Gellings Implement of Eden cannot quite match the over 110-year history of its primary equipment supplier—New Holland—but its owners are rightfully proud of the 52 years of family ownership of the business.
It is that combination of experience in the equipment industry which helps both Gellings and New Holland excel. Gellings Implement can rely on the time-tested quality of New Holland equipment, and New Holland can rely on the goodwill Gellings Implement has built up over all these years with its customers.
“We are who we are because of longevity,” said Ruth Bode, granddaughter of Art Gellings Sr. and daughter of Art Jr. Those two men started the New Holland dealership as Gellings Farm Supply on Mink Road near Eden.
Ruth and her siblings Paul and Dave Gellings continue to guide the business as the third generation of family members there. Their experience with equipment and the customers they have served is a key factor behind the steady growth they have seen over the last three or four years, not to mention the decades in business before that.
Fourth generation on board
But Ruth is also quick to point out that the fourth generation of the Gellings family is now working in the business as well. Matt Gellings (Ken’s son) and Jeremy Bode (Ruth’s son) became stockholders in 2006 and are helping to bring new ideas and an understanding of the younger farmers throughout the area to Gellings Implement.
“As soon as they could walk they were here,” Ruth said of the young men.
It is clear the fourth generation has embraced the focus on customer service started all those years ago. “The operators have gotten bigger, but we still service any size,” Matt said. Ruth added that she attributes the longevity of Gellings Implement to “a lot of good customer service.”
There are many ways Gellings Implement demonstrates that high level of customer service. In addition to the eight service technicians, three parts people and four sales people in their store, Gellings Implement will send technicians out into the field at all hours if a piece of equipment needs service. With a primary service area which includes all or portions of Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Washington, Ozaukee and Winnebago counties, the staff at Gellings Implement has been known to put some miles on their vehicles.
That primary service area does not limit where equipment sold by Gellings Implement might end up. Ruth said equipment they have sold has been used from Iowa to Door County and many points in between. Gellings Implement has its own semi and trucks its products to its customers.
That equipment certainly has changed over the years. Like everything else, technology has played a role, as has the increase in the size of many farm operations. Tractors these days can have everything from air ride seats to satellite guidance systems to help in planting, harvesting and manure application.
Changing with the times
Thirty years ago Gellings Implement probably carried 20 small balers; today it stocks just a couple. As farm operations have grown farmers need larger, more efficient and dependable equipment, and New Holland and the other manufacturers carried by Gellings Implement have delivered. “I think that helps them get more done with less people,” Matt said.
Whether it be contractors, landscapers, farmers or homeowners, Gellings Implement sells and services equipment for all those purposes and more. What all users have in common is that nobody wants a piece of equipment to go down, because time is money. Gellings Implement helps to keep that from happening by offering winter and pre-season service programs and owners’ clinics.
Machinery is made to work hard and breakdowns will still occur. To help mitigate this problem, New Holland offers its Top Service™ program for equipment under warranty. The program guarantees having a piece of equipment up and running within 24 hours or making a replacement piece available to the user.
Another program the business offers is its parts drop box system. Gellings Implement has strategically placed 15 parts drop boxes throughout the region with deliveries made Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. With drop boxes in New Holstein, St. Nazianz, Malone and many other locations, Gellings Implement has placed them at feed mills or other places farmers frequent, saving its customers time and gas and getting parts in their hands faster.
All of those programs focusing on customer service helped Gellings Implement win the 2010 President’s Club Award from New Holland. Gellings was one of only two recipients of the award in the state.
The growth of Gellings Implement in
Mark Sherry photo
the last few years has the owners looking at doing an expansion of their shop facility. It will not be the first expansion for Gellings, as in 1978 Art Jr. and his family moved the business from Mink Road to its current location on STH 45 just southeast of the village of Eden.
In addition to being one of the largest full line New Holland dealerships in Wisconsin, Gellings Implement carries other short lines including H&S Equipment, Versatile tractors and Krause tillage equipment.
Specializing in self-propelled forage equipment, Gellings also services and sells all sizes of tractors, hay and forage equipment, combines, skid steer loaders and telehandlers. Gellings Implement added the Versatile tractor line in 2005.
“It’s fun to see everything change,” Ruth said as she watched the fourth generation of family members head back to work, knowing that one thing which will not change is the focus on customer service.