South African commercial training event delivers practical machinery experience.
More than 100 sales professionals, from distributors across the Africa and Middle East region, have attended a very successful Case IH Agriculture commercial training event in South Africa. Split between practical driving sessions at Cairo Farm Parys and theoretical training in the BMG Hotel in nearby Sasolburg, the event focused on a wide range of Case IH equipment. This included Quadtrac, Steiger, Magnum Rowtrac, Magnum and AFS high power tractors, Puma CVT, Puma, Maxxum and Farmall A tractors, combines, headers, sprayers and implements.
Delegates from as far as Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa attended the course in two groups, allowing plenty of hands-on driving time, to build familiarity with the extensive range of Case IH equipment. The sessions, which were prepared and delivered by the Case IH Commercial Training Team from St Valentin in Austria, were designed to ensure that sales people have the very latest information and updates, providing them with practical expertise that can be used to benefit their customers when selecting agricultural machinery.
“This training allows the salesmen to get hands-on experience with our machines and it allows them to get a better understanding so that they can better inform their customers,” said Brian Hall, Case IH Corporate Farming Specialist, Middle East and Africa.
“They learn what are the advantages of our products over the competition and the best selling points. This year there was a combine driving practical which was not done last year. It showed the salesmen the advantages of the Axial-Flow combine.”
The range of training on offer, particularly the extensive opportunity to drive the equipment at the farm, was welcomed by the delegates. This was equally true for those who have attended training courses before and for those sales people who are new to the brand.
“The training is altogether such a wonderful opportunity for us,” said Willie Van Der Schyf, National Wholesale Manager for South African dealer Northmec, who has attended many Case IH training sessions. “The practical training and driving in the field is a key element for us, we do too little actual driving. Additional Rowtrac information and sales features were for me the most useful element. The new Patriot sprayer information will also be a big help.”
Jaco Coetsee, a Sales Representative at Case Lady Brand in South Africa found the technical aspects of the event particularly useful. “Learning so much about the CVT gearbox and everything that it can offer, then driving and feeling it in the field, rounded off the training perfectly. Also the Axial-Flow combine information, specifically the difference between the 140 and the 240. I got to ask the questions the customers ask me and here I get the answer straight from the source.”
Gareth Spaumer, from the NTK Group in the Limpopo region of South Africa agreed: “It’s good to know your specifications, but you must know how to operate a tractor and to point out the benefits - such as APM and constant engine speed - of your product. The CVT transmission in particular was interesting, how simple but efficient. It was definitely valuable and beneficial.”
This was the first training opportunity for Abdulla Noormohamed Abdulla, a Salesman from Tanzanian dealer Kanu Equipment Dar Es Salaam. “It was really exciting,” he said.
“As I am new, I haven’t sold any of these products, at least not yet. But after the training I feel that I am ready. It is great to have such support. The training, both theoretical and practical, was exactly what I needed and was very professionally done. In my country, Case IH is really starting to take off and this training will surely help support this and continue to build the brand’s image and reputation.”
That feeling was echoed by Joshua Young, Dealer Principle of Zambian dealer Agricon Equipment Zambia, who was also experiencing his first training course with Case IH. “I enjoyed it all, but the theoretical helps me most with the new features and available options,” he said.
“I found the ballasting and setting up of machines really great, other things like track technology and the in-cab controls were also very helpful. The more information that you have, the better prepared you are. This training helps me in becoming more professional and in becoming a Case IH expert.”
“A lot more time was spent on hands-on practical training of salesmen, to ensure that they know how to operate the machinery and how the machinery works,” said Jaap Van der Westhuizen, CEO of South African host company Cairo Group.
“The theoretical sessions were much closer to the Farm Cairo where the practical sessions took place this year, allowing more time for practical training. It was a real joy to see that many trainees were from other parts of Africa, as this promotes the marketing of the product outside South Africa.”
Case IH will continue to provide sales people from across the Africa and Middle East region with regular training opportunities, to build their knowledge base and to help deliver improved service to customers. Daniel Bordabossana, Marketing Manager for CASE IH Middle East and Africa, added: “There is no better way for our distributors to fully understand the features and benefits of our machinery, than for their sales staff to get behind the wheel and get hands-on with our products. Only by putting themselves in the customer’s place can they fully appreciate the strengths and values of the Case IH range.”
Agricon Equipment Zambia’s Mr Young perhaps summed up the training opportunity best, when he stated: “This training can be summarised by saying that one sentence learned here, can often save a day’s labour in the field. This is for sure the case for me.”