Doyle Equipment: A Market Constant
Even with 60 years under its belt, Doyle Equipment Manufacturing has managed to maintain an unchanging approach to its core business philosophy of quality.
January 12, 2011
When stopping in Quincy, IL, for a visit to Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co., visitors might be hard-pressed to find company President Monty Doyle in his office. Instead, in keeping with a ritual he's maintained since starting at the business in 1982, Doyle spends at least one hour per day in the many buildings that make up the Doyle complex. Here, he spends time talking with employees, looking over equipment manufacturing and troubleshooting problems when they arise.
"That's part of what makes our company different than others in the field," says Doyle. "It's important to me that I know how our products are being built. I believe you need that kind of understanding to be successful in this business for more than six decades."
This all ties back to the major business principle Doyle Equipment Manufacturing was founded on back in 1951, says Doyle: Quality. This word is still displayed prominently on pieces of Doyle equipment and company literature, shirts and give-away items. "You have to be about quality to stand out in any market," he says. "Our customers are always willing to pay a little more for a quality-made product. You are only going to get so much out of something that isn't quality made, and our customers understand this. That hasn't changed in 60 years. Or will it."
With this business approach in practice, Doyle Equipment Manufacturing has become one of the leading providers of fertilizer blending, conveying, tending and spreading units in the country and around the world. Today, the company offers many different products to choose from, including the 24-Ton Trailer Tender and 16-Ton "Fat Boy" Vertical Blender. It also has a parts service department that is open seven days per week to cater to customer needs. "We are always willing to do whatever it takes to get our customers out in the field back up and running as quickly as possible," says Doyle.
A History Of Service
This attention to customer service at Doyle Equipment Manufacturing stretches all the way back to the company's beginnings. Back in the early to mid-1940s, Doyle's grandfather, Merle "Jack" Doyle worked for an ag equipment maker called Baughman Manufacturing, which made spreaders. As Chairman Ron Doyle tells it, Baughman made some good equipment, but much of it was sub-par. "The owner, Mr. Baughman, would never test his products before shipping them to customers," says Ron Doyle. "Sometimes they would work when they got to the field, sometimes they didn't. That kind of spotty service frustrated my dad."
Then in the late 1940s, Jack Doyle partnered in a beer distributorship in Quincy with Merlin Adams. In 1951, Jack established his own spreader manufacturing operation housed next to the beer distributorship. Eventually, the senior Doyle dissolved his partnership with Adams, divesting the beer business to focus exclusively on making a better spreader.
By 1953, Doyle spreaders were a hit with customers and the company moved to its current location. In 1961, Doyle Equipment Manufacturing introduced the first rotary incline axis blender to the fertilizer industry. Doyle continued to sell primarily truck-mounted spreaders and rotary blend systems through the late 1980s.
In 1987, Doyle introduced one of the industry's first 40-inch tapered-screw vertical blenders. The blender incorporated a unique tapered screw, which allowed granular products to be loaded into the blender faster than anything in the industry at the time.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing also moved into the international marketplace. In 1987, says Doyle, he traveled to Europe to set up a distributorship with Holland's European Machine Trading. This partnership eventually helped put Doyle equipment throughout much of Western and Eastern Europe.
During the 1990s, Doyle Equipment Manufacturing grew through acquisition. In 1994, Doyle purchased the Kraus Equipment Co. This gave the company a full line of receiving equipment. The Tyler line of blending and conveying equipment was purchased from Case IH in 1999.
In 2005, Riverview Manufacturing was formed as a separate entity and started to produce rolling stock for Doyle. This included numerous pull-type spreaders and a massive line of fertilizer tending equipment.
Besides focusing on quality, Doyle attributes the company's continued market success to constantly upgrading its equipment. For example, three years ago, Doyle Equipment Manufacturing began using powder coating to paint its products. More recently, the company introduced a direct-drive rotary blender to its product line-up. According to Doyle, this offers the user better mixing speeds coupled with reliability. "We've been using direct-drive systems in Europe for 15 years," says Doyle. "Every concrete mixer in the market has a direct-drive system on them, so it will definitely work on a stationary system like our drum blender."
With 60 years behind it, Doyle Equipment Manufacturing is already planning for the future. After six decades of adjusting its two current manufacturing operations as market demands dictated, the company is planning to build a brand new 200,000-square-foot facility in 2011 that will ultimately house all Doyle Equipment Manufacturing processes under one roof, with the exception of research and development, which will remain at the Riverview facility in nearby Missouri. "This new building will feature the latest equipment-making machinery including CNC brakes, lathes, milling machines, several laser-cutting machines and robot welders," says Doyle. "It will also feature a wind turbine, which will supply much of the power used by the complex."
From a family-ownership standpoint, the company also is in good hands. Following in the footsteps of Jack, Ron and Monty, 21-year-old Colten Doyle is now working at the company, "learning the ropes, working with clients and helping to make equipment," says Doyle.
And despite these changes, the founding principles of quality and family will remain two of the company's constants. "We have always had a family environment here at Doyle Equipment Manufacturing, and that reflects in our workmanship," says Doyle. "Companies don't make it through 60 years without stressing these kinds of values to their customers. I'd like to think we've done that."
Sfiligoj is the Editor for both CropLife and CropLife IRON magazines. He travels regularly to cover industry events and has been dedicated to the ag retail industry since he joined the staff in 2000.