The month prior to the eruption of a global pandemic is not the most ideal time to complete a major merger, but of course neither of the two family-owned companies could have predicted it when they merged. GAR Bennett Controller Carolyn Dukes described her experience as a “wild ride.” The company supports farmers growing food and other products with fertilizer and irrigation services, so the newly merged company had to figure out how to continue operating to keep the growers growing as well as adjusting to their newly expanded team.
“We learned a lot about technology,” Carolyn said. They learned to use video meeting applications like Teams and Zoom to get to know each other. They pivoted to a digital footprint instead of paper copies and rotated who could work from home and who needed to come in person. The digital approach meant doing things differently than planned, but that wasn’t all they learned. “We’ve learned to appreciate each other a little more. We learned more about each other’s roles,” Carolyn said. “Now when we’re able to see each other, we realize how special and important everyone is.”
At Syscon, Larry is the one they rely on. Carolyn said he takes the time to listen to them and really understand their processes to provide the support they need. She said she and her staff feel more comfortable and confident with Larry (and Syscon) helping them out.