McIntosh & Son Investment Marks New Era
McIntosh & Son northern branches dealer principal Anthony Ryan (left) with director Hamish McIntosh, southern branches dealer principal Devon Gilmour, director Cameron McIntosh, McIntosh Group CEO David Capper and director Stuart McIntosh
Published in Farm Weekly June 20, 2019
By Ken Wilson
FAMILY-owned machinery dealership group McIntosh & Son has put the farm mechanisation industry on a new mantle.
With a multi-million dollar investment in its Katanning branch, it has sent a strong signal reflecting the professionalism and career opportunities that exist in agriculture, along with the company's own confidence in the future of the industry.
At last Friday's official opening of the company's new 92 metres by 72m facility, including a parts warehouse, administration offices and showroom wing at the Katanning branch, it was patently obvious a new era has dawned on the industry.
About 400 guests were left nearly speechless as they toured the spacious administration and showroom area leading into a cavernous parts warehouse containing the most advanced computerised units for automatic storing and the dispensing of smaller spare parts.
Accolades flowed freely throughout the night with the most used adjectives being "unbelievable" and "impressive".
And the company's southern branches dealer principal Devon Gilmour signalled there's more to come.
"We'll replicate, on a smaller scale, what we've done here and at Wongan Hills with our other branches, because it's what customers expect," Mr Gilmour said.
"It's a paradigm shift away from the old perception of a machinery dealership to a professional business offering professional services."
According to company director Stuart McIntosh it is the way the company is evolving.
"Local farmers encouraged us to start a dealership in Katanning (in 2001) and this is stage two of our planned expansion that commenced in 2010," Mr McIntosh said.
"It reflects our commitment to the industry and to our customers."
That wasn't missed on Katanning shire president Liz Guidera who praised the company for its investment in the district.
"It's not just Katanning but rural WA," Ms Guidera said.
"It's an investment that provides innovation and efficiency and the opportunity for job training and up-skilling people."
On the latter comment, McIntosh & Son has already applied to be a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) at its Katanning and Wongan Hills branches.
The Katanning RTO will cater to the training requirements of the Katanning, Kulin, Albany and Esperance branches while the Wongan Hills RTO will service the northern branches.
The new complex includes a specially-designed training room to seat 50.
Mr Gilmour envisages the room will be used for apprenticeship product training, staff training from all departments and customer product training days.
"Instead of sending our service techs and sales people to product training schools in the eastern States, we can have product specialists come to us," he said.
"It will involve less cost but more importantly less time away from the dealership.
"And we have a quality control of training to ensure it's relevant to our needs and the needs of our customers."
The setting up of RTOs within the dealership for in-house training also sends a statement to people who might be interested in seeking employment.
"There are plenty of career pathways in machinery dealerships," Mr Gilmour said.
"And by adopting a more professional approach and signalling job opportunities with in-house training, we believe we put ourselves in a stronger position to attract and retain staff.
"We can offer job security with great working facilities and the opportunity to improve skill sets, in a stable industry."