By Craig Pados, Kuhn North America, Inc., Brodhead, Wis.
1. Product Quality — Improved painting systems at both the Brodhead, Wis., and Hutchinson, Kan., facilities ... Regular reinvestment in purposeful manufacturing technology that incorporates constant results ... ”Voice of the customer” during the design phase to understand what are customers are looking for ... Testing/product evaluation to make sure that the products we introduce are successful ... Not focused on price points, but instead on customer need ... So ultimately, we take our time to get great products.
2. Parts Availability — Implementing new global warehouse management systems that maximize accuracy and better anticipate customer demand ... Parts programs for dealers ... Moving parts closer to market via our Regional Distribution Centers (RDCs) that are spread across North America ... Storage and infrastructure investment to increase available space, supporting product expansion ... Manufacturing technology investment that supports rapid response manufacturing ... Expanded hours at continental hub warehouse.
3. Parts Quality — Partner with vendors who are highly qualified/certified ... Paint and appearance improvements ... Parts are stored inside our RDC’s which decreases any weathering issues ... New machinery investment to support expeditious manufacturing and quality ... Improved packaging and packaging materials.
4. Product Technical Support — Investment of having extra support people in the field. We have added Field Support Representatives to increase dealer training and support ... If a dealer has a problem, they can talk to a live person ... Kuhn product technical training ... Extended hours of service.
5. Responsiveness to the Dealer — Increased focus throughout the organization by providing support via value streams, so people answering the questions (sales support to production to aftersales) are the experts ... Working with our dealers to order and stock appropriate machines and have the needed machines for retail (right product at the right time at the right place) ... Shipping options that best to minimize freight cost for both distributed ... Added factory logistics center in Brodhead to optimize flow and response time.
6. Recent Changes Impacting Dealer Network — Giving dealers the opportunity to sell more of the breadth of the Kuhn product mix. This has allowed us to expand our critical mass of dealers who sell Kuhn products ... Improved our dealer extranet portal and made it quicker and more user friendly for better dealer communications ... Dealer training both in house and in the field where dealers are trained and/or able to use the equipment assisted by our experts.