Westward Parts EXPO 2016. OVERWHELMING SUCCESS!

By: Milanyila Vargas

The Westward Parts Expo, held November 16-17, 2016 in Saskatoon, SK, was not only the first in the company’s 43-year history; it was also one to mark a new era for the company.

This exclusive event was an incredible opportunity for dealers, suppliers, and the Westward and MacDon Parts teams to come together to Connect, Learn, and Grow. More than 350 dealers and 38 suppliers attended the two-day event, featuring training sessions brimming with useful information to help dealers meet their customers’ needs. Suppliers introduced their latest innovations and provided input for selecting customized solutions for our customers.

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“We – and now I’m talking about all of us in the agriculture industry – are in a period of transition. We are all experiencing a shift into the digital domain. Some of us are already in full flow, while others are treading carefully. Whatever the case, we can state that the world of agriculture supply has entered an exciting yet complex time. But these have now become preconditions in the light of which we will shape our strategies into the future” said Doug Zeeman, General Manager of Westward Parts during the Appreciation Dinner Ceremony on Wednesday night. “Westward Parts will evolve into the supplier you need and deserve, by building a team that is committed to providing you the best customer service everyday” continued Zeeman in a night that shown the energy and commitment of the new Westward Parts Services Ltd.

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The Vice President of Global Parts Operations for MacDon, Jason Klassen also took the opportunity to emphasize the work the company has done in challenging times. “Among many difficult situations, we have so many stories of team members going the extra mile to do whatever possible to get parts delivered to customers. There are numerous examples of both MacDon and Westward Parts staff staying past midnight on a Friday night to wait for a parts pickup, to making a personal drop off two hours away at 2am to get a customer up and running again. This exemplifies the spirit of our team”. Mr. Klassen continued his speech declaring the New Westward Parts “There are many new faces on the Westward Parts team in the last 18 months. At the same time, a lot of experience remains. I am very proud of this team. I believe, confidently, that we have added some fabulous talent, some very smart people, an injection of energy and ideas into the Westward Parts team. At the same time, we have the experience and knowledge on the team to provide a high level of customer service to our dealers, to identify new products, and to provide stability that our business needs. This Expo is the launch of the new Westward Parts.”

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Partners in Commitments!

More than 30 training sessions took place during the 2 days event. Suppliers like MacDon, Teejet, Jacto, S3 Delta, Kondex, Wilger, Weasler and 30 others presented its new products, interacted with dealers, and opened the door to a new way of doing business in Westward Parts. “We know that the ball is in our court now and we will accept the challenge to work with Westward Parts staff at each location to build the relationship and be an active partner in growing business together” Said Greg Borsboom from Points West Marketing Ltd.

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The Cooper’s Secret!

Donald Cooper’s keynote was a highlight, inspiring the audience with ways to create, deliver and communicate compelling customer value.

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A Magic Laugh!

On the lighter side, The Doug Arden Comedy Show included a mix of stand-up, ventriloquism, music and magic for Expo guests, a show that will not be forgotten any time soon!

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2017 Booking Program!

A first-hand look at the 2017 Booking Program including Expo only feature promotions was another highlight of the show. Dealers had the opportunity to see a new and improved booking program revised and carefully created to meet dealer needs.

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Team Work!

Suppliers and Westward Parts were working as a unified team to serve dealers during the event. “This was particularly true with the blend of staff from the top management people to the most recent hire -they all blended together with everyone wanting to get to know the suppliers and their product position in the market” said Ralph Walker from Hypro Shurflo.

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Already, feedback from dealers has indicated the type of connection happened during the event was more than expected. “I thought that the MacDon, and Westward Parts sessions were very well done. I also liked the layout of the show floor, and being able to touch base with the different suppliers. I enjoyed getting to meet all the people I deal with on the phone face-to-face.” said Rob Kral from Western Sales in Rosetown, SK.

“The knowledge I gained during the EXPO will definitely help our business grow because of the information we can now pass on to our customers” expressed the representative from Neerlandia Coop in Alberta.

Door Prize Winner!

On Thursday afternoon suppliers, the Westward Parts team and dealers gathered at the Center Room to close the EXPO event, and to announce Karl Savill from Nelson Motors in Estevan, SK as the winner of EXPO 2016 door prize, a trip for 8 to Winnipeg to visit the MacDon Industries facilities and attend a Winnipeg Jets NHL game.

The Final Result!

Overall, the Expo survey results tell the story:

* 93% of Dealers rated the event Very Good or Excellent and 93% said they were very likely to attend the next Westward Parts Expo

* 83% of Suppliers rated the event Very Good or Excellent, while 88% said they are very or extremely likely to sponsor the next Westward Parts Expo

As the Westward Parts EXPO 2016 closed its doors, all business partners, dealers, suppliers, the Westward and MacDon teams left with a feeling of excitement for the future of Westward Parts, founded on the commitment from our team to provide to our dealers with new, innovative products, the tools to do business enjoyably and efficiently, and a determination to lead the industry in Customer Service. We connected, we learned, and we have set the foundation for growth for all business partners.

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