Grossenburg Implement is hard at work building a new, 20,000 square foot state-of-the-art building west of Belle Fourche. With nine locations – Phillip, Belle Fourche, Pierre, Winner, Beresford, Sundance, Wyo., Bloomfield, Neb., Hartington, Neb., and Wayne, Neb. – the reinvestment made in the Belle Fourche community by Grossenburg is substantial. Patrick Olson, store manager for the Belle Fourche and Sundance locations, said that he oversees about 50 staffers between both locations and approximately 20 of those are employed in Belle Fourche.
The new location, situated just west of Belle Fourche on U.S. Hwy. 212, will provide new opportunities and a larger upgraded space – approximately 34,000 square feet in total between the new main building and a cold storage just to the west. Sitting on a 27-acre lot, the company will have ample room to better serve the community’s ag population. The upgrade is substantial enough that Olson said it is difficult to compare the old building to the one currently under construction.
“Our old location is so small, we can’t get anything inside (due to ceiling height),” he said. And that’s not all. The old location created more problems related to attracting and retaining staff, due to the cramped size of the shop. “We’re limited to what we can do because we can’t hire enough guys …,” he added. In the shop area alone, Olson estimated that the new building will give the crew 75% more room to work with, and higher ceilings to accommodate larger equipment. When the new shop is up and running, he said the company will have more shop positions available to fully utilize the space.
“We’ll probably add 25% more workforce in the shop,” he said, to supplement the five technicians they currently have. “We’ll probably have to hire at least three more.” “The hardest aspect of our business is the mechanics,” Olson said. “It’s hard to find good help, it’s hard to keep them.” For parts storage, he said they’ll have 50% more area inside the new building, as well. And that will be in addition to the approximately 5,000 squarefoot cold storage building being built. That is essential, Olson said, because as the agriculture industry has evolved over the decades, equipment has become much more customizable for each individual need. Much like the automobile industry, that leads to less commonality between models and a need for space to accommodate a larger variety of parts on hand.
“With different options, there’s so many different parts for one machine,” Olson said. “They’re all painted green, but that doesn’t mean they’re all the same.” The main building, boasting about 29,000 square feet, will house a front office space, a two-storied parts department, and shop. Work on the new location has been ongoing for approximately a year, preparing the property for its new usage. Olson said the work on the new location is expected to be wrapped up in January. Checking in on the building’s progress as often as he can, Olson said he’s eager to have the new space and accommodations for the company.
“They’re doing a great job,” he said. “Everybody (the contractors) out here’s doing a great job.” Barry Grossenburg, president of Grossenburg Implement Incorporated, started working for the family business in 1972. He said the new shop is an exciting addition to the company. “It’s been a long process,” he said. “Every John Deere dealer is building a new dealership. The John Deere network is way, way stronger than anybody else. The competition ain’t doing nothing.” With the new spot almost directly across the highway from the Belle Fourche Livestock Market, Grossenburg said he couldn’t be happier with the opportunity.
“Livestock and implement works really well together,” he said. With an estimated 480 semitrucks passing by the building daily, Grossenburg said they’re taking advantage of another opportunity by utilizing a portion of the building’s shop to offer truck tire repair services to get the operators back on the road quickly.
“We’re going to work hard on the tire business,” he said. Now, it’s a short waiting game until the new location is in full operation and the company will plant roots even deeper into the Belle Fourche community. “It’s really exciting,” Grossenburg said.