LandMark Selected as Business of the Year

LandMark Selected as Business of the Year Main Photo

19 Feb 2019

Companies that serve the ag industry must have true grit and perseverance to survive the ups and downs of the farm economy.

One local company, LandMark Implement, has endured those winds of change for more than seven decades and has grown from a small business serving Phelps County area farmers to a company that includes 16 locations spanning two states.

And, throughout its growth, LandMark has stayed true to its roots as the 348-employee company continues to call Phelps County home.

Because of LandMark’s lifelong commitment to Phelps County, its family-focused ownership structure and its success and respect among its peer organizations, the Phelps County Development Corporation is honoring the company as a 2018 Business of the Year. LandMark will be inducted into the Phelps County Business Hall of Fame at the Annual Meeting on March 14.

“We were very honored and surprised by the award,” said Alex McClymont, LandMark’s Aftermarket Manager and great-grandson of founder Clyde McClymont. “PCDC has and continues to do a lot of great projects for Phelps County.”  

Setting Roots in Phelps County

McClymont Implement started in 1947 when Clyde McClymont and his son, Dick, purchased the local John Deere dealership. In the early 1970s, McClymont Implement became the first John Deere dealer to reach $1 million in whole goods sales volume within the Kansas City Branch. They constructed the current John Deere sales and service facility on the west edge of Holdrege in 1973 after outgrowing their previous facility.

Alex’s dad, Richard, and uncle, Ted, followed in their grandfather and father’s footsteps and continued to grow the business in the 1980s. In 1994, the company expanded beyond Holdrege with the purchase of the Alma dealership. In 2006, LandMark Implement, Inc., was formed with four dealerships: Holdrege and Minden in Nebraska, and Smith Center and Phillipsburg in Kansas. It then grew to include additional dealerships in Lexington, Gothenburg, Arapahoe, Kearney and Shelton. In 2016, LandMark merged with another John Deere dealer and grew to 16 dealerships spanning from eastern Kansas and Nebraska to the Nebraska panhandle.

With the growth in the business, LandMark has still maintained its family-focused ownership structure.

“Through these expansions, we have recognized that each location has its own unique personality just like the towns and cities in which they reside,” Alex said. “We’ve worked hard at maintaining the local spirit of each of these locations. Farming is a very family-oriented business, and we believe families are the backbone of the farming community just as we believe families are the backbone of our business.”

LandMark’s headquarters is now located on the east edge of Holdrege at 915 Brewster Road. The company employs 61 staff members in Phelps County between the home office and the service center/dealership still on the west edge of town.

“From a logistical standpoint, Holdrege is centrally located throughout our organization,” Alex said. “But since McClymont Implement, which is now LandMark, started in Phelps County 72 years ago, that was the driving factor for the location of our organizational support center.”

From the Holdrege headquarters, LandMark manages payroll, human resources, payables, receivables, inside sales, centralized warranty, marketing, information technology support, remote support monitoring, training both for customers and employees and store integrated solutions equipment.

“It is a vital facility that allows the dealer locations to operate more efficiently,” Alex said of the Holdrege headquarters.

Peer Leaders

The PCDC selection committee noted LandMark’s unparalleled success in the Kansas City region of John Deere dealers and the respect it commands among its peer organizations.

Alex said LandMark is a multi-year winner of John Deere’s Leaders Club award that recognizes the top 35 Dealers in North America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand for their Excellence in Customer Service, Market and Operational Performance. LandMark, has been awarded this prestigious honor more than 15 times dating back to the early days of McClymont Implement.

LandMark is also a John Deere Financial Medallion Award winner. This award is presented to top-performing Deere dealers who attain operational excellence in equipment and parts financing.

John Deere looks to LandMark leaders as a resource for multiple projects. LandMark CEO Andy Grollmes is on the dealer advisory council, Alex McClymont is on the Aftermarket Advisory Group, and Sales Manager Troy Lorenzen serves on the Comprehensive Sales Management Advisory Group.

Overcoming Challenges

Any business that has operated for seven decades is bound to face challenging times, especially in the agricultural industry. LandMark survived the farming crisis of the 1980s and is working through a current decline in the farm economy.

“The downturn has created many challenges to our customers and our organization,” Alex said.  “We were forced to reduce expenses, reduce whole good inventory, reduce staff and find more efficient ways to do business.”

Due to low crop prices, many farmers are opting to maintain current equipment instead of purchasing new. LandMark has adapted by increasing its parts inventory, shifting resources to service and investing in the latest technology to support farmers.

“Ultimately, supporting the customer regardless of their need has kept us on track to come out of the downturn better that we entered it,” Alex said.

PCDC’s annual meeting and Business Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be Thursday, March 14, at JB’s Sports Bar & Grill. The public is invited to attend, and tickets can be reserved for $35 per person by calling Stacy at PCDC at (308) 995-4148.

By Kristine Jacobson (KRJPR) for PCDC