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TAS Country : April 28th 2011
32 Tasmanian Country Friday, April 29, 2011 Small scale, big success TAILOR-MADE: SOTA prides itself on selling tailored packages to customers who own small acreage and whose needs are different from commercial operations. SOTA Tractors was the first company in Australia to special- ise in products and services for small-acreage owners. It was also the first to provide tailor-made packages for its cli- ents on a national basis and the first in Australia to standardise its front-end loaders with a four- in-one bucket. The SOTA Group, short for State Of The Art, was estab- lished 25 years ago. Founded by director Bruce Cooper, the company has al- ways looked for new and in- novative ways to market its products. ''When we first started im- porting tractors, we operated through a dealer network. Our dealers told us that there was no demand for a four-in-one bucket on compact tractors,'' Mr Coo- per said. ''Their rationale was that the payload wasn't as big as a standard bucket and that it would cost a lot more. ''We proved that to be wrong,'' Mr Cooper said. ''Firstly, it was our belief that conventional dealers did not understand the needs of small acreage owners.'' He said commercial farmers may manage hundreds of hec- tares and had specific needs in terms of loader lift capacity, payload and time constraints, but these were often less of a problem for a small-acreage owner, many of whom were women. ''For these owners, a four-in- one bucket will save their back,'' Mr Cooper said. ''They have different tasks such as pulling out weeds, col- lecting firewood or debris or spreading mulch on gardens. ''Clearly the market agreed with us, because within 18 months or so, most of the large tractor companies had copied SOTA.'' Mr Cooper said he was cer- tain there was one area where competitors could not match SOTA and that was commit- ment to our customers. ''A customer-oriented com- pany can only be established and maintained if a customer- service ethos is driven from the highest level of management. ''Customer service is not talk- ing the talk, it's walking the walk,'' Mr Cooper said. ''It is my view that unreason- able customers are few and far between whereas there are countless organisations that do not deliver what they have promised and that is the genesis of a disgruntled customer,'' he said. ''Agricultural dealers are no exception.'' Mr Cooper said some dealers had come unstuck, promising things like spurious warranties or offering up tractors that had no fair warranty or spare-parts support. He said his company prided itself on its customer service, not just selling tractors and implements. That was the reason SOTA abandoned the traditional dealer-network model and start- ed selling directly to its cus- tomers. ''Not only could we remove the middle man, we were also able to raise our customer ser- vice levels significantly,'' Mr Cooper said. 2011 THE ALL NEW BMW X3. EXTRAORDINARY EVERY DAY. Hobart Autohaus 23 Barrack St. (Cnr Collins St.), Hobart. Tel: 03 6236 9099. www.hobartautohaus.bmw.com.au Launceston BMW 85 Bathurst Street, Launceston. Tel: 03 6332 0444. www.launcestonbmw.com.au The extraordinary is revealed with the arrival of the all new BMW X3. Redesigned from the inside out, it features an uncompromising new level of luxury, safety, performance, economy and technology. Make every drive an extraordinary drive, contact Hobart Autohaus and Launceston BMW to arrange a test-drive today. Please come and visit us at sites 809-813 on Eighth Avenue at the 2011 Agfest. Hobart Autohaus Launceston BMW Sales Service Finance Parts
April 21st 2011
May 5th 2011