Farm Equipment asked hay and forage equipment manufacturer Vermeer, Pella, Iowa, to expand on some of the things they’ve been working on in recent years to achieve best-in-class ratings from its global dealer network of 500. Among the ag segments in the Equipment Dealers Assn. 2016 Dealer-Manufacturer Relations Survey (full-line, tractor and shortline manufacturers), Vermeer was the highest rated manufacturer in 6 of the 12 categories.

“We’re excited about the award, and thank the dealers who provided such a strong compliment to Vermeer, but we aren’t satisfied with how we are doing today,” says Jessica Reis, brand marketing manager. “For us, it’s about how we can improve tomorrow. We are intensely focused on how we can be better than we were yesterday — as team members and as a brand.”

Following are some of Reis’ responses to Farm Equipment’s questions about changes made to improve the working relationship with dealers:

On Product Quality: “This includes rigid testing processes for our products and our suppliers, along with top-notch talent guiding those processes. We’ve embraced new technologies in testing practices to start to create predictive quality — meaning that we’re working harder than ever to anticipate a problem before it happens, on the front end through product development and manufacturing. “

On Product Technical Support & Responsiveness to Dealers: “We’ve implemented a Customer Support Call Center that allows our most knowledgeable service technicians to focus on product challenges instead of answering questions that can be answered with some basic training and knowledge of where to find the information. In addition, the technology that has allowed us to implement this call center also provides team members involved in managing it the ability to see how many calls we are taking, calls dropped and problems solved on a mobile device, anytime, anywhere. We’ve added more field support, both in the sales and service aspects of the business. This provides a consistent, local connection point between the dealer and Vermeer.”

On Initiatives for the Coming Year: “We are in the process of developing a new dealer portal that will allow for streamlined dealer communication in all aspects of the business, as well as making it easier for dealers to interact with each other.”

For other comments from other recipients of Dealer’s Choice and Gold Level recipients, visit www.Farm-Equipment.com/EDAcomments

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