The harvesting season is one of the busiest times of the year for John Deere dealers around country. Have you ever wondered how dealerships handle the influx of customers looking for new equipment, parts, service, and additional information as harvesting season arrives? Look no further, as we take a closer look at life at a John Deere dealership during this time.
Last week, we spoke with Casey Seymour, of PrairieLand Partners. Today, we will provide a recap of a conversation we had (October, 17) with Michael Jordan, used equipment manager at Mississippi Ag and Arkansas Ag. Excerpts from our conversation can be found below:
Q: What made you want to work for a John Deere dealership? Can you provide us with a little background of Mississippi Ag and Arkansas Ag?
A: “Our company is comprised of 13 locations across two states, predominantly selling large agricultural equipment (cotton pickers, combines, row crop tractors, 4WD tractors). We bought five stores in southern Mississippi which mainly sell hay balers and a TON of small agricultural equipment to cattle farmers. It’s amazing at the amount of equipment they can sell in those locations. They sell compact tractors like water to somebody that’s thirsty down there.”
Q: Aside from cotton, what other types of crops are harvesting in the area?
A: “We have a little bit of everything down here, including rice, wheat, peanuts, soybeans, and corn.”
Q: What does your role as used equipment manager consist of on a daily or weekly basis? What are some of the day-to-day responsibilities?
A: “My primary responsibility is to appraise pretty much everything that we trade in. Doing that takes up most of my time since there are 13 locations. I will price each piece of equipment after we take it in, turn equipment into the shop after I’ve determined what needs to be repaired, and I’m also in charge of identifying all of our certified pre-owned machines. I keep up with MachineFinder Pro as best I can with pictures and pricing on there that way people can easily find equipment details on MachineFinder’s site.”
Q: What would you consider to be some of the challenges and rewards of your job?
A: “The biggest challenge I face is always with regards to equipment pricing. I want to make sure I’m being fair to all parties involved; the sales team, the company, and the customer. As far as rewards, if I see our numbers going up, that’s enough of a reward for me.”
Q: Does your company see any specific pieces of equipment that are hot sellers during the harvesting season? Also, how big of a factor is AMS among your customer base?
A: “AMS are big time. It’s kind of a shock to me at this point if somebody doesn’t put AMS on their tractor, combine, or sprayer. It’s very rare that I encounter a customer that doesn’t have some sort of AMS attached to their equipment in an effort to save them time and money. The hottest sellers this time of the year row crop-wise are 8310s and 8285s. For combines, we have some success with S680s.”
Q: What are some of the actions your company takes to get customers ready for the harvesting season?
A: “Our team has put together combine clinics before the harvest starts to go over some of the new features on the latest combines, things to watch for, and ultimately help show our customers how to use the equipment better. We also do those types of clinics for cotton and before planting. These clinics average about 75-90 people, so they are very well-received by our customers.”
Q: Do you have a personal favorite piece of harvesting equipment?
A:“My favorite piece of harvesting equipment would probably be a 7760 Picker leaving the lot.”
Take a look at all of Mississippi Ag and Arkansas Ag’s locations and be sure to stop in next time you’re in the area of their stores! A special thanks to Michael Jordan, for taking the time to shed some behind-the-scenes light on the John Deere dealership business during the harvesting season! If you have any comments about this post, feel free to connect with us on Facebook or Google+!