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Responding to Economic Times

The United States experienced a severe recession in the mid-1970s and early ’80s. Interest rates rose above 20 percent, and machine sales were hard to come by. For several years Yancey Bros. Co. leaned more heavily on its parts and service departments to generate revenue.

“We knew that if nobody was buying machines, they had to maintain and repair the machines they already had,” says Bob Page, who was Atlanta Service Manager at the time. To generate sales and build customer loyalty, Yancey created the Plus 3 program. Certain pieces of equipment sold came with:

  • an extended warranty
  • a promise of repairs in forty-eight hours or Yancey would provide a replacement machine until the repair was completed
  • parts in twenty-four hours

“You can imagine a commitment like that required a lot of coordinating with people,” Bob says. “We had to get everybody on board, from guys cleaning machines, to parts, to people answering the telephone, to the shop. But we made it work, and amazingly, only had to provide one replacement machine. Then when the economy turned, we took off like a rocket.”

“I got out of the service and looked around for a job for three or four months. Finally, my dad said, ‘Son, you need a job.’ So I went to work for Yancey. For three dollars an hour. I told my wife when I got to five dollars, we’d get married. In April 1968 we did.”

Pat Rutherford, Yancey Bros. Co.

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