MB CRUSHER MAKES IT BIG IN AMERICA
After Italian construction equipment manufacturer MB S.p.A. introduced the first hydraulic jaw crusher bucket for excavators in 2001, it didn’t take long for the new brand MB Crusher to spread worldwide, as well in the US.
Gaining a foothold in the lucrative US market was a key element of that growth strategy, leading to the establishment of Reno, Nev.-based MB America subsidiary in 2010. MB Crusher’s growing range of attachments and accessories can now be found at jobsites in all 50 states, and the company has become a fixture at Conexpo and World of Concrete. In January of last year, the company opened a second fully-staffed sales, service, warehouse and demonstration facility in Kernersville, NC to better serve East Coast customers.
“Challenging is the Word”
Regan Whitfield, who was named MB America CEO in January 2021, recently shared her perspectives on how the company has found its place in the US construction market, challenges and opportunities common to all equipment manufacturers, and her unique standing as a female top executive in a gradually diversifying industry.
What have the last few years been like for MB America? Obviously, everyone in the industry has faced some challenges
with the pandemic, economy, labor and supply chain, etc. What have you all dealt with, and what’s been instrumental in helping MB America weather them?
We’ve seen an important growth curve for MB Crusher in the past few years, but of course we were also affected by the challenges brought on by the pandemic. Just to name a few, labor and shipping issues were the most prevalent. MB Crusher was able to face these obstacles by investing more in manpower and expanding our facilities to increase stateside storage. MB Crusher also took this time to invest in the release of new attachments that cater to those that own compact equipment.
What has been key to making inroads in what is a very crowded North American market for the types of products you produce?
We know how much downtime costs and how efficiency can make the difference when bidding for new job, and finishing a project within the required timeline while remaining in budget. We have a large selection of tools that fit all sizes and brands of heavy equipment, and all of these units are meant to be serviced directly on the jobsite directly by the operator. In addition, both MB America locations have a service department with full inventory of parts. Our service team is always ready to assist our many customers with their equipment.
How has the opening of your new branch in North Carolina helped raise MB Americas’ profile and broaden its reach?
The new location has been essential to consolidate our reach and support our existing clientele on the east coast. Our team in North Carolina has been also expanding brand awareness and visibility by offering demos at our location to show off what our material processing units do best.
Is there a particular “flagship” product that you feel represents MB’s product philosophy and how you address customers’
needs? How so?
MB Crusher has five different types of attachment, and 42 different models—a big market expansion since starting out with the BF90 Crusher bucket just over 20 years ago! We also offer a large selection of attachments for skid steer and loaders to better serve the US market.
The new MB-HDS220 Padding Bucket Introduced at Conexpo
Where do I begin! It’s compact, easy to use, and fits loaders and skid steers between 9,900 lb and 24,000 lb. Its design allows for excellent visibility of the material it is processing and the overall site, from the operator’s cabin. The bucket’s opening easily conveys the material to the shafts. And at 40 inches wide, it covers the width of the skid or loader tracks, keeping them protected from the material.
Speaking of Conexpo, how did the show go for MB America overall? What was your takeaway regarding the current state
of the North American construction market, and where it’s headed?
We had a very successful Conexpo, demonstrating five different units on three different machines. A lot of our current customers and new ones came by our booth, and were exited for the new release and Conexpo as a whole.
It’s clear that the North American construction industry is on a growth trend, and companies are looking for the right tool to boost efficiency and production on the job. Contractors are experiencing an increase in demand, but are still facing the remnants of the prior years: workplace and supply chain challenges. With MB Crusher they are finding a solution to both. With two fully-stocked US warehouses and continued supply from our production facility in Italy, we provide the tools that require fewer people on the job while keeping up with the overall production, by creating the necessary material from the C&D waste found on site. Overall, the feedback we received during the show was a positive outlook of growth for the North American construction industry, particularly those with government funding.
What emerging industry trends are you watching, and how do you feel they might affect customer needs and/MB’s approach?
MB Crusher as a company is closely following the green building trend. After all, our motto is “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” So you can understand why MB Crusher is heavily invested in environmentally sustainable construction methods. With any of our attachments or, even better, a combination of different models, companies are able to process waste directly on the job site to make reusable material for the next project. This doesn’t only reduce material costs for the company but also eliminates the need to haul material to and from the jobsite, significantly cutting CO2 emissions.
With MB since 2017
Let’s talk about yourself for a moment. Women in leadership positions are something of a rarity in this industry.
How did you got started with MB Crusher? And did you know anything about construction/demolition before you got started?
I joined MB Crusher in May of 2017 as the MB America branch assistant working from the headquarters office in Fara Vicentino, Italy. I honestly didn’t have any knowledge of the construction/demolition industry, but I was really eager to learn and put myself to the test. As a bilingual, dual American/Italian citizen living most of my life in northern Italy, I met most of the requirements for the job, which were to speak English and be local. I immediately fell in love with MB Crusher as a company. Its large presence in such a remote area, with a diverse and inclusive culture, and an impressive product line that is great for the environment. These where just a few of the reasons why I was and I am still proud to be part of MB Crusher.
I recognize that mine is an odd career path but thanks to my hard work, curiosity, and background in business administration, in just a few years I was asked to move to Reno as the sales director, and then promoted to my current role as MB America CEO. In this position I’ve had the opportunity to see firsthand the American contractor’s resilience post-pandemic, which motivated all of us here in MB Crusher to make sure we were a reliable source of solutions and tools for their upcoming jobs.
As you’ve progressed in your career, what lessons or experiences have proven particularly valuable in
both your professional growth, and MB’s ability to serve its customers? Did MB’s corporate culture play a role as well?
MB’s corporate culture definitely played a big part in both my professional growth and MB’s ability to serve its customers. The company owners, the Azzolin family, have more than 60 years’ experience in the construction industry, so we have an intrinsic understanding of the problems and needs contractors face each day while operating their machinery on site. We are taught to listen to their process and use the feedback we receive from our current customers to guide them towards a solution that can benefit their business. With MB we are all equally given the tools to be successful, growth is available and feels achievable. This knowledge motivated me to pursue this career.
What’s next for MB America for the rest of 2023 and beyond?
We are expecting exceptional growth for MB America. By continuing to offer quality products backed up by great customer service, the MB Crusher line of products are finding their place on most construction sites. A great example of the level of outreach we have with our customers is the continued release of new products. During SaMoTer 2023 [Italy’s triennial construction equipment show] at the beginning of May, MB Crusher released five new models of Padding buckets and Sorting Grapples, to complete the machine weight range most commonly used by our customers. Finally, I want to stress that MB Crusher really believes in customer feedback to improve not only our tried-and-true products, but also to develop the next tool that will be essential for their upcoming project. As always stay tuned, we always have something new up our sleeve.