Recently, we sat down with Shane Coates, vice president of agricultural sales for JCB, at the 2022 Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa. Coates has been an integral member of the JCB North America team since 2013.
Coates developed the first virtual Ag Equipment show in 2020 and exceeded the retail budget while under travel restrictions due to the worldwide pandemic. Under his leadership, JCB has delivered record growth and strengthened dealer participation.
How is JCB working to increase its footprint in the North American agricultural sector?
Coates: We have embarked upon a strategy to increase awareness through streamlined dealership branding and partnership as well as growth in total AG dealer contract numbers. We also are engaged in some unique customer interest sectors, like the American Rodeo and the Professional Bull Riders tour, to improve our connection to the AG customer and create a more significant presence in the things AG customers care about. In addition, weve committed to expanding our portfolio of products in ways that set us apart but also extend our leadership in AG Materials Handing.
How does the agricultural market compare to the construction market?
Coates: Usually, offsetting boom and bust cycles with some overlap depending on global economics and commodities demands. The AG market has a bit more consistent rhythm to it and the challenges are more straightforward in my view given global food security issues, population growth, and other political and environmental pressures. The AG space is definitely set for great growth and evolution that JCB plans to take a significant role in.
What is your current agricultural dealership footprint and what are your growth goals in terms of number of dealerships?
We are increasing our Ag Dealers from around 175 locations a year ago to 300 by 2027. We will have approximately 200 by year end.
How do JCB ag dealers differ from JCB construction dealers?
JCB AG dealers are often partnered with a main tractor, planting, and/or harvesting line in a way that offers a perfect complement to serve the customers the dealer already deals with but also in ways that expand that dealers applicability to more ag segments and customers. In contrast our Construction dealers will be mainline or pure JCB product based.
What have been some takeaways from the ag market that youve incorporated into new equipment offerings?
The need for much more efficient machinery that can perform multiple tasks with great flexibility and perform at a high level across all those tasks while reducing the costs to operate our machines and also by reducing the time needed to complete many of the necessary operations on the farm. We pride ourselves on innovation that is meaningful to our farm customers.
What have been some of the key hurdles you have faced as you expand your ag footprint?
Honestly, we have found great reception with what we are trying to achieve with our distribution growth and have a good flow of prospects and candidates. I think our uniqueness and the innovation we bring to the table with the ability to improve a dealers revenue and significantly improve margin has been key to our recent success. Getting to all of them quickly enough might be the biggest hurdle.
Where do you see your key growth sectors in ag?
We still have a lot to go at with livestock and livestock crop production. These are key sweet spots for what we do extremely well. Additionally, we have so much to offer operations of all size in segments from Ag Crop Production to Custom Harvesting that we are just scratching the surface. Rural lifestyle and Hobby farming is another great growth opportunity for us with the Teleskid and 1CXT product. We just need the access points and the opportunity to show those customers how much better it can be with JCB.