AGCO, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, and representatives from over 100 AGCO dealers, cut the ribbon Feb. 4, on a full-stocking parts distribution center (PDC) in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada. The new PDC, which will house 40% more parts, totaling of $7M USD more than the facility it replaced, will ensure customers in eastern Canada have the right parts when they need them most. Dealers traveled from as far away as Nova Scotia to tour the new distribution center and learn about how it will help them better serve their customers.
Access to more parts, faster
Until now, agricultural equipment parts for the eastern provinces were supplied through a facility in Kitchener, Ontario, or were shipped in from AGCO Parts’ Batavia, Ill., location. The new full-stocking distribution center in Woodstock will reduce parts delivery time by two to three days, improve next-day delivery of in-stock parts and provide earlier delivery of emergency and priority shipments for nearly 85 percent of the dealers in eastern Canada. Customers and dealers can also pick up parts at the Woodstock location if needed. Parts for all product lines from tractors and combines to tillage and application equipment are stocked there, with shipments to dealers leaving multiple times a day.
The new 67,000-square-foot Woodstock PDC holds about 40 percent more parts than the previous facility. Between the higher number of parts on hand and increased responsiveness, customers will have faster access to the parts they need, reducing downtime and helping them get back to work as quickly as possible.
“As growers continue to increase the size of their operations, the need to minimize downtime becomes increasingly important,” says Joe DiPietro, vice president, AGCO Parts North America. “Relocating our parts distribution center serving eastern Canada and upgrading it to a full-stocking location are important ways AGCO is improving how we support our dealers and customers. This will provide faster service to our dealers so they are better able to keep customers’ equipment in the field and performing at optimum levels.”
Technology improves productivity, accuracy
A significant innovation made possible by the AGCO Parts’ relocation is the adoption of a Warehouse Management System (WMS), which will improve productivity and accuracy.
“The new WMS is a wireless warehouse system that allows us to better track parts through the building from initial pick assignments right through carton packing,” says Scott Ward, director, Supply Chain and Customer Service. “By monitoring orders electronically, we will decrease errors throughout the process, saving dealers and customers valuable time. It will also help us respond more quickly and efficiently once an order is placed by a dealer.”
New dealer training center
The Woodstock PDC is also home to a new dealer training center — the first of its kind. Dealers can attend hands-on training sessions about a variety of AGCO equipment, precision agriculture technology, technical service, parts and agriculture equipment theory. “The goal of the training center is to ensure dealers are fully up to speed in all relevant areas,” says Mark Brungardt, manager, Technical Training. “With access to hands-on training, our dealers will be better equipped to provide a superior customer experience.”
A focus on quality and customer service
This is the fourth AGCO Parts facility to be upgraded to a full-service PDC since 2010. Collectively, the upgrades offer significant benefits for customers in reducing shipping times, since now more than one-half (five of eight) of AGCO Parts’ North American PDC locations are full-stocking. These are just a few examples of intensive efforts by the company to improve parts availability.
“Over the past several years, the Parts Division has continued to focus on quality and continuously improving and delivering on what we set out to do,” says Bob Crain, senior vice president and general manager for AGCO North America. “Specifically, there are three key areas we’ve concentrated on to ensure the best customer experience: service levels, improved parts availability and enhanced distribution. All of these play critical roles for the success of our customers and dealers.”
Additional changes implemented by AGCO Parts to improve customer experience across North America during the past four years include:
- an updated and reorganized inventory management system;
- increased dealer parts inventories;
- revisions to online parts books, making it easier and faster to order the correct parts;
- GenuineCare, selling service to provide customers with predictable costs for routine maintenance;
- AGCO Plus+ Commercial Credit Card for seasonal financial stability for growers;
- AGCO Parts On Demand (POD) Program – having parts on site 24/7;
- PM360, a pro-active preventative maintenance program, designed to enhance machine uptime, resale value and operating efficiencies, as well as provide peace of mind and optimum machine productivity; and
- extended customer service hours during planting, spraying and harvest seasons.