SAN DIEGO, Calif. — February 6, 2023 — Scott Pearson, Dealer Principal at Peterbilt of Atlanta, has been serving the heavy-duty truck industry for decades: he spent 18 years working at Peterbilt Motors Company and several more years as dealer principal of a Peterbilt dealership in Las Vegas before founding Peterbilt of Atlanta in 2011. Pearson built the Atlanta dealership from the ground up—he started with zero employees and zero inventory, but soon identified a core group of people who shared his vision to help him build the company. Eleven years later, Peterbilt of Atlanta is now comprised of eight locations serving northern and central Georgia, and its team has grown from a dozen people to more than 260.
Building a Customer-Focused Culture
For Pearson, people—both employees and customers—are at the root of the company’s success. “It was very exciting to be able to build a business from the ground up and to create our own culture,” Pearson said. “Early on, we polled our employees and asked them what our vision and mission should be. When we synthesized their feedback, it came down to this: work hard every day to do what we do better than anyone else.” And one of the most important things the Peterbilt of Atlanta team strives to be the best at is customer service. “Every one of our folks truly believes that the customer is right, and we’ll do whatever it takes to make things good for them. When that is your guiding principle, it makes it easy to make choices and act.”
Throughout a decade of rapid expansion, Pearson and his leadership team made sure they never lost sight of this cultural touchstone. Most recently, the company developed 23 fundamental, culture-driven, operating principles. As Pearson explains, “Each week, a different employee focuses on one of these principles and explains in a company-wide email what it means to them. It’s truly inspiring!”
Excede—A Superior System
When Pearson founded Peterbilt of Atlanta, his initial plan was to implement the dealer business system that had been in use at his previous dealership in Las Vegas. However, as he put together his leadership team, his choice for Controller, industry veteran Renee Perkins, agreed to come aboard on one condition: that Pearson implement Excede as their business system. If Pearson had any reservations, they were soon put to rest. “Renee explained how Excede worked and what the advantages of it were. I could clearly see it was a superior system, especially in terms of ability to download data and manage it,” said Pearson.
The initial implementation went smoothly, as well. As Pearson describes it, “Procede was fantastic to work with—it was truly white glove service! They worked with all our departments to make sure we were trained to work in the system and had access to the data and reporting we needed.”
Making Data-Driven Business Decisions Powered by Excede
It was while working in OEM management that Pearson first came to understand how powerful data access can be. “In that role, I spent a lot of time pulling data into spreadsheets and analyzing trends and patterns. I couldn’t do that with the business system the Las Vegas dealership had in place,” he explained. “With Excede, we can look at different scenarios and trends and make solid, data-based business decisions. Throughout the month, and especially at the month end, we can look back and see areas where we’re doing well and areas where there are opportunities for growth. It also gives us the ability to forecast what we want to be able to do in the future as we grow.”
Stability and Scalability Bring Peace of Mind
Excede is built on the Microsoft SQL platform, which is known for its reliability and stability, and for Pearson, these are stand-out features. He explains, “I’m still amazed at how stable and consistent Excede is. We have peace of mind knowing that we’re not going to have to deal with issues. It means we can focus on what we want to do next, not whether the system can keep up with us.”
Pearson also values how easy it has been to scale the system as Peterbilt of Atlanta added locations, saying, “Excede is a system that easily accommodates each new branch. It’s so easy to onboard new employees, train them, and get them working in the system effectively. It’s been a big part of how we keep moving forward.”
Partnering Closely with OEMs
As Pearson looks to the future, he believes that strong relationships between OEMs and DBS providers like Procede will continue to play a pivotal role in dealership success. “The key here is time—how long does it take to get a part or to get a truck repaired. Our business systems need to be integrated to provide us with a means to do things better, faster, and more cost-efficiently in an ever-changing electronic environment. That’s why it’s so important for DBS providers to build solid relationships with the OEMs. After all, they are both driving toward the same objective of making sure dealers and their customers are getting taken care of efficiently. I appreciate how quick Procede is about recognizing new OEM applications and integrating them with Excede. They’ve been great on that front!”
Prioritizing Customer Success
When asked what he would like other dealerships to know about Procede, Pearson replied, “Procede and Peterbilt of Atlanta are similar in our approach to customer relationships. They care about our success, make sure we’re happy, and give us the attention we need when we need it, just like we do for our customers,” said Pearson. “In addition,” he continued, “their system is so reliable, and they are continuously developing new features and enhancements for it. It’s clear Procede has our best interests at heart, and that’s why it’s so rewarding to work with them.”
As we wrapped up our conversation, Pearson shared this final thought: “I highly recommend other Peterbilt dealers talk to Procede. They have been a pivotal part of our ongoing success, and I am happy to be able to share our experiences.”
At Procede, we are grateful to have been able to support Peterbilt of Atlanta throughout their 11-year journey, and we look forward to helping them grow and succeed for many years to come!