How it started vs How it’s going
Six-months ago, Agrifac UK welcomed Chris Armitage to the team as the new Managing Director. Sustainable Sales and After Sales growth was high on his agenda across all aspects of the company, with the main focus of ensuring that customers receive the best level of customer service they duly deserve. Just how much progress has Chris and the team at Agrifac UK achieved within this short timeframe?
In short: Success is about passion, determination, skill and sheer resilience. It’s also about having a robust plan.Chris Armitage
“People are critical to success,” stated Chris, “that’s why we started right at the heart of the operation and concentrated on our greatest asset; our team. We’ve assessed the structure of the overall business and have been streamlining departments to ensure support is being injected into the right areas. Resources are being utilised more effectively and team members upskilled to ensure a more proactive use of their transferable skills – we’re feeding their passions and above all helping to promote personal development.”
“We’ve strengthened our Sales presence across both the Agrifac and HOLMER brands to ensure that we have a competent and knowledgeable sales team, who know the customers, know the industry and have a clear understanding of how to drive sales growth.”
Chris continued: “We have also formed a Core UK Management team to include members from all key departments including After Sales, Finance, Sales and Marketing in order to gain a stronger, more rounded discussion platform for all to contribute in to. This also allows us to navigate the business through every department ensuring transparency and a greater level of communication throughout the company.”
Talking about the wider team away from Agrifac UK Head Office, Chris explained: “We are expanding our dealer footprint to ensure we can better support customers in every area across the country, ensuring downtime reduces and on-site engineer availability increases. It’s about having the right people in the right place with the right tools. We are also delivering a similar objective with HARDI UK, by way of a dealer plan which ensures we have the best business partners to help us deliver our five-year plan. In addition, ensuring that the dealers are focused on and are aligned with the same strategy as the Agrifac UK Group.”
“It isn’t just about having these processes in place however,” Chris continued, “ensuring that colleagues share the same ethos and belief in the brand that they represent is the ultimate key to success.” Shortly after forming the Core Management team, the first Agrifac UK Company charter was created, sought to bound the focus of everyday operations together, underpinning the importance of focussing on the customer.
Health and Safety has also been prioritised across the group thanks to new After Sales Manager, Rob White. A new compliance checking system has been implemented to enable machinery checks can be carried out digitally and more efficiently via Merit AgCheck, an app which has been downloaded and in use on every Service Engineers’ mobile device. Tighter protocol, supervision and training ensures the team are much more proactive with their Health and Safety measures both on and off-site.
Speaking of the progress made within the After Sales department since his appointment began, Chris said: “With a combined team effort, we are all striving to make progress to improve our After Sales operations, specifically labour efficiency, parts stocking and parts automated replenishment. Fusing together the Service and Parts departments to create collaboration across all operations, whilst being mindful of the customers’ needs too, is a structural project in itself. With the launch of our new Uptime tracking system and Company balanced scorecard, we can now measure cause, effect and remedy.”
“It’s clear that Agrifac UK are the Spraying and Harvesting Specialists, and this realisation is clearer after working within the group for six months. We are the only sprayer and harvester manufacturer that research and develop ideas inspired directly from conversations and challenges customers vocalise to us. Having the advantage of in-house technology plus the development team on-hand to provide technical support is a great testament and advantage for Agrifac, plus a huge advantage for the end-user too. We continue to drive best in class Sales and After Sales experience for our customers which is a prerequisite in the agricultural high capital equipment market.”