This year marked 50 years of business for Fendt dealer Ross Agri Services. Having joined in 2000, managing director Martin Ross reflected on his 22 years in the business.
“Farming has changed, machinery has changed, and technology has brought the biggest fundamental changes to agriculture in the 50 years we have been in business. I have had to adapt the service we offer our customers to react to the way technology is influencing the way they farm.”
Working with Fendt, he says that he has to adjust to the speed of change quicker than most. “When I started, there were three questions I would ask a customer to specify on a new tractor. Do you want front linkage, how many spool valves do you need, and what tyres would you like? Now I may as well be speaking a foreign language to some customers if I were to list off all the various options that are available to them,” he said.
He has no doubt that these developments are helping agriculture to be more sustainable, however, he also recognises the impact on the business and how it challenges the team to deliver a diversifying range of services.
“Our customers are having to run tractors for longer hours to see the return on the ever-increasing investments they are expected to make. It is our job to make sure these hours are as stress-free as possible. We are fortunate to have the Fendt franchise that offers 8,000-hour warranties, but, with the cost of tractors almost doubling in 20 years, many are looking for fixed costs to help manage their farming enterprises.”
Used Fendt tractors with as many as 10,000 hours are supplied with 12-month warranties from Ross Agri Services, with Mr Ross saying this represents a shared commitment between the manufacturer and the dealer.
The level of service expected has seen him invest in specialist staff, without being at the detriment of skilled engineers who offer welding and fabrication at the St Cyrus base.
“Selling premium brands is one thing. We are never going to be the cheapest and we are often unapologetic about being the most expensive. The value is in the aftersales service. We pride ourselves on being able to offer our customers a one-stop shop, everything from manufacturer-trained diagnostics to CNC precision engineering. It is a challenge to move at the speed that technology is pushing agriculture, but we have made it our mission to work with the best brands and give our customers the support they need,” he concluded.