A few weeks ago in this space (May 29 to be exact) dealers were asked via online survey if they were feeling pressure from their major line suppliers to order more new equipment than they wanted to order. More than 170 dealers took us up on our invitation to participate.
The impetus for the survey was conversations with dealers who were asking Ag Equipment Intelligence editors if we were hearing from other dealers who were being “encouraged” to order a lot of inventory, or was the squeeze they were feeling from their major supplier unique to them individually?
Dealers were assured that responses would remain anonymous, without reference to their equipment brand or store location. We’ve learned that when we touch on a topic that may be controversial our dealer readers are hesitant to respond because if they say something their major doesn’t like they’re often subject to being harassed by someone from their equipment supplier. That’s a heck of a way to treat your “partner,” isn’t it?
Anyway, the results of the survey are interesting and, overall, not too surprising based on what we were hearing. Here’s a rundown on the responses to the four questions:
Have you felt pressure from your OEM to increase your equipment orders to levels you are uncomfortable with?
Are your current inventory levels too high?
Is your OEM willing to extend terms when inventory comes due?
Is your OEM offering incentives to entice you to order at levels you are uncomfortable with?
Probably more interesting are the dealers’ comments to the “Tell us your story” conclusion of the survey. We’ve posted them on line. If you would like to check them out, you can find them here. In this section, dealers’ comments in many cases identified their major supplier. Since we didn’t ask respondents to list their supplier, name of the dealership or the state where they’re located, there’s no simple way to identify them individually.
In all fairness, not all of the dealer comments were negative, but a preponderance of them definitely leaned in that direction.