Published on October 01, 2013
Jim Robertson, Kim Robertson, Dianne Robertson and Doug Robertson accepted the 2012 Spirit of Swift Current - SCBEX Member Business of the Year award from Swift Current Chamber of Commerce CEO Darla Lindbjerg and Chamber Board Director Candace Gelleta.
Published on October 01, 2013
Doug Robertson talks about the various aspects of the Robertson Family Group during a tour of their Swift Current location after being presented with the 2012 Spirit of Swift Current - SCBEX Member Business of the Year award.
Fourth generation business Robertson Family Group was saluted as the SCBEX Member Business of the Year during a recognition event on Monday afternoon.
With a heritage legacy of over a century, and having grown to a business with approximately 130 employees, Robertson Family Group stood out this year as a business success story that continues to grow and expand.
"We have a great recipient this year," noted Swift Current Chamber of Commerce CEO Darla Lindbjerg. "They've worked hard in our community and the Southwest, and they've made our community vibrant."
"We are very proud that we are able to present them with this award," Lindbjerg added. "They're continuing to grow and expand, so they're continuing to thrive, and we're excited for them."
Swift Current Mayor Jerrod Schafer also saluted Robertson's during an announcement ceremony on Monday.
"I think that’s very well deserved for lots of different reasons. As a business it seems that Robertson’s has continued to grow and expand and get better. Expanding and innovating is something that continues to happen and that’s great thing for Swift Current. It provides a tremendous amount of employment, and a lot of economic activity, not only in our community but in this entire region. That’s something so important, and something we’re so thankful for," Schafer said.
"They’re a great model business for other business in the community to look up to. You can’t go anywhere in our community without seeing their impact and the way they reach out. That’s invaluable for a community, providing jobs and economic activity, but also the social fabric that it makes up and the Robertson Family Group is right there impacting our community in so many ways. We’re so fortunate to have such a great partner, investor, and believer in our community."
Doug and Jim Robertson are fourth generation implement dealers, and they highlighted the importance of that family aspect which has influenced their business direction over the years. They rebranded as Robertson Family Group from their former Robertson Implements name to better reflect their range of business operations, but also the importance of family in business.
"We chose with the rebranding to go to the Robertson Family Group, simply because we’ve been Robertson Implements for so long, but we’ve diversified so much. It’s been a family company and we thought how do we bring the family part into the business, but also bring all the rest of the business like the motorsports, implements, trailers, events, rentals, construction, and all of that kind of stuff. We brought it all together and we thought the Robertson Family Group probably entails that all and speaks well to who we are as a company," explained Doug Robertson.
Their original roots date back to near the turn of the century when Peter Robertson established a blacksmith shop and was dealer for Cockshutt farm implements from a location in Rush Lake. Robertson Implements opened as a New Holland dealership in Swift Current in 1993, operating out of that location until they moved into their current location in 2006.
Expansion has been a big aspect of their success, as they are currently bursting at the seams in their Swift Current location with their added services and products. They have also been expansion minded over the years, adding a Shaunavon dealership in 2000, locating in Moose Jaw in 2001, and this past June they expanded across the Alberta border into Medicine Hat, Taber and Brooks.
"Most companies, whether you like it or not, you need to get bigger and consolidate operations and try to take advantage of the synergy of employees. We have a great group of employees and without them we wouldn’t have been able to expand. This is a big honour towards them as well," he said.
"At some point we’d like to slow down the growth, but opportunities are there and if it’s right, and it’s good for us and it’s good for our people, we look into anything. But at the same time, we just want to do well with what we are doing now. We took on a bit of a big bite into Alberta now, so we just want to make sure we get that running the way we feel as the Robertson Family Group would like to have it run on the same principles and values that we have here. Once that’s done, we’ll see where we go from there."
He also highlighted that having an impact in the communities they serve is important.
"The outreach into the community, for us, it’s just a family heritage thing. Going back to stories of my grandpa helping people out through the business, and I know we experienced it first hand with our dad. We’ve continued that on, and we see that as a big part of corporate responsibility but it’s also apart of who we are as a family. Customer service is key for us."
Winning the award, and having a chance to be recognized in front of their peers at the SCBEX awards night on Oct. 18, is a source of pride for everyone in the business.
"It’s an honour to receive an award like this. It’s a city with a lot of great businesses, and we strive to do what’s right for the community and our employees. We are pretty excited about the award."