An Open Letter to Our Customers
This year will be one of the most transformational in the history of Archbold Equipment. I know you depend on us and we depend on you. That is why we are investing in our people and systems, along with defining who we are. We want to be a dealer of the future. A company you can depend on, that provides you with the solutions your farming operation needs for however many seasons life grants you.
You see, we don’t want to be just your dealer. We want to be around to be your children’s dealer and grandchilden’s dealer. We want to strive to not just be a place you do business, but a group of trusted advisors to your farming operation. Our board of directors and staff acknowledge that if we are going to be a dealer of the future fundamental investments had to be made this year.
That is why in 2017 we are going back to the basics. We’re working on building a strong foundation in which we can continue to build and evolve from in the coming years.
As we strive to be your trusted advisor, we are working to ensure our staff have the training and tools to be a resource for you. Our training procedures are being adjusted so all staff have the training opportunities they need to excel in their positions not only for today but for the future.
We know how important familiar faces across all departments are to you and our continued relationship. We are working to build the next generation of leaders in the company to have continual succession with our relationship with you. We’re using the strength of veteran technicians to mentor our new ones. A senior manager is personally mentoring and teaching leadership classes to our new and young parts and service mangers. We are also enrolling staff in outside leadership programs to continue to develop them.
You can see that we have been adding new faces. We have aggressively recruited some of the top talent in the industry to join our leadership and management teams. The experience of these new leaders is rapidly moving us forward. It continues to be competitive and difficult to find and recruit for technical positions. But, we are supporting programs that bring young people into the ag technician career field. We are working to be the employer of choice and have expanded our employee benefits.
New Business System
At the end of June we will move from our current business operating system (the program that runs our parts, sales and service operations) to a new and futuristic system. This will help our staff better serve your needs in all facets of the business. It allows the locations to work better together and dramatically improve the mobile ability of all of our departments to better service you in the field or at your kitchen table. The best part is, through this we are streamlining our accounts. So, you will only have one account across all locations. All locations will have access to your parts, service and sales information and you will only receive one invoice per month regardless of which location you did business at.
The Bellevue location actually already moved over to it this week. Our legacy locations will make the switch the week of June 19th. We ask for patience and cooperation as we make the transition.
The system we are using has many more features and benefits than we are starting with. We are hoping that once we are acclimated with it, in the future we will continue add in additional features to better serve you.
Archbold Equipment has grown dramatically over the past 53 years and we are positioning the company for the next 50. What we started out as and who we’ve become has changed. What was once seven separate companies is now one. It’s time for us to define who we are and what we stand for.
We started the process of rebranding, which includes a new name and logo, in January. It began with customer research that included focus groups and a phone survey. We value the voice of the customer and it is important to make sure we are aligned going forward. We are excited to clearly define who we are as a company. As part of this process we have also developed a set of core values that will internally guide our staff.
Each store has a rebranding lead person. That group provided input into the brand. You will also find them instituting the new brand in the locations.
While we will share the new name, logo and brand with shareholders and employees in April, it will not take effect and be publicly announced until July. We will continue to update you throughout this transition.
As always we are striving to provide you the solutions and support you need. We thank you for your business.
I wish you a safe and prosperous spring,
Zach Hetterick is the CEO of Archbold Equipment. He graduated from The Ohio State University and during college interned with JD Equipment. Following gradation he worked as parts person. He was then hired by AGCO and worked at their headquarters in Dealer Central before moving on to Ohio CAT where he was a territory salesman. He went on to work for CASE IH where he held various roles including Parts Territory Manager, Wholesale Territory Sales Manager, Livestock Marketing Manager for North America and most recently, Marketing Manager for High Horsepower Tractors for North America. Zach is passionate about his faith, his family, the Buckeyes and red iron.