‘A better way’ starts with long-term relationships
A Wells Fargo customer since 1950, Vermeer Corporation is a global manufacturer that aims to improve infrastructure, manage natural resources, and assist working farms and ranches.
In 1948, Gary Vermeer started a company with just one product idea, one employee, and one building he’d built himself that measured 30 feet by 80 feet. Today, Vermeer Corporation is a global manufacturer of agricultural and industrial equipment that makes 150 models of various products, employs 3,000 people, and operates out of a 1.5 million-square-foot facility in Pella, Iowa, its headquarters.
“We develop products focused on improving infrastructure, managing natural resources, and assisting working farms and ranches,” says Mary Andringa, Gary’s daughter and the company’s CEO. “Focusing on niche products is part of the culture my father established. We’re driven by the mantra that there has to be a better way.”
Vermeer distributes its products through a network of industrial and agriculture dealers throughout the world. Exports account for about 30 percent of the business of Vermeer Corporation, which has regional offices in Brazil, the Netherlands, and Singapore, along with manufacturing and distribution facilities in China.
This family business is transitioning to the third generation as Mary’s son, Jason Andringa, prepares to take over as CEO later in 2015.
Wells Fargo has been working with Vermeer since 1950, and for the past 25 years, Mark Conway has served as the Commercial Banking relationship manager for Vermeer. “Wells Fargo gets the prize for longevity,” says Mary. “Mark is one of the most frequent visitors to our headquarters, and everyone knows him by name.”
Mark says Vermeer and Wells Fargo line up culturally “because we both value long-term relationships and trust.”
The company’s trust in Wells Fargo was apparent when Vermeer began expanding on their existing global footprint 25 years ago. CFO Steve Van Dusseldorp explains, “We needed help understanding foreign exchange and currency management, and Wells Fargo was there — not only with products and services but also with education and forecasting tools.”
And when Vermeer needed to move its China facility from one location to another, a line of credit from Wells Fargo helped the company maintain working capital throughout the transition.
“Wells Fargo helps us steward our assets and has a strong understanding of our business and cash management strategies — all of which has helped us in our company’s success,” says Steve. “Even in today’s digital world, relationships are still important, and it’s clear that Wells Fargo values relationships.”
A version of this story also appeared in the 2014 Wells Fargo Annual Report (PDF).