Another installment in our continuing series highlighting STMA commercial members; today we hear from David Taylor, owner and president, STEC Equipment, Sandy Spring, SC:
SportsTurf: How do you develop relationships with turf managers?
Taylor: Over the years we have learned to listen and try and understand the problems that turf managers face. Also because we stand behind what we do and say we have been able to earn the trust of many. Delivering what we promise helps build any relationship, not just with turf managers.
ST: Do you have any recommendations for customers on how to get the most out of their supplier relationships?
Taylor: Open communication is the key any relationship. If there is a problems/issue its best to discuss it before it escalates. Machines break, problems arise but being able to know the full picture helps speed up the recovery time. Being open minded about new concepts and doing things differently as well as trusting your supplier are key to a good relationship.
ST: How are you able to service the specialized equipment you sell?
Taylor: Without sounding arrogant, we sell the best products on the market in our industry. We do not have many major breakdowns; most issues are alleviated by routine maintenance. If there are major issues we have a team of technical support and field service technicians on hand to repair on site. Alternatively with our extensive logistics department we are able to expedite transportation whether it is overnight airfreight or overnight delivery for parts and machines. In fact our new location is a half-mile from the area’s main UPS hub.
ST: With more and more fraze mowing going on, is that machinery now selling itself? Or is that work being done more on a contracted basis?
Taylor: With the rising awareness of the benefits or fraze mowing we see openness to trying something new, mostly in the sports turf industry. Since we entered the market of fraze mowing more than 10 years ago we have seen a steady increase of users, end users as well as contract users. More high-end clubs and facilities own their machines as well as bringing in contractors. With the speed and efficiency of the machines today fraze mowing still is predominately is a contractor’s machine.
ST: How do you decide what products to import from Europe? Are there any new machines that will soon be available?
Taylor: We listen to market trends as well as search for new innovations worldwide. Going back to open communication, we listen to our customers and look to provide them with products that will meet their needs. We are also closely involved with design and development of new equipment and have several new products in testing for next year, some of which we hope to launch at the STMA Conference in Texas.
ST: Are there any new markets that you are entering?
Taylor: Sports turf is our number one priority industry with most of our focus in this area. We currently work predominantly in sports turf, golf and turf production but are expanding with airports as well as some equine products. We hope to stay true to our name STEC, Specialized Turf Equipment Company, and we hope to focus on our motto, Quality, Innovation, Delivered.