ROCKY RIVER keeping farmers moving (SA)
A smart eye on the business landscape and an opportunity to increase services to their customers has seen farm machinery dealership Rocky River Ag successfully expand into truck parts and service. Based in Crystal Brook, South Australia, the local business extended their premises and in 2015 Spare Parts Second-In-Charge Bradly Bayly (correct) saw the potential to use the space for more than just tractors.
Crystal Brook is located 200 kilometres north of Adelaide in a rich agricultural area. Bradly believes that the trend towards larger farm businesses has led to more and more farmers purchasing their own trucks and plant rather than sub contracting out.
“All our farmers own trucks nowadays. No one was catering to that market in town so we began servicing the vehicles and selling spare parts. It’s a great way for us to provide solutions to our customers,” said Bradly.
With roughly 30 staff members – including workshop staff and field mechanics – Rocky River Ag is a substantial employer in a town of just 1400 people. According to Bradly it’s a growing business, and this growth is reflected in the truck side of the operation.
“We mostly serve the agricultural transport market but we’re starting to see a lot of others coming in as well. The word is getting out and people are realising that our offering can save them driving 30 minutes to Port Pirie,” said Brad, although he stresses that customers are not just coming for convenience.
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s the workshop or the retail side of things, I’d like to think people are also coming for
our customer service. It’s an area I really try to succeed in,” he said.
With a retailing background it’s no surprise Bradly is particularly focused on the parts side. He believes that Rocky River Ag offers com
petitive pricing and an extensive range. Thanks to a close working relationship with the team at Truckline Wingfield, one of
the national parts retailer’s 24 stores, Bradly and his team stock a good range of fast moving parts on the floor, particularly those needed for common breakdowns, and can quickly access specialised parts for use in the workshop – usually receiving rarer parts from Truckline within 24 hours.
“Over the counter we are probably selling the air valves the most. In the workshop it’s more ordering stuff, more stuff for the hubs and axles and all that sort of gear. There’s too many variations for us to stock all of that,” said Bradly.
With over 80% of Truckline inventory held in stores and multiple freight companies running from Adelaide to Crystal Brook each day, it’s not unreasonable to expect quick delivery but, according to Bradly, the team at Wingfield Truckline take things above and beyond.
“More than once the workshop’s needed a part late in the day and Truckline staff have personally driven it to the freight depot at five to five, just before the depot shuts, to ensure we get it the next day.”
It’s no surprise that the ethos Bradly applies when dealing with his own customers is exactly what he admires most about Truckline.
“Their customer service is excellent, they’re good to get along with and they really know their stuff.”
This knowledge, combined with Truckline’s large range of industry best brands, helps Bradly continually refine his retail offering, and consultation with his mechanics ensures ready access to a large range of commonly used parts in the workshop. It’s a partnership relationship that keeps customers happy at every step in the chain.
Bradly’s Top Five Tips for Choosing a Parts Supplier:
- Choose a supplier that is willing to work with you and gives the back up support required to be successful.
- Know the value of what you are buying and the service it comes with, we tend to reward loyalty from suppliers, cheapest price is not always the best option.
- We lean toward suppliers with the same customer service based business ethos as our own, Customer satisfaction is number 1.
- It is crucial with the fast pace that everyone works these days that we get the Right part, first time. This means choosing a supplier is more about the quality of service rather than a price based decision.
- Location is important when choosing a supplier, freight access, delivery times etc are all things to consider. Truckline tick all these boxes for us as well as having a good supply of the fast moving products we require to service our customers on a day to day basis.