GETTING THE MOST FROM EVERY MACHINE!
Just like our customers and communities, the climate plays a critical role in the Hutcheon & Pearce business.
Given conditions this year, we’re focusing more and more on providing reliable support to our farmers in terms of servicing, repairs, parts and optimisation. We know that at times like this, every dollar and every day counts, and we’ve been busy making sure we’re ready to not only provide the most reliable and cost-effective new or upgraded equipment but also help our farmers get the most out of their existing machines and technology.
With this in mind, two areas of our business come to the fore – the H&P relationship with OptionAg Parts and our Optimisation Clinics.
Options for parts
Chris Roberts has been Manager of OptionAg Parts since it opened for business two years ago.
Dedicated to providing quality generic parts for all sorts of high-end machinery colours, the OptionAg team of five has managed to extend its reach well across the country and the sector, and establish exclusive relationships with some of the world’s most well-known brands.
With service and parts a strong direction for Hutcheon & Pearce right now, we asked Chris what OptionAg means for our customers.
H&P: For those not yet familiar, tell us about OptionAg Parts and what you offer.
CR: OptionAg is an importer and distributor of quality agricultural and industrial parts. From harvesters, tractors, mowers, combines to engine rebuilds, air-conditioning, cabcams, belts and augers and more, we have parts and manuals from some of the biggest and trusted brands across the world as well as some lesser known brands that provide top-quality options. We have relationships with Lankota, A&I, Kooima, Sunbelt, Loewen and Vapormatic to name a few and we’re growing that list all the time as we encounter holes in the market.
Hutcheon & Pearce are a major reseller for us and we have a great relationship with them and their customers. We channel OptionAg Parts through all H&P branches and customers benefit from our expertise in this area. Obviously, H&P offers customers genuine John Deere parts, but provide an option for those situations and machines where using a more generic part or different brand is the best option. For instance, when you’re dealing with older machines,–we can provide some really good quality options.
H&P: There seems to be a growing demand for OptionAg. What do you put that down to?
CR: I think it comes down to two things: the quality brands we deal with and our premium-level customer service. When we started, people were familiar with brands like A&I but then we brought on board US based Lankota, who are basically engineers that solve problems for farmers. They are good at it, particularly with their unloading auger clutch kits, so that has also created a lot of interest. We’ve also been getting out to field days, so people become familiar with all the new brands and options we provide.
We make sure our quality is better and we strive for the best customer service. A big part of what we do is ‘never say no’ – even if we can’t supply it straight away, we’ll find a solution. We’re always being that conduit between customer and manufacturer to make sure we can have those solutions on hand. And because our reseller network is so far reaching, we can easily service customers Australia wide.
H&P: What are the advantages of going with OptionAg?
CR: It’s all in the name – we’re providing options. Broadly speaking, it’s about cost-savings a lot of the time. OptionAg can turn a rather large bill into a more palatable bill quickly. Going with an OptionAg part can potentially save customers up to 30-40% by upgrading a 15-year-old machine as opposed to buying new. For other customers, they need a simple fix but genuine parts are no longer an option because the machine is too old and they’ve stopped manufacturing parts for that model.
H&P: When is the best time for H&P customers to be thinking about parts?
CR: The sooner you think about servicing your machines the better. H&P offers great pre-season checks and discounts and I would encourage everyone to use this service. That way you can get a list of what needs to be done to get you through the season and they’ll help you work out the best plan of attack according to your use and needs. As soon as harvest is finished, before you put the machine away, start getting it ready for next year – you can order parts ahead of time and get it serviced early.
Clinics for optimal use
Given the importance of its job and investment required, optimising your machine’s performance should be one commitment you take seriously.
On October 10, Hutcheon & Pearce hosted 28 customers and 15 staff at the new Farmlink conference facilities in Temora for the first Optimisation Clinic of the season, with a further clinic attracting 24 customers and 10 staff held a week later at the H&P Finley branch.
Glen Montgomery, Hutcheon & Pearce Product Optimisation and Diagnostic Manager said Optimisation Clinics were customised for two basic groups – those who have a S600 header and those that have S700.
“One part of the day was dedicated to presentations about operating the machine and how to make adjustments on-farm, the other to a walk-around with the technicians – learning how to perform basic services, greasing and adjustments at home.”
The clinics included presentations from OptionAg about after-market attachments and enhancements; Precision Ag about how to set up machines for data collection and how that data is cleaned, used and shared with third-parties like agronomists; and TECSight on how to make adjustments on driving screens to calibrate headers.
Glen said the clinics are an important part of sales support for Hutcheon & Pearce.
“It’s about showing support for customers as much as it is about educating them. These days provide a great opportunity for them to ask questions about their machines – whether it’s a new purchase or an old one they could be getting more from. It’s also great to for us to spend some more time with our customers and get the lowdown on new models.
“Whether it was about fine-tuning older headers or getting to know new ones, customers and staff alike seem to agree that the days were time well-spent.”
View the full Summer 2018/19 High Performance Magazine here: