The Claasiest in Australia and NZ

Claas winners – Echuca

The best dealerships, teams and individuals from throughout the Landpower and CLAAS Harvest Centre network in New Zealand and Australia have been recognised at the inaugural Strive Annual Awards for Excellence held in Christchurch, New Zealand. Source: AFDJ eNews

The premier award went to CLAAS Harvest Centre – Echuca, which was named 2016 Dealership of the Year.

In a little more than seven years, Brendan and Marcella Caffery have transformed their start-up business into a thriving venture that now employs 16 people and services 500 farmers and contractors throughout Northern Victoria.

The Strive Dealership of the Year Award recognises the best performing dealership in the CLAAS Harvest Centre network and dealership is assessed for its financial performance, staff engagement, customer satisfaction, compliance with dealer standards and utilisation of IT systems.

“Our goal is to make sure each and every CLAAS Harvest Centre delivers the right technology, expert knowledge and superior after sales service to help them to ‘gear up’ farmers for success,” Landpower CEO, Richard Wilson, said.

“We are not the biggest or the cheapest, but our goal is to be the best. That’s why we need to front up, be innovative and be there for our customers when they need us. We have a great product range, a great distribution network, a great team and all the systems and processes in place to succeed.”

Northern NSW dealership, CLAAS Harvest Centre – WJ Matthews, won the 2016 After Sales Team of the Year award.

Known far and wide as ‘WJs’, this third-generation family-owned business employs more than 35 staff across two branches in Moree and Narrabri.

Landpower General Manager – Group Operations, Paul Barry, said that the importance of the after sales function in the CLAAS Harvest Centre business cannot be overstated.

“Selling machinery is very important but it is the quality of back-up service, support and the timely availability of parts that will keep bringing customers back,” he said.

CLAAS Harvest Centres in Southland and Central Districts claimed top honours among the 15 New Zealand dealerships, claiming second place in the Dealership of the Year and After Sales Team of the Year awards, respectively.

CLAAS Harvest Centre – Southland has a special place in Landpower’s history, evolving from the Farmrite business established by Herby and Pam Whyte in 1975 to source machinery for their potato growing operation in Lochiel, Southland. The Invercargill-based branch later became the first CLAAS Harvest Centre.

CLAAS Harvest Centre – Tasmania had the distinction of claiming a solid third place in both categories, while CLAAS Harvest Centre – Hawke’s Bay won the Strive Customer Engagement Excellence Award.

A total of 11 top performing sales representatives representing seven product portfolios in New Zealand and Australia were also recognised.

Leading the roll-call was Vaughn Carson from CLAAS Harvest Centre – Bay of Plenty, who was named New Zealand’s top salesperson for JCB loaders and telehandlers and CLAAS Greenline technology.

The other New Zealand winners were:

  • Greg Carr, CLAAS Harvest Centre – Canterbury (CLAAS LEXION)
  • Nick Ravlich, CLAAS Harvest Centre – Waikato (CLAAS JAGUAR)
  • Robbie Barrowcliffe, CLAAS Harvest Centre – Waikato (CLAAS Tractors)
  • Adam Clement, CLAAS Harvest Centre – Canterbury (AMAZONE)

The Australian winners were:

  • Liam McCormack, CLAAS Harvest Centre – WJ Matthews (CLAAS LEXION)
  • Stuart McLaren, CLAAS Harvest Centre – Gippsland (CLAAS JAGUAR)
  • Bernie Teasdale, CLAAS Harvest Centre – Echuca (CLAAS Tractors)
  • Anthony McVilly, CLAAS Harvest Centre – Colac (CLAAS Greenline)
  • Anthony Maynard, CLAAS Harvest Centre – Tasmania (AMAZONE)
  • Geoff Anderson, CLAAS Harvest Centre – Wagga Wagga (Seed Hawk)

“We congratulate all of the winners as being leaders in their fields,” Landpower CEO, Richard Wilson said.
“These individuals have shown the motivation, accountability and passion needed to help our customers be successful.”

A number of international representatives from CLAAS, including CLAAS UK CEO and Regional Director, Trevor Tyrrell, and CLAAS Global Export Manager, Elke Hoyermann, were on hand to present the awards.

In addition, three individuals were recognised with the Herby Whyte Award for their significant contributions to the business. They were Wesley Stephens, After Sales Manager at CLAAS Harvest Centre in Esperance; Craig Norton, Branch Manager of CLAAS Harvest Centre in Waikato; and Luke Wheeler, Landpower Group Product Manager – CLAAS JAGUAR and Greenline.

Landpower Chairman, Herby Whyte, personally selected the winners from an outstanding field of 22 peer-nominated candidates.

“Our success has been due to the contributions of the many engaged and committed people that I have the privilege to employ over the past 50 years,” Mr Whyte said. “However, a few individuals are exceptional.

“Exceptional people are those who do the right things, the right way, at the right time and make things happen. Wesley, Craig and Luke have shown their commitment to providing outstanding customer service and passion for the job.

“They are people who routinely go the extra mile, often only for the personal satisfaction of a job well done.”

Winning dealerships and teams share in $190,000 prize money, which will be applied to mutually agreed dealer development initiatives.

Individual winners will receive a tailored personal development program to enhance their careers as farm machinery professionals.