The sale of the ten Sokkia Measuring System retail stores to the newly created FieldWorks company in April (see The Latest News, POB, April 2002) is complete. And now Sokkia has gone “Back to Basics” and FieldWorks has begun its endeavor to “Ask, listen and deliver!”
FieldWorks owners, Michael S. Adkins, Kenneth R. Kost and Robert J. Peterson, former employees of Sokkia Corporation, proposed the idea of the sale in mid-January to Sokkia Corporation President Tak Oda. After only a few subsequent discussions among Oda, Sokkia’s Board of Directors and the three soon-to-be partners, it was decided to seal the proposal by April 1, 2002.
“It was simply a classic case of timing and opportunity coming together within the best interests of all parties involved. It’s a win-win situation,” Adkins says.
The retail units were not sold for financial reasons, Adkins notes. In fact, the stores more than doubled sales over the past five years. The sale was motivated by Sokkia’s desire to get out of direct sales. With the intimate understanding of the critical needs and desires of Sokkia Corporation through their many years of service, the trio presented a solid invitation for the sale.
“Sokkia Corporation’s decision to divest its retail holdings was motivated by two principal factors,” Adkins says. “The first, and most important, was the desire to simplify its business model by focusing on manufacturing and wholesale distribution. The second factor was the emergence of the first truly attractive opportunity to transfer ownership to a group that was committed to keeping the network of stores both intact and to expand into new markets.”
The FieldWorks name was chosen to communicate a sense of completeness to customers.
“FieldWorks is not about products, technology, service or support individually,” Adkins says. “FieldWorks is about all of those components together and more.”
The FieldWorks objective is simple: to re-evaluate what customers truly expect and to provide whatever is necessary to get the job done as the customer sees it. Who will fulfill this commitment is what makes FieldWorks promising. Adkins, former Sokkia executive vice president and chief operating officer, acts as chief executive officer; Kost, former Sokkia corporate controller, is chief financial officer; and Peterson, former Sokkia general manager of product support service, is chief operating officer of FieldWorks. All former Sokkia Measuring Systems employees, and all essential corporate support personnel with principal responsibilities focused on the retail and service aspects of the business, are now FieldWorks employees. The total number of FieldWorks employees is more than 70 and growing.
The recognizable names and faces, their immense levels of technical expertise, and the Sokkia philosophy of customer satisfaction is expected to lend to FieldWorks’ credibility.
“Certainly the experience we have gained throughout our collective careers with Sokkia Corporation has provided an exceptional foundation of knowledge from which to launch an enterprise of this magnitude,” Adkins says. “Our service technicians have worked with and been trained by the very factories that produce the products we have historically sold. They are among the very best available anywhere in the world. We recognize how fortunate we are to have them on the FieldWorks team. But perhaps more important is that we have had the privilege to observe and learn from the very best dealers in the business.”
Those dealers will become competition for FieldWorks, especially once other manufacturers are added to the FieldWorks palette. Adkins says that FieldWorks will approach “whomever our customers ask for,” fielding from the company slogan: “Ask, listen and deliver!”
“We recognize that customers will not just hand us their business; we will have to earn it,” Adkins says. “There are certainly some exceptional dealers out there that we respect and admire for their proven ability to satisfy their customers, and we like to think that we are on a peer level with the very best of them from the outset.”
An extension of that customer satisfaction philosophy is the company’s website, www.FieldWorks.com. A basic format was launched April 1st, with a full version to follow early this month, featuring links to manufacturers that FieldWorks represents. FieldWorks.com website users will find links to other strategically viable websites, including those of the manufacturers the company represents.
Although change is inevitable, the motivation of the new entity, FieldWorks, is the same: unparalleled value and service.
The Sokkia Measuring Systems (SMS) stores purchased and their new names:SMS-Minneapolis is now FieldWorks Minnesota.
SMS-Denver is now FieldWorks Colorado.
SMS-Corpus Christi, SMS-San Antonio and SMS-Dallas are now FieldWorks Texas.
SMS-Tampa is now FieldWorks Florida.
SMS-Indianapolis is now FieldWorks Indiana.
Sokkia Factory Direct, Olathe (Kansas City) is now FieldWorks Kansas.
SMS-Orange and SMS-San Diego are now FieldWorks California.