To view this page ensure that Adobe Flash Player version 11.1.0 or greater is installed.
What Would You Change About Your Manufacturer? Dealers sounded off to that question in Rural Lifestyle Dealer’s 2015 Dealer Business Trends & Outlook survey. Many of the responses were related to inventory ordering requirements and deliver y times. A dealer in New York says, “Seems like all manufacturers are tr ying to run ‘lean and mean’ just-in-time inventor y. That’s good on paper, but does not allow for quick opportunities like rain in late summer or snow.” A dealer in Illinois says, “Lead time on ordering trac- tors … they have to be ordered 6-8 months ahead of time. Seems like it always happens that you’ll have a run on a particular model right after you last ordered and you won’t have enough on order. I have learned in the small tractor market you’ve got to have a lot full of tractors to get people to stop in.” Others were concerned about the business requirements from manu- facturers. A dealer in Ohio says, “Manufacturers are requiring more work to be a certified dealer. Some of this is beneficial and some of it is over the top and a waste of time. Some manufacturers are pushing more costs on to dealerships and shrinking margins. We still have a business to run and need to take care of custom- ers. Sometimes manufacturers lose site that at the dealership we answer to the customer first.” A Wisconsin dealer shares this perspective on manufacturer demands: “They threaten us with market share performance when we always do well and they know that market share alone is not grounds for termination. Manufacturers support us a little, but they demand a lot.” Warranty work is another area in which dealers are at odds with manufacturers. A Kansas dealer says, “The flat labor rate for war- ranty repairs has no basis in shop reality. The time is not relative to the actual work that needs to be done. New equipment is different than a unit that is 2 years old. Dirty, gummed up and hard to diagnose equipment is not being timed for the dealer to capture his real costs. Manufacturers do not pay for diagno- ses, they only cover the repair. Retail prices should be used for reimburse- ment of warranty parts. We have to buy the part or stock the part and should not have to reduce the profit when using the part on a manufac- turer’s warranty repair.” A dealer in New York says that manufacturers are saturating the market “…too many models to select from and customers get con- fused. They do not want to make a mistake about their purchase and walk out the door over whelmed. I have had potential purchasers actu- ally purchase a brand with less selection.” Comments from another New York dealer summarize overall dealer sentiments: “Manufacturers need to realize that we can only succeed if we work together. We have to communicate successful and unsuccessful product offer- ings in our market areas and establish credible goals for both sides of the relationship. Dependable supply chains and deliver y targets must be met for a dealership to serve its customer base better and earn respect within the marketplace.” Visit RuralLifestyleDealer.com/RS and indicate No. 118 RURAL LIFESTYLE DEALER n WINTER 2015 19