HELENA — The road back to normal is still a bumpy one for many businesses. For Helena heavy equipment dealer Empire Equipment Company they’re taking on the challenges as they come.
“It’s been pretty difficult," Empire Equipment Company General Manager Krista Marshall told MTN. "Luckily our manufacturers have been well established at getting parts from Europe to North America. But that being said, a lot of hiccups once it gets here, getting misplaced in large distribution centers or delayed because there is not enough personnel to deliver the parts.”
Not a new problem for anyone right now, but for a business like Marshall’s that are vital in keeping farmers and ranchers up and running, it’s an issue the company is working around the best they can.
“Just keep going, try to stock as many parts as we can," said Krista. "Try and order things early, long before we need them so that there is plenty of time for the hiccups that absolutely will arise as we get close to delivery date.”
Also like almost every other business, Empire Equipment is in need of more workers. Yet unlike the storefronts you might see downtown, they are not putting up a "We’re Hiring" sign just yet.
“We’ve been really, really blessed," Krista added. "We have a really good team here and we’ve all been here. Of course, we do need to hire more employees, but it’s a little scary watching the news and looking down the pipeline and what 2023 may bring because they are already talking a massive recession, so, we’re kind of in a standstill right now. Everybody here is doing more, and spending more time here rather than hiring at the moment.”
Playing it safe in uncertain times is as good a business plan as you can have right now.
“I operate very conservatively, but as far as the upcoming year, I wouldn’t say I am optimistic because I have been watching interest rates trickling back up and then with everything that’s, prices changing and, not only are they unpredictable, they are making drastic changes," said Krista. "So you couple the unpredictability with the large changes, it’s hard to be optimistic. But we'll all get through it, it'll be good."