Ronald Douglas Offutt (R.D.O.), a potato farmer from Moorhead, Minnesota, bought his first John Deere dealership in Casselton, North Dakota in 1968. At the time, Ron was 25 years old, and raised the $100,000 capital to purchase the store by selling land, a potato warehouse, and by taking a loan from his grandmother.
This single store in Casselton would launch the beginning of RDO Equipment Co. Over the next 40-plus years, the company grew in geographic and product diversity. Additional
agriculture stores were added in multiple states, as well as the addition of John Deere construction, Vermeer, and Topcon locations. Today, RDO Equipment has more than 60 locations in nine states, and employs approximately 1,700 people.
The organization’s vision remains clear: RDO Equipment aims to be a leader in creating solutions for its customers, and to be a great place to work, dedicated to energizing the creativity, talents, and entrepreneurial spirit of its people.
According to Wayne Danielson, RDO Equipment Co.’s Aftermarket Systems Manager, “We have always focused on the customer, but recently, we have rolled out an internal program that really, truly focuses on knowing and understanding the customer completely—details right down to our customers’ wives’ birthdays. We need to know
machinery, equipment, parts, accounts receivable, and all other relevant information about our customers. It’s very important to have a one-stop-shop in our business system
for every RDO Equipment Co. employee to have access to that level of information.”
After careful consideration of its options, Danielson says RDO Equipment Co. decided to switch its dealer management system (DMS) from Kiland Business Systems to CDK
IntelliDealer. "We have a large operation with multiple locations, and with IntelliDealer, we would have better access to more resources and tools to help us grow our business and maintain our customer focus." he says.
Today, we use the CDK Customer Portal, a customer dashboard inside our IntelliDealer DMS as our single, critical view of all customer data. It’s easy to access all customer and machine information and our business data—all in one place.” - Wayne Danielson
Danielson continues that having the Customer Portal integrated with the DMS is absolutely essential to the company’s success. “It all comes back to knowing the
customer. Employees can open the Customer Portal and have access to all the business intelligence they need, right at their fingertips. Looking up customer information is just
a click away. And let’s say a customer who normally visits our Moorhead, MN store happens to walk into our Williston, ND location. Employees at both stores have access to all the same customer information; there aren’t silos of information that stand alone. With IntelliDealer, we have broken down those walls, and the Portal makes it a really seamless customer experience, across the board.”
Because it has been in business for decades, RDO Equipment Co. is pleased to partner with CDK, an organization that Danielson says “is going to be there for the long-term.
They’re large enough to support our needs as the largest John Deere dealership in the U.S., and they’re operated in such a way that we can rely on them for the long haul.”
He notes that RDO Equipment Co. likes to rely on the support services CDK offers: “We have our own help desk, but we funnel our field support questions through CDK when we don’t have that expertise in-house. The fact that CDK offers this level of support means that we can control our costs and better serve our employees—and, by extension, our customers.”
RDO Equipment Co. also appreciates its partnership with CDK because it’s a two-way street. “The nature of our business means that we operate a bit differently than other
dealerships. And CDK really listens to our needs and can adapt for us. They’re even willing to work with us on big-picture changes that will help our business grow and be
sustainable well into the future,” Danielson concludes.