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Getting the Most from Your Dealer Relationship

By Jason Daly, Global Director, Customer & Product Support, John Deere Construction & Forestry

A man on a jobsite

 

 

 

 

If I could describe an ideal business partner for loggers, a few traits that come to mind include someone who…

 

  • Is flexible, reliable and above all, trustworthy
  • Understands your unique business needs
  • Has their finger on the pulse of the latest industry updates
  • Is just as passionate about your business success as you

 

You might think a partner that meets these standards is hard to find, but for most loggers, they are a simple phone call away – a call to your local dealer that is.

 

In our industry, the OEM, local dealer and logger form a three-way partnership that contributes to the success and growth of a logging company. When structured correctly, this relationship is a win-win-win for all parties involved.

 

For the OEM who sells machines, we earn market share. For the dealer who sells parts and services, they earn long-term partnerships. And for the logger who uses the machines, they get the services and tools needed to become successful—with trusted partners to get them there.

 

Long-term dealer relationships translate to business sustainability. They will help you through economic volatility and uncertainty, offering flexible solutions to navigate through the challenges of an ever-changing environment. This type of partnership allows loggers to strengthen their business and enables the next generation to carry on their legacy.

 

When a logging professional thinks of their dealer as an extension of their business, the positive effects are tenfold. They can manage change and reduce variability by taking over maintenance activities and fixing variable expenses. They can help reduce overhead costs of tools and resources required to do maintenance, allowing customers to focus their resources on revenue-generating activities. Another invaluable benefit your dealer brings is peace of mind knowing that your machine's health is constantly being monitored and taken care of per factory recommendations.

 

To further maximize your relationship with your dealer, consider the following tips:

 

  • Get Acquainted – Your dealer understands that your business is your passion, and they're interested in helping you succeed. Take some time to get to know your dealer and share with them your background in logging, challenges you're facing, and your goals for the future. You get what you give, so the more they know about you and your business, the more they can contribute.
  • Communicate Often – Don't wait until there is a problem to get in touch with your dealer. Check in on a regular basis to update them on the state of your equipment, conditions of your job sites, changes in labor, and so on. Keeping them "in the loop" will ensure that they're prepared to respond efficiently and effectively if a problem does arise.
  • Ask Questions – Stay current with industry and product information with your dealer's insight. They can provide updated news, trends, or changes that are pertinent to both your daily operations and the future of your business.
  • Optimize Your Operation – Work with your dealer to understand what solutions they can provide beyond the iron. John Deere dealers have been working hard to create customizable solutions to manage profitability and uptime in the woods with Ultimate Uptime featuring John Deere ForestSight™. Ultimate Uptime's standard features include the exclusive capabilities of John Deere ForestSight™ that tell you and your dealer what your machine needs to provide more uptime. But it doesn't end there. After listening to thoroughly understand your needs, your dealer can suggest additional services and create a customized solution that optimizes your uptime based on the needs of your business.
  • Give Honest Feedback — If something isn't right, don't hesitate to share. Customer input drives the engineering of products, and by giving input and suggestions to your dealer, you can contribute to future improvements. Salesman Scott Burch of Beard Equipment in Panama City, Florida, says, "I try to be a go-between between the customer and Deere…almost like an interpreter between the two to kind of help them understand each other."

 

At John Deere, we're proud of the relationships between our customers and dealers. Just as you are an expert in the forest, dealers have experts in servicing and meeting your equipment needs, to help you with the challenges that your business faces. When their in-depth knowledge is combined with your experience in the field, it's a winning combination — we're able to improve our products based on your input and you're provided with excellent and reliable service. We offer a total solution (not just a machine solution) to help loggers navigate their day-to-day operations and look ahead to future needs.