SDF invests in dealer staff training

Last year’s SIMA event saw the launch of Same Deutz-Fahr’s new dealer staff training initiative – the Top Dealer Program which targets the elite segment of the Group’s sales network and aims to bring the manufacturer’s key dealers together to enable them to successfully face future challenges in the agricultural machinery sector.

These are listed as being:

• More demanding and professional customers
• New technology and development leading to more sophisticated and complex problems
• A highly competitive market with many new entrants

The first UK dealers selected to participate in this initiative have just completed module three of the program and with it, completion of the Step one foundation course. Following on will be a second step designed to develop the skills and practices within the dealerships themselves. The foundation course will be run again for different dealers in September.

Module three recently took place over two days at a leading conference centre based in Daventry, Northants and, under the guidance of course tutor, Andrea Pontiggia, Professor of Organisation and Human Resources management, Bocconi University, Milan, took an in depth look at understanding and managing internal processes and people within the dealership.

According to Rob Edwards, SDF’s dealer development manager, UK and Ireland, the Top Dealer Program has been well received by dealers.
“We’ve had some really positive feedback,” he says. “They clearly appreciate the opportunity to expand their knowledge and awareness of just what it is that makes for a successful dealership.”

Franco Artoni, SDF Group Sales, Marketing and After-sales Executive Vice President, who heads up the all-markets Top Dealer Program comments: “We are focusing on three key points – developing distributors’ managerial capabilities, launching initiatives aimed at strengthening corporate identity and, improving processes by employing ‘Dealer Operating Standards’.”

With the Top Dealer Program active in 10 markets, Mr Artoni says the aim this year is to reach 250 dealers and the investment has been massive involving 150 SDF internal managers and 400 dealership staff for a total of 1800 working days.

“The investment will be close to 0.5% of turnover,” he says, adding that the plan is to extend the boundaries of the project to the markets of Eastern Europe and to Central and South America where SDF is represented by private importers.

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