Long local history and family business values the key to longevity of dealership relationships in WA
03 Mar 2017
Western Australia is home to a number of Case IH dealerships, three of which stand, not only for their dedication to their customers, but due to the proud histories they share with their local communities.
For Farmers Centre (1978), Boekeman Machinery and Purcher International, when the going got tough, they dug their heels in. That’s why today, Case IH customers are lucky enough to be serviced by some of the longest-standing dealerships in Australia, who continue to stand by the same values they traded off all those years ago.
"We’re incredibly proud of the history of some of our dealers, particularly those in Western Australia,” says Bruce Healy, Case IH Brand Leader - Australia. “The success of their businesses is a testament to the strength and longevity of their relationships with the communities they service.”
“There’s no denying that having a good brand and family values means that people trust you,” says Steve Purcher, Dealer Principal at Purcher International, Geraldton. The dealership has grown from six staff when the business opened as Griffiths & Purcher in 1967, to employing 40 today, many of whom have worked with the company for years. Amongst these is Parts Manager David Ward, who is now in his 22nd year with the business. “We’ve found that keeping all staff involved and aware of where we’re heading and our achievements means they are engaged and interested in the business,” says Steve.
Supporting the local community is a big priority for Purcher International, and over time, they have been involved with sporting clubs, social events, charities and even individual challenges. “What we are trying to develop in our sponsorships and support is to try to keep young people involved,” says Steve. “My family has grown this business from the local communities, so it’s only fair that we put back what we can into those same communities. We really do plan on being here for decades to come.”
Through its apprenticeship program, the dealership has further been able to support the Geraldton community. “Since our establishment, the business has never missed putting on at least one apprentice every year,” he says. “The award that we’re proudest to have received is the Ministers Award for Excellence – Rural & Regional Employers of New Apprentices.”
Since Famers Centre began in the 1940’s, it too has endeavoured to stay true to its roots. “When we started out, our company motto was ‘We service what we sell’, which reflected our belief that a dealer should look after their clients well after they purchase a machine,” says Director and Founder Barry Wells. “That is still our motto today.”
"We’re incredibly proud of the history of some of our dealers, particularly those in Western Australia. The success of their businesses is a testament to the strength and longevity of their relationships with the communities they service.” - Bruce Healy
From a humble beginning employing two part-time workers, the business has expanded to employ over 60 staff across its Albany, Dumbleyung, Katanning and Lake Grace dealerships today. As inhabitants of the communities they work for, Barry believes that business doesn’t start at the farm gate, but rather encompasses the whole town.
For this reason, Farmers Centre (1978) sponsors a range of sporting groups throughout the Great Southern. “Farmers Centre has always enjoyed a working partnership with its local communities,” he says, “and though there have been times tougher than others, we look forward to being around to work with and help the farmers in our area for a very long time into the future.”
For Boekeman Machinery, their local communities are equally as important, and their footprint is large – sponsoring local bowls, tennis, and golf tournaments, as well as the Calingiri Football club. “Our ability to build strong, long lasting relationships is the reason why our business has its high standing reputation,” says Ben Boekeman, Machinery & Precision Salesman and grandson of founders Bill and Pam Boekeman.
And Boekeman Machinery believe their employees play an integral role in the fostering of these relationships. “We take great pride in our employees,” says Ben. “The combination of experience, strong product knowledge, modern selling skills, frequent training and exemplary service guarantees success for all of our customers, along with our business.”
Established in Wongan Hills in 1968 and employing just four staff, the business now operates four dealerships located in Dalwallinu, Dowerin, Northam and Wongan Hills and employs 76 people. It continues to operate as a family business, with Bill and Pam’s sons Stuart, Andrew and Tim working with Ben. “On the whole, it is more personable,” Ben says of their business model. “Offering great support and backup was the way we proved ourselves to the farming community when we first started out, and now after 48 years, they are aware of the standards we hold ourselves to.”
All three dealers agree that their relationships with Case IH are an asset to their businesses. “Case IH has a long, proud history of delivering agricultural machinery products designed to improve productivity for farmers and contractors,” says Barry, “that’s why we keep doing what we do.” By complementing the values that underline their businesses, the manufacturer-dealer relationship is an easy one. “The support customers receive with Case IH give it the great name, and because of our fantastic relationship with the brand, we are able to deliver on that,” says Ben.
Adds Steve, “Case IH is a brand we are proud to be a part of.”
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