A group of more than 40 farmers and contractors visited the Fleming Factory in Newbuildings, Co. Londonderry, on Thursday, October 25. The trip was organised by Aaron McFarland from T. McFarland Agri. Machinery in Fintona, Co. Tyrone. Here is his report of the day.
One of the main reasons for the factory visit was to give customers the chance to view at first hand machines being manufactured from raw material right through to the painted and finished product. The visit also gave customers an appreciation of the time scale involved in the manufacturing process, thus making them acutely aware of the necessity of early ordering.
Finally, the visit was an appreciation and a thank you to customers for their continued support throughout another year.
The day began in Fintona at 10am with customers travelling on a 50 seater deluxe coach kindly supplied by JMB coaches in Cookstown with a pick up on route outside Omagh and Newtownstewart.
On arrival at the factory at 11.30am, Bryan Hunter, area sales manager for Fleming in Ireland, welcomed everyone and thanked them for taking the time to visit the factory.
A light lunch was supplied by Fleming during which George Fleming gave a talk on the implications of Brexit facing both farmers and global manufacturing. He also gave a brief history of the factory’s humble beginnings to now employing approximately 115 full time local staff.
After lunch the customers were divided into two groups. One group were given a guided tour by managing director Johnathan Lecky and the other group received a product presentation carried out by David Mebane. Key information was presented on all of Fleming products with special emphasises on slurry tanker and silage trailer design and where Fleming sees itself in both the local and global market.
Mr Leckey puts great emphasises on what he calls the middle 80% not the bottom 10% that foolishly buy on price only and not the top 10% that want all the bells and whistles and are never really able to be pleased while all the time just added more unnecessary weight, expense and complication.
Mr Hunter spoke briefly to each group outlining his role as sales area manager for the whole of Ireland. He also thanked everyone for coming and being part of the trip which he feels is a very useful tool for any further sales consideration.
During the factory tour it was noted to customers the importance of the right material to suit its application with special emphasises on tyres, axles and springs, especially with the high load and high speed of modern equipment and also the ever changing insurance categories and high way regulations.
During the tour customers saw mainly shear grabs being cut, folded, welded, assembled, painted and finished. Other products going through the assembly line were dump trailers, muck spreaders and hydraulic link boxes.
After the tour was over a group photograph was taken and then customers were free to walk around and view a vast selection of equipment. The main product interest was focused on tankers, trailers and shear grabs.
Two customers each purchased six foot shear grabs due to seeing the whole process involved manufacturing and also the finished product. This is proof in itself that factory visits are a useful sales tool no matter what business you are involved in.
I would like to say a very big thank you to all the customers that attended the factory trip and also a very big thank you to the staff at Fleming agri for their co-operation and dedication in conducting a very successful factory visit.
Investing in people will in turn create an investment in the dealer, people still buy people today, the product just happens to come along with it.
A final thanks to Bryan Hunter, Fleming sales, for his help in arranging the trip.
For more details on all Fleming products visit their website www.fleming-agri.co.uk or contact T. McFarland at 24 Cavan road, Fintona, Co. Tyrone, BT78 2DS tel: 02882841273 or visit the website www.tmcfarlandagri.co.uk