Pearce: Agco focuses on S. Ontario, East with new distribution centre

Recognizing agriculture in Ontario is “on the move,” one machinery company is showing its commitment, planting an investment in the heart of southern Ontario.

Agco, the U.S.-based manufacturer of 11 brands including Massey Ferguson, Fendt, Gleaner and White, last week opened its new full-stocking parts and distribution centre in Woodstock. At more than 67,000 square feet, the new facility is capable of housing 40 per cent more parts than Agco’s existing depot in Kitchener.

But the new parts and distribution centre (PDC) acknowledges Ontario agriculture’s growing reliance on the agri-food, fuel and biotech sector. Agco representatives at the ribbon-cutting spoke of recognizing a farmer’s basic needs. Whether it’s with equipment breakdowns or basic maintenance, when they need parts or service, they need them fast so they can get back to work.

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With this new facility, it was said, delivery time for parts will be reduced by two to three days, with next-day delivery of in-stock parts improved for up to 85 per cent of dealers across Eastern Canada. Farmers and dealers also have the option of picking up the parts themselves.

“We’ve seen very strong growth in the East,” said Joe DiPietro, vice-president of Agco parts for North America, adding that demand had simply outgrown the Kitchener location. “We needed something bigger, and a service centre, not just a parts warehouse.”

DiPietro agreed there’s renewed interest in Ontario, and he spoke of building the Woodstock facility as a strategic move, one which recognizes the loyalty that’s also building with many brand names in the Agco suite of products.

“We’ve found ways to convert a lot of people and many have found that given a chance, they get great return on their investment,” said DiPietro.

Growers are learning value isn’t simply a function of the purchase price, he added. “It’s really a small portion of the cost and benefit you get; it’s more like an annuity beyond the initial capital outlay.”

That total value, said DiPietro, is now higher with the parts and distribution centre’s support — and it goes beyond housing the parts or delivering them in less time.

The centre will also provide space for dealer training, from hands-on sessions to agriculture equipment theory. That frees up local dealers to move their training to the Woodstock centre without having to close down their own locations for a day — a point that may not seem like much to some, but is a huge advantage to the dealers.

— Ralph Pearce is a field editor for Country Guide at St. Marys, Ont.

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