How Bobcat of Rockford Integrated ASPEN Into Their Dealership Procedures

Inspired by the chance to have his own business, Mike McElmeel and his partners purchased what was at the time Rock River
Bobcat and rebranded to Bobcat of Rockford in 2001.

Since then, they’ve served the Wisconsin Illinois state-line area with Bobcat Skid-Steer Loaders, Compact Track Loaders, and more. The family-run dealership has grown its product offerings as well to include Kubota tractors and Bandit woodchippers.

We had the chance to speak with Bobcat of Rockford’s Owner, Mike McElmeel and Controller, Penny Lee to learn how ASPEN impacted their dealership.

Top ASPEN Features:

  • Reporting capabilities
  • Ease of use

What are some of your favorite features in ASPEN?

Penny: I love the fact that I can drill down. It saves me so much time. The different reporting features. I use the whole program. I like being able to drill down. That makes it so much easier for me than having to back through everything else to try to find my answer.

Mike: The reporting is what I would say is good for me. I mean, that question’s going to change on everybody that you talk to and the dealership.

What are some long-term goals for the dealership and how do you envision ASPEN helping you achieve them?

Mike: Long-term goals? That probably depends on the day. Some days I think we need more than three dealerships and then the other days I think one is too many. So, it’s continuing to grow and do things better or try different things.

It’s one of those things that I think we’ve been with ASPEN so long, we take a lot of the stuff for granted on what it maybe can or can’t do, but that’s just part of the process.

What’s something no one tells you about working in a dealership?

Mike: That there’s just never a dull moment. When you have 40 employees, there is not a time when there’s not some fire to put out for the most part. Not that I have any really bad employees. But when there’s enough of them, there’s something all the time.

Fun Fact:

Mike: In June of 2000 we moved into a new building. There was four of us as the entire dealership – one parts/accounting individual, one person for a tech, then myself, and another as a salesman. And I just remember when the first customer came in, he wanted to buy a quart of oil and we did not have a quart of oil yet. It was an absolutely empty building.

Everything we did, we just had to start at zero. It’s good that we’ve survived and done that. A lot of people will buy a dealership that’s already got stuff in it. We chose to go the tougher route. Start with empty and then build it up from there.