January 4, 2024

Shawn Young and the Austin, Texas, Branch Find Unique Success

A photo of Austin GM Shawn Young and the title Shawn Young and the Austin, Texas Branch find unique sucess.

Growing up, Shawn Young liked to take things apart, see how they worked and put them back together again. As General Manager of EquipmentShare's Austin, Texas branch, he has built a team of hard-working professionals who value safety, transparency and leadership by example. The result? In 2023, Austin became the first EquipmentShare branch to surpass $3 million in monthly rental income.

EquipmentShare Austin team picture
EquipmentShare Austin celebrating $3 million in monthly revenue

Here’s how Shawn Young and the Austin branch put the pieces together.

People First Means Safety First

“Safety has always been big with me — it’s the highest priority,” Young said. “I make sure everyone here knows they have ‘stop work authority.’ If someone walks by and sees something that doesn’t look right or safe, they have the authority to say something and stop what’s going on. No questions asked. Everyone on this team has to watch out for everyone else. Making sure we do it better and safer every time.”

A People First workplace also means knowing the value of a healthy work-life balance — even in a busy branch.

“I learned that lesson early in my career,” Young said. “I had a rental manager notice I worked through lunch each day, and she told me, ‘You have to get out of here for an hour each day. I don’t care where you go, just leave and shut down for an hour and then come back.’ And she was right. It helped me decompress and then come back energized to work hard again.” 

Everyone Knows What’s Going On

Young leads a team of 70, more than twice as many as when he joined the Austin location in 2020.

“I try to make sure the team always knows our goals,” Young said. "I'm an open book, and we have a whiteboard outside my office with all our numbers. I want the team to see what we are doing and that we have a goal we want to achieve and where we are at in meeting that goal. I make sure they understand that all I need them to do is do their job.”

Clear communication has enabled the Austin team to excel even as the business has grown. 

“Shawn has been successful at the Austin store by surrounding himself with a great team,” Bill Rowe, EquipmentShare district manager, said. “The Austin store is far too big for any one person, but Shawn has been very successful in delegating responsibilities to his team and made an overwhelming task look completely reasonable.”

Leading By Example

An Austin native, Young graduated from Universal Technical Institute and began his career as a mechanic working on heavy diesel and industrial machines. After trying out sales for a few years, he rose through the ranks as a service manager, assistant general manager and general manager. 

“Management was something I’d always been interested in, and I’ve done most of the jobs in this shop,” Young said. “If I walk across the yard and see trash on the ground, I’m going to pick it up — I'm not asking these guys to do anything that I'm not willing to do myself or haven’t done myself.”

What’s Next For Austin?

To meet demand, Young and the Austin team have had to do things differently. Currently, a night team works to prepare the machines for rent after regular hours.

“We have a night crew that runs now because we are so busy we can’t get it all done during the day,” Young said. “They get to focus solely on this and not be pulled in all directions for daily rental needs. We get to push pause on the demand to catch up overnight and get back to zero.”

With the right pieces in place at the Austin branch, Young says the next challenge is not continuing to grow one location, but rather expanding the footprint in Austin to provide better solutions for customers with multiple branches in the area.

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