TO OUR VALUED CUSTOMERS AND FRIENDS:
Tackle Every Task…..A Better Way! Agricultural producers have always been optimistic and innovative thinkers that are always looking for a better way to do things. You are always trying for better bottom-line results every year, while maintaining a healthy business for the long-term, by seeking better efficiency and better productivity as you tackle every task in your operation.
At 21st Century Equipment, we share the same optimism about the future of agriculture and the desire for continuous improvement within our organization. I would like to share a few examples below of how we are trying to achieve some improvements in our operation.
Over the last several months, we have held customer focus groups at every location. These facilitated meetings were held with a representative group of customers at each location with the sole purpose being to determine what we could be doing better. Not surprising, in-season parts availability was top of mind at almost every meeting. Technician turnover was often the second-most issue that was raised.
To improve in-season parts availability, we have allowed greater local control of the parts stocking process. We have also initiated training for our Parts Managers and Specialists to help them better utilize the stocking tools that are available to them to make better stocking decisions. The very best practice that has evolved out of these discussions is simply asking the Service Technicians to develop a list of parts that we can NOT run out of in season. Afterall, who knows better! This practice will be implemented across the Company prior to the spring planting season.
Technician turnover is a more complex issue that is exacerbated by very low unemployment in our region, as well as high demand for the skills that our Service Technicians possess for work in other industries such as oil and gas and the railroads. To help reduce the churn in our service departments, we recently rolled-out an entirely new compensation system for Technicians that we believe to be extremely competitive and designed to reduce the pressure to meet production goals in the shop. This program has been very well received by our Service Department employees.
In an effort to improve the overall purchasing experience with our Company, we have created a new position called a Product Specialist. This group is being led by Chris Stillahn, formerly a member of our ISG Team. The role of the Product Specialist is to provide more professional in-field equipment demonstrations, assist the Sales Department in comprehensive equipment start-ups for our customers and in-field optimization of our increasingly complex Deere equipment. We believe the addition of these employees to our team will provide significant value to our customers and their employees.
These are just a few examples or our efforts to improve our operation and be of better service to you. We will not stop looking for additional products, services and expertise that can help you obtain better efficiency and better productivity that helps you improve your bottom line.
As this seemingly extra long and cold winter turns to spring, everyone here at 21st Century Equipment looks forward to providing you the very best solutions in equipment sales, improvements in parts availability and great support from our Service Departments. We sincerely appreciate your business and look forward to working closely with you throughout the spring season.