DOTY Finalist: Blaine Brothers

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Updated Nov 14, 2014

Clocks don’t mean that’s helped Blaine Brothers much at Blaine Brothers. Sure, all of their locations have them, but they are more decorative than anything.

Customer downtime is the only time that really matters.

“We try to have 100 percent complete customer satisfaction at all times,” says Kevin McCarty, vice president of sales and marketing for the Minnesota-based operation. “That means being available [to customers] at all times.”

 “We work on our customers’ schedules, not ours,” adds owner Dean Dally. “When their trucks or trailers are down we do our darndest to address the situation quickly and get them back on the road.

“We know how important that is to them.”

It’s that unflinching dedication to customer service that’s helped Blaine Brothers grow into the full-service aftermarket operation it is today.

Founded by Dean’s father and uncle out of the bed of their pickup truck in 1979, Blaine Brothers now operates three distribution facilities, five trailer service operations (under its North American Trailer brand), truck alignment and hydraulic system manufacturing businesses, multiple repair facilities and more than two dozen mobile service trucks.

“We like to think of ourselves as the most complete truck and trailer parts and service providers in our area,” says Dally. “No one [around here] has the capabilities we have; that’s something we’re proud of.”

McCarty attributes the company’s success to a staff that’s taken its customer satis- faction guarantee to heart. “We tend to hire not so much off résumés but character skills,” he says. “That’s what’s most important to us.”

McCarty says that shows through in employee performance.

“We had one week [this past winter] when our employees put in more than 2,500 hours of overtime,”
he says. “We didn’t have to ask for that or anything, and it went on for weeks. They simply took care of our customers.”

 “The different commitments they make to our customers and our company is so important,” adds Dally. “They mean absolutely everything to us.”

Blaine Brothers does what it can to return the favor.

Dally says the company is a big proponent of promoting from within, noting management works hard to move employees into departments where they want to be. Training also is an important part of staff development, adds Tim Grabow, vice president of shop operations.

“We work closely with tech colleges in our area to get younger guys in here and do a lot on training to help them” once they are hired, he says.

And recognition for a job well done is never forgotten, Dally says.

Any employee complimented by a customer for a job well done receives a certificate their excellent performance and customer service.

“Customers are plenty willing to call in and complain about [bad service], but it doesn’t happen as much when they get good service,” Dally says. “So when we get those [good] calls, we take note.”

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