Calls are growing for the Government to allow butchers and independent fruit and vegetable retailers to operate under COVID-19 Alert Levels.
AGCO, whose brands include Massey Ferguson, Fendt, Challenger and Valtra, will first be focusing on the agricultural industry: “Farming is vital, especially in countries like Australia and New Zealand who are net exporters,” says Warwick McCormick, vice president and managing director ANZ and Far East.
“During these unprecedented times, agriculture will need to keep producing to ensure that our home countries and those who rely on us for imports experience minimal disruption.
“For AGCO, that means keeping production running and keeping inventory open and accessible, so farmers across the country have the tools they need to keep working,” McCormick says.
AGCO will continue to work closely with its dealer network to ensure they provide support across all facets of the business including the critical after-sales functions of parts and technical support.
“While our working environment may look different for the time being, with the majority of our employees working from home, we are confident they have the technology to deliver the high standard of service our dealers and customers are accustomed to,” McCormick says.
With Australasian parts support centered on warehouses in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, supported by global distribution sites in Europe and the US, McCormick says they are achieving a 96% picking rate.
However, some parts may be “a little hard to come by in NZ.”
“We ask our end users to work closely with their dealers if they have some upcoming parts requirements so they can have time to deliver their orders.”
McCormick also notes that Qantas has announced an extra daily freight run to NZ, although there still might be some hold up on supply at the border.
The Australian Government is ensuring exports of VOR (vehicle off road) parts orders are heading to the Northern Hemisphere, which in turn means there is freight capacity on the return leg of flights.
On the factory front, he reports that nothing is completely closed, but production is being affected by some shortages from component suppliers, many who are domiciled in the ravaged industrial areas of Northern Italy.
Currently, harvest tools are readily available with good inventories, although customers who are traditionally making indent purchases around now, might see some slight delays on delivery.
“Our challenge over the coming weeks is to manage the situation closely, often with changes occurring daily. Unfortunately, no one saw this problem coming, but we ask that any of our customers who are encountering problems reach out to their dealers or AGCO and we will do our utmost to help.”