LOCAL farmers and contractors have voted CLAAS Harvest Centre, South Gippsland as delivering the highest level of customer satisfaction across the entire CLAAS Harvest Centre network in New Zealand and Australia.
The Leongatha-based dealership achieved an impressive overall customer satisfaction score, earning it the Customer Engagement Excellence Award at the second Strive Annual Excellence Awards presented in Melbourne recently.
The awards recognise the best performing dealerships, teams and individuals across Landpower and CLAAS Harvest Centre, the largest privately-owned farm machinery distribution network in Australasia.
The network represents some of the world’s leading farm machinery brands, including CLAAS, AMAZONE and Seed Hawk, via 31 owned and franchised CLAAS Harvest Centres throughout New Zealand and Australia.
The win is the culmination of more than 25 years of hard work for branch manager Anthony Blackshaw.
Anthony spent more than a decade as a service technician with farm machinery dealerships in Victoria and Western Australia before joining Tracmac Landpower (now CLAAS Harvest Centre, Gippsland) in Warragul as a sales representative in 1999.
In 2003, he and wife Angie established their own Landpower franchise in Leongatha in partnership with Tracmac.
“I grew up on a dairy and potato farm, so I have been around machinery from a very young age,” Anthony said.
“We brought two kids into the world and they spent a lot of their early years in the office while Angie worked and I was out the back in the workshop.
“This has very much been a family affair and without their support, I would not have succeeded.”
Nine years later, the business was rebadged as a dedicated CLAAS Harvest Centre.
Landpower, the franchisor of the CLAAS Harvest Centre network in New Zealand and Australia, acquired the dealership last year, with Anthony electing to stay on as manager.
In the past two decades, Anthony has acquired an enthusiastic following among his 450 or so customers throughout South Gippsland.
Customers frequently upgrade their machinery purely on the strength of his recommendation and their long-standing satisfaction with the service provided by his team.
“If you sell farm machinery, then you have to put your hand up and service it,” Anthony says.
“To be acknowledged like this by our customers is a big win for the entire team, many of whom have been with us for five or 10 years.
“It’s also a win for our product we represent and the support we get from Landpower.”
Anthony paid tribute to his team: administration, Angie Blackshaw; sales representative, Scott Sellings; sales trainee, Brett Scorah; workshop foreman, Daryl Macey; service technicians, Florian Mueller and Brendan Logan; apprentice mechanic, Corey Dyke; parts interpreter, Pauline Graewe; workshop support, Rob Holcombe; and service administrator, Kathleen Reid.