Owners: John Williams and the Hirsch Family
Locations: West Plains and Thayer, Mo.
History: “I am in business with the Hirschs who own the Thayer location,” John Williams, the co-owner and manager of the West Plains store, explained. “We operate two separate stores. The whole business has been going since 1974 and we opened this one in the fall of 2005, 13 years ago.”
Products and Services: “We have just about everything for the farm and ranch operation, from tractors to fencing to clothing. We sell Massey-Ferguson, Mahindra and LS tractors, Bad Boy lawn mowers and Bob Cat industrial equipment. We have utility vehicles, the attachments and implements. We sell parts, a lot of parts and of course, we also service those vehicles. We also have livestock equipment and feed. Basically, we have a lot of diversity.”
That diversity can be seen in the variety of issues that keep John busy throughout the day as he spends much of his time on the phone, working hard to keep up with his varied inventory, the orders involved, making certain everything comes in the right size, color and amount, as well as coordinating delivery times and places.
“I enjoy the people and being your own boss. My wife, Dixie, does our accounting and bookkeeping and helps me keep up with the 47 employees we have here. That’s the key to getting everything done, having good employees and we do. The biggest challenges, are time management and staying current on everything, making sure we offer the best price and the best in customer service. As an independent, keeping up with the big chain stores is also part of it but we are managing to do just that.
“As for future plans, we have some that I can’t elaborate on that just yet, but we are always looking for new product lines. Thayer just had a big expansion last year. In West Plains we are probably going to need to add more warehouse space before long because we are already filling up what we have, fast.”