December 30, 2020 6:18 AM
"When you're in the generator business and the town's power goes out in the middle of a blizzard, you know the phone is going to ring," says Scott Matthews, general manager of NE Generator in Pembroke, MA, a town of 19,000 about an hour south of Boston. "But it isn't normally the Chief of Police asking for help!"
"The fuel pumps at the Department of Public Works (DPW) barn stopped working when the generator went down. Pembroke couldn't get plows, police vehicles or fire trucks on the road. This was February 2013, Winter Storm Nemo, with hurricane-force winds plus a blizzard. Two feet of snow in Boston. Some parts of New England were pounded with three feet. 700,000 were without power."
Matthews already deployed all NE Generator service technicians in a fleet of four-wheel drive vehicles, so he and another technician responded to DPW's call. Slowed by deep drifts, blinding snow and winds, and trapped by fallen trees, it took two hours to drive five miles across town.
"Relying on car headlights and flashlights," says Matthews, "we were able to get the old DPW generator running around 2:00 AM, so the emergency response could finally get underway."
The next day, Matthews got a call from the town's water department where another old generator failed. Not only was the town covered in snow with emergency response behind schedule, its ability to supply water was threatened. NE technicians again responded and helped keep the town's water flowing. The town of Pembroke trusts New England Generator to get the job done!
The lesson to Matthews was clear: "We're not really in the generator business - we're in the service business. We want to serve every customer with the kind of attention we gave the town, like a preferred customer."
We make things easy
The type of service requests that Matthews receives about KOHLER generators are "fantastically small" and that's why NE switched from another brand of residential generators and went exclusively KOHLER five years ago. "KOHLER is #1 in consumer reviews, and there's a good reason for that," says Matthews.
"Actually, most of our service calls are for other generator brands or deal with improper installation from an inexperienced electrician."
"Typically, homeowners work with authorized KOHLER Generator dealers like us to help determine which generator best fits their needs and determine the total cost by packaging the generator, transfer switch and installation together."
"However, some people try to save money and buy just the generator and automatic transfer switch from a big box store or over the internet, but they're just getting the product - they're not buying peace of mind."
"We understand why people choose that route, but they usually end up saving little or no money by hiring a third party to perform the installation. We often fix generators that were incorrectly installed at a home."
"Installing a standby generator isn't easy and it takes expertise to get it right. Most people don't know, for example, that home generators installed in cold climates need carburetor heaters, and a startup needs to be done by a KOHLER Generators certified technician to reinitiate warranty."
What about those calls NE Generator gets for a quick installation the day before a big storm is projected to hit? "Wish it were that simple," laughs Matthews, "we'd love to install 10 KOHLERs the day before every major storm! Unfortunately, while installation is usually just a day, getting the right permits and local clearance tacks on days."
Expanding our services
Now customers won't have to wait for NE Generator to get a KOHLER shipped, thanks to the new 16,000 sq. ft. headquarters in Pembroke, with room to stock 100 KOHLER home generators. NE Generator has also expanded its service territory with another location in Barnstable, about an hour east on Cape Cod. Not bad for a company that started out of a 12'x14' shed over 20 years ago.
"We're successful," says Matthews, "because we focus on providing superior service. As we say at NE Generator, if we don't take care of our customers, someone else will."
New England Generator is an authorized KOHLER Generators dealer serving the New England area since 2005. We specialize in the sale, installation, and service of Kohler residential standby generators. Our mission statement is simply that, "If You Don't Take Care of the Customer, Someone Else Will." With that simple process we are able to grow bigger by serving better !
"Don't Be Left In The Dark"