The Haynes Motor Museum at Sparkford, Somerset saw a major turn out of over 180 Rochford Garden Machinery dealers on August 19 for the annual dealer day presentations.
Following bacon rolls and coffee on arrival, delegates took their places for a presentation by Rochford Managing Director Stewart Anderson, who talked about the £1m investment the company has made over the past year with the extension to the Wincanton showroom, spares and distribution facilities.
The new unit contributes to more than doubling the pallet space capacity of the building to 100,000 sq. ft. and forms part of the ongoing commitment to the dealer network. During this time Rochfords have been restructuring the team and spent £70,000 on staff training.
Stewart presented the strategy of the business, with some cautionary examples on margins and discounts, leading to a motivating presentation by Mark Grimshaw of VFM Associates, specialist business development and training consultants. The emphasis was firmly on "˜managing your business', dealer success, the power of focus and customer care together with the importance of price, financial management and the effects of discounting. The latter subject drew major applause from the audience.
The presentation moved on to Mark Rochford's overview of new products soon to be introduced, with emphasis on AL-KO lawn tractors, and the Mitox brand which celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2016. Mark talked about the phenomenal success of the Weibang Legacy rear roller mower and made an apology on behalf of the company for selling out and underestimating the demand.
There was then the opportunity for dealers to move around the "˜pods' representing the key aspects of Rochford's business, including a popular, continued presentation from Mark Grimshaw, Parts and B3C fuel solutions. Lunch was followed by live demonstrations of the forthcoming new products including those from AL-KO, Mitox and Weibang as well as new brands to be announced soon.
The inclement weather was eased by the cautious provision of marquees in the grounds of the museum as dealers got "˜hands on' with the equipment, relishing the opportunity to use products, such as the Weibang Legacy, in the pouring rain. There was a consensus of agreement they were amazed at the way it proved up to the challenge by cutting and collecting everything that was thrown at it.
There were comments on the worthwhile and very informative gathering and the day ended with the opportunity to walk round the splendid, and for many nostalgic, displays of the Haynes Motor Museum.