Schiller-Pfeiffer Buys Jacobsen Commercial Grounds Care Lines

The Jacobsen Commercial Grounds Care lines (Bunton, BOB-CAT, Ryan, Steiner and Brouwer) are now under the ownership of the newly created Commercial Grounds Care Inc. (CGC), an affiliate of Schiller-Pfeiffer. Textron says its Jacobsen business unit wants to focus on the professional turf market. Schiller-Pfeiffer (manufacturer of the Little Wonder, Mantis and Classen brands) says it wants to increase its presence in the commercial grounds care industry.

Carl Bretko, senior vice president of JEP Management Inc., is part of the executive team responsible for integrating CGC. JEP Management is a privately held company comprised of several different companies, including Schiller-Pfeiffer. For the past year, Bretko's top priority has been new business development and potential acquisitions.
Manufacturing for all five brands will continue to take place at the Johnson Creek, Wis., plant. Bretko says the manufacturing process and workforce in Johnson Creek were impressive attributes of the Jacobsen Commercial Grounds Care business. "Textron did an excellent job of employing a lot of Six Sigma and Lean manufacturing techniques, and getting ISO approvals."

Bretko is also impressed with the current distribution strategy for the CGC brands. Greg Heyer, director of sales for Jacobsen Commercial Grounds Care, will continue to serve as CGC's director of sales in Johnson Creek. "Greg's done a wonderful job rebuilding the confidence and respect of our entire distribution system," Bretko says.

Because Textron is such a large company, CGC does face some challenges in the immediate post-acquisition period. "We have to extract a lot of the services Textron offered and set them up ourselves," Bretko explains. "For instance, Textron managed all of its service and parts business in Charlotte. All of the computer systems were in Charlotte, Connecticut and Rhode Island. We have to put in all new hardware and software and set it all up."

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