Manufacturer responsiveness, brand reputation and ease of doing business are key factors that can impact the success of any retail business. So, it’s not surprising these factors topped the lists of seven businesses seeking to expand their product offerings in 2017 and drove their decisions to become compact and utility equipment (CUE) dealers for Massey Ferguson®, a global brand of AGCO Corporation (NYSE:AGCO).
For Jason Flieg, co-owner of Flieg’s Equipment, it was an easy decision to pick Massey Ferguson to add compact and utility tractors to its lineup at the Leadington, Mo., location. Since 1963, Jason’s father and uncle sold Gleaner and Massey Ferguson at the family-owned business in Ste. Genevieve, Mo.
“With AGCO, it feels like we’re working with a family-owned company,” says Flieg. “When we call about parts or equipment questions, we’re able to reach our AGCO team representatives. If not, they’re always timely in returning calls. That’s not always the case with other companies. AGCO follows the same basic rule that we do as a family-owned business – put the customer first.”
With more people living on acreages near Leadington, Flieg saw an opportunity to sell smaller tractors. Superior product quality and brand name recognition were significant factors in his decision. Solid warranties, the ease of ordering and getting tractors delivered to the dealership, plus the simplicity of AGCO’s online systems also played a role. “Using AGCO’s online system, we can have a quote ready on any Massey Ferguson tractor with just a couple of clicks,” says Flieg. “We have a quote to give the customer right away.”
Comfort and ease of operation are two features that Flieg says his customers demand in a compact or utility tractor. Recently, a customer comparing tractors chose a Massey Ferguson because it allowed him to add the backhoe without having to take the hitch off the tractor. “Ease of operation, brand reputation and an equal warranty made the Massey Ferguson an easy choice for the customer,” says Flieg.
“We’ve seen the same level of support on the CUE products that we have on the “Big Iron” lines from AGCO. To us, that shows AGCO’s commitment to the compact and utility tractor market and their focus on customer service,” Flieg says. “These factors along with the ease of getting quality tractors delivered to the dealership quickly made it an easy decision to add the Massey Ferguson line.”
Training, start-up assistance helps dealer build small tractor business
The Overton Farmer’s Cooperative in Livingston, Tenn., is a full-service cooperative selling everything from fertilizer and livestock trailers to agricultural tires and boots. According to assistant manager Billy Maxwell, the cooperative decided to add compact and utility equipment to their offering because a growing customer base of people living on five- to 20-acre acreages wanted small tractors with 30 to 60 horsepower. “We started looking around and decided to go with Massey Ferguson because of its recognized quality,” says Maxwell.
An initial step for the business was training on and using the AGCO systems. “It surprised us how quickly AGCO was able to set us up with the online ordering and quoting systems and provide the training we needed,” says Maxwell. “Without it we would have been lost right off the bat.”
Maxwell adds the regular emails he receives from his AGCO representatives keeps him informed about finance options and other valuable information to help him succeed as a Massey Ferguson dealer.
Growing business in snow removal market
In the case of Bobcat Montreal in Laval, Quebec, the Massey Ferguson compact and utility equipment line was added to meet the needs of its largest customers who include snow removal contractors and nursery and landscaping businesses.
According to Lucas Ferraz, sales manager for Bobcat Montreal, they added Massey Ferguson only after researching different brands, evaluating the service the companies offered and meeting with the company representatives.
During their first season, Bobcat Montreal is taking it slow in selling Massey Ferguson equipment to ensure they meet the needs of their snow removal customers, “We have tractors out in demonstrations with two snow removal contractors, but we want to learn the machines,” says Ferraz. “In the snow removal business, quick turnaround is critical if a piece of equipment needs repair. We want to make sure that our service technicians know the machines. So far, we like what we’ve seen from equipment performance and from the AGCO team when we have service and repair questions.” Ferraz adds that having the Massey Ferguson tractors on the road with the snow removal companies has been great for awareness.
AGCO changes support dealers
To prepare for the long haul and ensure the company meets the needs of its growing dealer network, AGCO recently invested $2 million in its Edgewood, Md., assembly and distribution facility for Massey Ferguson compact and utility tractors and equipment.
“We’ve reconfigured our assembly line, transitioned to paperless ordering and incorporated many of the same quality checks used in our high horsepower tractor manufacturing facilities,” says Anthony Burkes, director, distribution development and strategy at AGCO. “These and other changes are taking our product quality even higher, increasing production by 50 percent and reducing the time from order to shipment. By doing so, we help our dealers keep products in stock to meet the needs of their retail customers who expect to be using their new tractor within days of buying it.”
New dealers benefit from Massey Ferguson’s comprehensive and competitively priced product lineup, along with AGCO’s strong offering of dealer support tools, including parts sales; product service; sales and marketing materials; assistance with inventory management and ordering; distribution management; dealer systems support; staff training; and financing through AGCO Finance. Onboarding takes as little as 30 to 90 days, depending on the dealership’s preference. Each of these new dealerships also receives ongoing, on-site support from a business development specialist, a new role created within AGCO specifically to support new compact and utility equipment dealers.
Additional businesses that recently added the Massey Ferguson brand compact and utility tractors include United Farmers Cooperative in Maple Plain, Minn., Country Turf & Trail, LLC in Sunbury, Penn., Hirsch Feed & Farm Supply, Inc., in West Plains, Mo., and Lumberjack Yamaha, Inc., in Warren, Ark.
To learn more about dealership opportunities with Massey Ferguson or to find a dealership near you, visit masseyferguson.us.
AGCO (NYSE:AGCO) is a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of agricultural solutions and supports more productive farming through its full line of equipment and related services. AGCO products are sold through five core brands, Challenger®, Fendt®, GSI®, Massey Ferguson® and Valtra®, supported by Fuse® precision technologies and farm optimization services, and are distributed globally through a combination of more than 3,000 independent dealers and distributors in approximately 150 countries. Founded in 1990, AGCO is headquartered in Duluth, Ga., USA. In 2017, AGCO had net sales of $8.3 billion. For more information, visit http://www.AGCOcorp.com. For company news, information and events, please follow us on Twitter: @AGCOCorp. For financial news on Twitter, please follow the hashtag #AGCOIR.