Nevins Builds Equipment Rental Options Throughout Texas and Southern US
Last January, Mitch Nevins became CEO of National Equipment Dealers, LLC (NED), a new entity representing 10 major manufacturers across a four-state area. With the acquisition of three growing equipment dealers, NED plans to expand throughout some of the fastest-growing regions of the United States.
To reach this point of his career, Nevins navigated some detours. “I never thought as a student I would be in this business,” he said.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in finance from Illinois State University, he worked in sales, finance, and meeting planning. Then, when his parents, Shirley and George Nevins, started Con-Equip, Inc., a Link-Belt crane and excavator dealer, Nevins relocated from Chicago and joined the new Houston business as an outside sales representative. Eight years later, he moved inside to learn the management side.
The family sold Con-Equip in 1999, then started Four Seasons Equipment, Inc., in Houston in 2001. When his dad retired in 2010, Nevins became CEO of the company, which now includes a Dallas branch.
In 2013, Nevins established a second Houston-based business as the Bell Articulated Dump Trucks (ADT) national distributor for the U.S. and Mexico. “With the help of my two oldest sons, Nick and Matt, we put together a business plan and the proper financing with Bank of Texas, then hired some great professionals in the ADT business,” he said. “We started signing up dealers and bringing Bell Trucks back to the market.”
Nevins still serves as CEO of Bell Trucks America, Inc., as well as CEO of NED. In his interview with Texas Contractor, he shares more about his new endeavor and the lessons that inspired how he and his companies do business.
Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
This is easy – my mom and dad. They came from very humble beginnings, both raised on farms in Iowa and Missouri. They’re 100 percent self-made and had to work hard for everything they have. They made it easy for me to succeed. When you watch people work 15 hours a day every day to make sure they’re successful, it gives you motivation and a guide to do the same.
What’s the best advice you ever received?
The people you see on the way up are the same people you see on the way back down, so treat everyone as you want to be treated.
What lessons have you learned in your professional life?
The biggest lesson is when you say something, you need to follow through with actions.
What professional achievement makes you proudest?
Being able to put the NED deal together with some great people. My partner Kerry Vickar [previously CEO of May Heavy Equipment and now Chairman of NED] has been unreal to work with. His sheer will and our combined vision brought it to close on January 5 this year, when NED acquired Four Seasons Equipment, May Heavy Equipment [based in Lexington, North Carolina, with locations throughout North and South Carolina], and Earthmovers Construction Equipment LLC [based in Orlando, Florida].
What led to the formation of National Equipment Dealers?
It’s not a glamorous story, actually. After four years of friendship and discussing business on a regular basis, Kerry and I, along with Jeff Gifford [NED Treasurer and Secretary], sat down in a conference room and put all the plusses and minuses of combining our companies on a white board. Needless to say, the plusses far outweighed the minuses. We believe the size and scope of what we put together, along with our plan to grow the business in the southern part of the U.S. in a growing economy, will give us a huge opportunity for success.
Why did you join forces with these particular companies?
We want to be in states that offer a construction season close to 12 months long. We also see that the demographics of the country are shifting to warm-weather climates, which leads to growth and construction opportunities. Most importantly, we gained excellent people in management, sales, and support with tons of experience and a complete buy-in to the strategy we laid out to be successful. Each company offers new sales, used sales, rentals, parts support, and service support. We represent some great manufacturers throughout our footprint, including Hyundai, LBX, SANY, Sakai, Gehl, BELL, Hitachi loaders, Dynapac, and Morooka.
How will the new company work?
NED is the parent company that owns the three operating companies. Four Seasons Equipment, May Heavy Equipment, and Earthmovers Equipment will continue to operate under their own names.
What are the goals for NED?
First, we plan to integrate the systems of the three companies and grow the rental fleet and our customer support abilities to be the best possible option for our customers in the regions we serve. We want to be one of the largest non-single line independent equipment dealers in the country.
What growth do you foresee for NED?
A larger revenue pool for facilities expansion and improvements, as well as enhancements to parts and service, are among the salient aspects of this acquisition, and these benefits are already being experienced. We acquired the facility of International Iron [in Apopka, Florida, near Orlando] and some of their assets, along with all their employees. International Iron was going to close business down, and Earthmovers needed a new facility and employees for its growing business. Adding these resources will allow for additional Florida expansion as soon as the end of 2018. We’ll look to grow the Texas footprint shortly thereafter.
What makes NED different from other dealers?
We believe that our size and footprint help us achieve better utilization and sales of assets, as well as sharing of best practices. We also understand that support and customer service are key to growth and success, and we work every day to implement that and not just talk about it.