O’Connors and Larwoods bag Case IH Dealer of the Year awards

From left, Lisa Day (O’Connors), David Hair (O’Connors), Bruce Healy, brand leader for Case IH Australia/New Zealand, and Gareth Webb (O’Connors).

O’Connors takes out Case IH’s prestigious Dealer of the Year title for three branches or more and Larwoods Ag Services claiming the award for two branches or less.

At a ceremony during Case IH’s dealer conference in Sun City, South Africa, O’Connors, for the second year in a row, took out the Case IH Dealer of the Year – three branches or more award.

Established in Birchip, Victoria in 1964, the family-owned business has grown to include branches in Horsham, Warracknabeal and Shepparton in Victoria, as well as Corowa in New South Wales and Bordertown in South Australia.

Larwoods Ag Services, based on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula, won the Case IH Dealer of the Year – two branches or less. Larwoods has been operating for more than 40 years, with its main branch at Kadina SA offering sales, service and spare parts.

The Dealer of the Year results are based on a raft of different criteria, including finance and business management, performance in sales and marketing, and parts and servicing, Advanced Farming Systems (AFS) Certification and total market share.

Bruce Healy, Case IH Brand Leader for Australia/New Zealand, said the company’s top dealer awards once again went to two very worthy winners, who in setting the highest of standards for their businesses, were ensuring the best for their customers.

Larwoods Ag Services dealer principal Scott Mercer, left, with Bruce Healy, brand leader for Case IH Australia/New Zealand, and Matthieu Sejournie, brand leader Case IH Asia Pacific.

“Congratulations to O’Connors on again taking out the Dealer of the Year with three or more branches. They continue to raise the bar and have established a strong platform for success and, most importantly, ongoing advancement.

For Larwoods Ag, the award is well-deserved, recognising the effort the team’s put into sales strategies and building the foundation for a business that is only going to grow from here,” Bruce said.

“The standard of the Case IH dealer network is very high, so to get to the top of that group is a significant achievement. And it’s recognition of the work that’s gone in across all aspects of the winners’ operations. While any number of dealers can achieve great results in one criteria, to take out these awards you’ve got to be good at everything,” he said. “O’Connors and Larwoods Ag are consistent performers that pay attention to all aspects of their businesses.”

Bruce said the criteria for the annual awards were designed around industry best practice and business growth, and ultimately designed to improve the business models of the dealerships across the Case IH network.

O’Connors’ group operations manager Gareth Webb said it came as a complete surprise, and was a credit to everyone within the business.

“It’s such an important award and we’re honoured to receive it. There’s some amazing dealers in the Case IH network who we respect enormously so to win in this company is a significant achievement,” he said. “At O’Connors we strive as a team, we press hard and I think that gets us a fair way.”

Lisa Day, marketing director and HR manager for O’Connors paid tribute to Case IH and its team.

“I would like to say it is a real privilege to be in partnership with Case IH and we’re ready to consolidate the successes of 2017 as we progress into 2018.”

Larwoods Ag dealer principal Scott Mercer was equally thrilled with the win.

“I’m blown away by this award. We’ve got a great team of people at Larwoods and there’s so many years of experience within our team. Everyone plays their part at every level of the business and I want to thank them for their efforts.

I would also like to thank Case IH for the support they provide, and pay tribute to Kym Flint, who was dealer principal for the first half of last year and was such an integral part of the business for so many years,” he said.

Other top performers in the Dealer of the Year with three or more branches category included Farmers Centre 1978 in Albany, Katanning and Lake Grace WA and Kenway & Clark in Moree, Inverell and Wee Waa NSW and Goondiwindi Qld.

Special mention in the dealer with two branches or less Category went to two other South Australian dealerships: Rocky River Ag of Crystal Brook SA and Lyndoch Motors based in Lyndoch SA.

O’Connors also took out the CNH Industrial Capital Dealer of the Year – three branches or more, while Echuca CIH Vic was the Capital Dealer of the Year – two branches or less. Echuca CIH has operated from several locations in the northern Victorian town as expansion demanded bigger premises, and today has a staff of 36.

Larwoods Ag Kadina SA was also named Case IH Wholegoods Dealer of the Year, with special mentions to Farmers Centre Esperance WA and Intersales Temora and Leeton NSW.

The Case IH Parts Dealer of the Year was Agrimac Ballarat, St Arnaud and Warrnambool Vic and Service Dealer of the Year is Intersales Temora and Leeton NSW.

In the Parts category, other top performers were Larwoods Ag and Sunrise Ag Swan Hill, Ouyen and Mildura Vic, and special mention in the Service category went to AgNorth Ayr Qld and Kenway and Clark Moree, Inverell and Wee Waa NSW and Goondiwindi Qld.

Case IH Most Improved Dealer of the Year was Queensland’s Milne Bros Emerald and Rockhampton Qld, with honourable mentions to Farmers Centre 1978 and RedMac.