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Kubota Insight Programme (KIP) flies into Ireland

Kubota UK’s long-term commitment to the Irish agricultural market continues to increase as the machinery manufacturer recently completed its Kubota Insight Programme (KIP) in Ireland.

Now in its seventh year globally, Kubota’s KIP is an annual service-focused initiative where a team of Japanese service engineers are flown into certain territories for a week-long tour of selected dealerships and customers. The aim is to help Kubota’s Japanese engineers understand customer requirements and gauge feedback on Kubota machinery on a local level, so they can report their findings back to Kubota Corporation Research & Development teams in Japan.

Kevin Pryce, Dealer Manager for Kubota UK’s agriculture division, said: “We were delighted Ireland was chosen for KIP this year as it highlights the importance Kubota Corporation places on this region from a global perspective.

“KIP is a combination of ‘on-farm’ customer visits and ‘tractor clinics’ at dealerships. It proves to be a really worthwhile exercise as it presents an invaluable chance for Kubota Japan to meet those working within the industry.

“It is readily recognised that the customers who work with our machines day-to-day are best placed to feedback on usability and performance, whilst the tractor clinics present a great opportunity for Kubota Japan to gain insight and a better understanding of how Irish dealers approach the service and diagnostic process, which all contributes towards delivering service excellence.

“Having the right distribution channels in place is absolutely critical to achieving market penetration and growth. We currently have seven agriculture dealers in Ireland, but we’d like to increase this number and we are talking to prospective dealers all the time. We’re making good progress; it’s about getting the dealer network right and making sure we have the necessary back-up in place.”

Kubota’s global commitment to the agriculture industry has been gathering pace in recent years, with new 170hp tractors launched, the investment in a new production facility in Northern France, and the strengthening of Kubota’s agricultural team. For Ireland, this includes the appointment of Kevin Pryce as the agricultural dealer manger, as well as Gary Walsh, Kubota’s Ireland service manager.

 

The visit of KIP to Ireland included engineers visiting a number of Kubota’s independent dealer customers, including Clarkes of Cavan, Mulchrone Brothers in Co. Mayo and Agricare in County Dublin.

At each location, the Japanese KIP team were tasked with carrying out an overall product assessment on each individual tractor, looking at service related components, operations and any necessary adjustments to ensure the machines were 100% functional and mechanically sound. If any issues were found present during the inspection, the KIP team would then diagnose and correct the fault with help from the Kubota UK team and its dealer staff.

Upon completion of the KIP assessment, each tractor had a power check using a dynamometer and the outcome and conclusion of the KIP assessment explained to the owner/operator. They were invited to contribute personal experiences, preferences and to offer any desired improvements to the product and their comments were carefully recorded in order to provide guidance and inspiration for Kubota’s programme of continuous improvement and future design requirements.

Kevin concluded: “The KIP visits we conducted have been very well received by our customers as they appreciate the hands-on approach and the care and support from the manufacturer and the dealer. The insight gained is invaluable as customers are always keen to not only discuss what makes our machinery stand out from the competition, but also offer suggestions on areas that could be improved. As a wider customer relations exercise, it’s a very good thing for the business, both from a dealer perspective and for the manufacturer.”

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