Burdick Street Equipment (Burdick) was founded 12 years ago by owner Steve Stoll. He saw potential for a family-run outdoor power equipment company to grow from the lawn care business he was already running. Burdick Street Equipment was born, and today the company is booming with a strong and committed team of 14 employees including Steve’s cousin, Tyler Stoll.
“Considering that the Burdick team spends so much time together, our staff is family,” said Tyler, who serves as the company’s general manager.
The Burdick staff has 75 years of combined experience, and a point of pride is the company’s unified commitment to exceptional customer service.
“We have a very knowledgeable staff, and everyone here has their own areas of expertise. You are not just a customer. You are part of the business,” Tyler said.
The Burdick sales team puts significant time and effort into educating its customers about all aspects of equipment and accessories. It even hosts store demos on Burdick’s expansive lawn. As part of the product demonstrations, customers are shown various features of equipment and how to operate them for maximum efficiency and safety.
Tyler said that taking time to educate a customer, whether it's a new customer or a regular, allows for the customer to ask questions and fully understand the products before buying.
“We want all of our buyers to come away feeling like they received the best service before making an investment,” he said. “The education is the biggest part of the sales experience. At our store we take pride in finding the mower that fits you, not us.”
Based in Oxford, Michigan, less than an hour rom downtown Detroit, the company’s customer base is about 60% residential and 40% commercial. Many of them work at the “big three” (Chevy, Chrysler and Ford), and they like to buy commercial equipment to work on their large estate lawns.
One of Burdick’s biggest attractions, according to Steve, is the 10,000 square-foot showroom.
“Customers are impressed with the spacious showroom and the design of our building,” he said. “I also hear a lot about the quality of our service and that we get people in and out quickly.”
Though Burdick only started selling Gravely products at the start of 2021, Tyler says that the company is extremely happy with the brand and is thrilled to have joined the AriensCo family. In fact, one of the company’s goals is to double Gravely sales in the short term. New mower models are helping them meet this goal, especially the Gravely ZT X, ZT XL and ZT HD.
Tyler says his favorite is the Pro-Turn Mach One due to the high-volume output (HVO) deck and because, “it really knocks down some of the stuff others simply cannot do.” He’s also looking forward to getting the new Ariens Mammoth 850, which he hopes will have a big impact in the Oxford region.
“One of the reasons we started selling Gravely was thanks to our sales rep, Patrick Busler,” Tyler explained. “He went far above and beyond to help us get comfortable and hands-on with the product.”
According to Tyler, Gravely machines began in the store by filling only a small space, 25% of the floor, and less than a year later they are closing in on half of the floor. The addition of Gravely products drew in new mower customers Burdick didn’t even know were in the area.
“We were finding people coming out of the woodwork who would not have given us a second look were it not for Gravely,” Tyler said. “Customers are very happy about the Gravely mowers and the reliability that comes along with them. Support for the products is only one reason that sets AriensCo and Gravely apart.”
Burdick puts a lot of effort into its service and support. The company even offers its commercial cutters “loaner” mowers while their machines are in the shop so that they can keep working at the job site.
Tyler was recently selected to be a co-chairman of the AriensCo Service and Parts Advisory Council (SPAC). He is looking forward to growing his relationship with both the company and other dealers. He explained that a primary focus of the advisory board is to determine how to best work with customers, specifically when dealing with aftersales services.
“Generally, there is a lot of effort put in pre-sale, but you also need to come up with effective ways to provide service to customers after the sale,” he said.
He added that this comprehensive approach to service is a win-win for all, and he places a high value on information sharing and a group approach to coming up with the best ways to improve service.
“We are a very diverse group of dealers — some being as small as four employees, some as large as 17 dealerships. We are here to serve all dealers and help AriensCo toward our collective goal of having the best parts and service in the industry.”
According to Steve, 2021 was the best year in the company’s history to date, and that’s attributable to a few key factors, including bolstering Burdick’s marketing efforts.
“People are at home and doing more things at home. We have done really well with Gravely, so yeah, we’ve had just a really good year.”