coverages and safety services are underwritten, issued and/or administered by a member of the Sentry Insurance Group, Stevens Point, WI. For a complete listing of companies, visit sentry.com. Policies, coverages, benefits and discounts are not available in all states. See policy for complete coverage details. ® Captain John Parker photo
© 2012 Terex Corporation. Terex is a registered trademark of Terex Corporation in the United States of America and many other countries.
people, he makes sure the candidate is a “people person.” “You have to have the right personality. You have to want to answer the phone. You have to want to talk to the customer.” Appearance is important. “You want someone that’s professional because occasionally you will have to send him out to see the customer,” McGlinchey continued. “It’s important to maintain a good rapport with the customer. We work with them to get them what they need. All the time. Definitely all the time.” In a competitive industry that has seen the number of contractors, suppliers and vendors multiply in the 50 years since Elliott & Frantz was founded, Bob Schaeffer believes business comes down to relationships. “It is always going to be a relationship business.” The customers are all unique, Bill McLoughlin said. The parts department in Jessup, Md., tracks down parts for customers. “They are all successful people and interesting characters. from page 16 Everybody has different needs. Meeting them is a challenge.” Other areas also are busy. With several milling businesses in That’s why Elliott & Frantz hires new employees with the same Jessup, there’s a lot of road work in Maryland. But Kushner also attitude and philosophy they have established. Some even have praised his branch’s sales team. the same surname. “They sold a lot of equipment in this area over the past years. Pete Schaeffer started right after high school in 1994, first The more equipment they push out, the better our parts business working in the parts department and the shop. gets.” “I’m following in my dad’s footsteps,” he said. “My dad is my Jessup Service Manager Ed Russell joked, “They say there’s a idol. Everyone likes him, he’s fun to be around and he has a good recession, but I don’t see one, not with how busy I am.” relationship with all of his customers. I look up to him.” “He [Pete] has been coming to work with me since he was 10 Hiring the Right People — years old,” Bob Schaeffer reflected. “He understands what it takes Now and for the Future to get a customer and keep a customer. He is one of the next genHiring the right sales staff leads to deals like the shale pit job. eration. Catherine [Elliott] is the same way. She is going out and “I look for a sales rep who is really hungry,” Bob Schaeffer meeting customers and learning the business. She sees what said. “Someone who can build relationships and work hard. One makes us successful.” thing that is never going to change is that this is a numbers game. Success is not an exact science and the business isn’t static: The more calls you make, the more opportunities you have. Get there are changes everyday. Nevertheless, Bob Schaeffer says it’s up early, work hard and make a lot of calls. If you do that, you’ll essentially an easy business. be successful.” “It isn’t any different than any other business: if you take care Similarly, when McGlinchey interviews potential parts of your customers, they come back. If you don’t, they will
find somewhere else to spend their money. Knowing how to keep customers will ensure this company will still be in business 50 years from now.” “I have no doubt at all that the company is going to move forward very well,” added McLoughlin, who credits Jim Elliott’s patience in working with the younger generation in setting them up for success. “He is a very patient guy — very patient, helpful and hard-working. When you have young people, you have to motivate them and keep them going,” he said. “It takes a lot of patience. You have to keep people motivated and excited about what they are doing. There are a lot of emotional ups and downs in a business where one day you think you have the deal and two days later you lost the deal. The parts department at Elliott & Frantz’s headquarters in King of Prussia, Pa., is hard He is good at saying you’ll get the next at work locating parts for the company’s customers. one, don’t worry about it. He is very good with them.” James Elliott expressed confidence in the next generation. “They’ll take the business to an even higher level.” Catherine Elliott echoed his sentiments: “They will implement their ideas and utilize their knowledge about technology.” Although technology already plays a key role, Bob Schaeffer envisions telematics as the future. “It’s the buzz word today,” he said. “The GPS-based systems that we put on equipment today allow you to monitor your iron from the office. You can get codes without going to the equipment. You know where the equipment is, when it’s being used, if it has been serviced. That is where technology is going.” But technology requires investment. Brenda Newberry (L), receptionist, and Jeannie Snyder, accounts receivable work out Bob Schaeffer said Elliott & Frantz recog- of Elliott & Frantz’s Jessup, Md., branch. nizes that and is prepared to invest in the future. He said the company is embracing new technology and a new “I think that to stay in this business for the next 50 years, you way of doing things. have to evolve with new technology. You have to invest in the “There is always room for improvement. What we have done tooling necessary to do it, and that is constantly changing. You so far has worked, but we will try to do it better so we can stay also have to invest in the training to keep up with new ahead.” technology.” continued on page 20
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Atlas Copco Salutes Elliott & Frantz, Inc.
Respect and Reminiscences Although Elliott & Frantz is evolving with the times in areas such as technology and equipment, it continues to incorporate oldfashioned values like hard work, respect, customer service and teamwork. “I think we’re helpful with each other and try to solve issues together,” Kushner said. “If we have issues with backorders, the president will come and we’ll talk about how we can get it solved for the customer. He might authorize it to be pulled off a machine or try to get it from other sources I don’t know about. We all work together to accomplish the same goal: to get the customers taken care of.” Englehart appreciates being empowered to make decisions like that.
50 Years of Industry Leadership We congratulate Elliott & Frantz, Inc., on an impressive half-century of service to the Tri-State area and the rest of their growing sales and service region, and we wish them continued success in the next half-century. Elliott & Frantz is a full-line Atlas Copco hydraulic attachment dealer, featuring the complete range of small, mid-size and heavy breakers, as well as compactors, grapples, pulverizers, and cutters. And you can trust their trained technicians to maintain and service your Atlas Copco hydraulic attachment after the sale. www.atlascopco.us
Elliott & Frantz’s parts department is always well stocked with myriad parts for its customers.
Wirtgen milling machines awaiting customers at Elliott & Frantz’s Jessup, Md., facility.
the next a Mobark chipper and the next a milling machine.” But he knows the real reason for the widespread longevity. “We are close to our people here. We are good about maintaining relationships. Once they are in the family, it’s hard to get them out.”
“Instead of going through 18 million layers of management to get approval, it’s nice to be able to run with ideas.” The main idea never changes: doing the right thing for the customer — which is what Jeff Cooper, sales representative/branch manager in Manassas, Va., tries to do. The former rental company employee started with the dealer in 2005 as a sales representative for northern Virginia, working out of his house. “I like working for Elliott & Frantz because of the people.” Others echoed his sentiments. Russell, a former Navy Seabee, has been with Elliott & Frantz for 10 years. “When I retired, everyone said I’d go through three to five jobs before I found one I like, but this is my first job since I retired from the Navy. There’s something about this place I like. It’s a good company to work for.” Pete Schaeffer thinks people stay because it’s fun. “It’s different everyday: one day you’re selling an excavator,
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A Hitachi mini-excavator is on its way to a customer in Maryland.
Hitachi excavators are showcased in front of Elliott & Frantz’s branch in Jessup, Md.
While Elliott & Frantz’s business philosophy will never change, businesses evolve as their industry demands. But James Elliott provided a caveat about this type of change. “Elliott & Frantz will continue to look for new growth opportunities, whether they be through equipment line acquisitions, new hires or facility expansion,” said James Elliott. “But we will never grow just because we can. We will grow only when the customers demand it. Building a new facility will only happen if we can ensure that that new location will be as focused on customer service as all of our others. Again, the customer is always right and if they tell us they need another Elliott & Frantz facility or equipment line, that’s when we’ll grow. Growing for the sake of growth alone is a poor business model.” The story of Elliott & Frantz exists for one dominant reason — customers. And it’s a reality not lost on James Elliott. “I want to thank each and every one of our customers for these past 50 years,” said James Elliott. “We do what we love to do because of them. We’ve very lucky because our customers are our friends, as well. Business and friendship are earned. I promise we’ll continue to earn both as we enter the next 50 years of business.” CEG
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“It has been a fabulous experience for me,” Bill McLoughlin concluded, looking back over his tenure with the company. “It’s been a lot of fun — and still is. I still enjoy getting out everyday, chasing down deals. It has been a very interesting and fun business. The company has been great to me and I’m glad I joined them 32 years ago.” “My father loved what he did,” said James Elliott. “That’s among my most important business-related memories that I have of him. There is no way to be successful if you don’t love what you do. You can fake it for while, but people will see the truth, eventually, and so will you.” And the future for Elliott & Frantz is bright. “I have no concerns about where this company is headed in the future,” said James Elliott. “We have talented, loyal, hard-working and passionate people who work here, and I know because of the way we’ve groomed them that this business will survive and thrive for many years to come. Remember, it’s always about doing right by the customers and everyone from top to bottom lives by this here.”