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McIntosh & Son raises bar with opening of its Wongan Hills branch

MULTI-franchise dealership McIntosh & Son has done it again. Last week the company officially unveiled its new Wongan Hills branch, raising the bar for machinery dealerships throughout Australia and, arguably, the world.

The 160 x 35 metres building, positioned on a 7.5ha site south of the town on the Northam-Pithara Road, is a statement of the company’s commitment to agriculture.

According to Wongan Hills branch manager Anthony Ryan, the company has outgrown its current premises which it has operated for the past 55 years.

“We had two locations to accommodate the business but we believed the timing was right, in our 61st year of operation, to make a move which consolidates the business into one location,” he said.

The new building is modelled on the company’s successful Katanning branch which also is a benchmark for modern machinery dealerships.

“It’s all about maintaining a professional approach to the business of agriculture,” Anthony said.

“Our customers are number one so we need to demonstrate our ability to provide them with top service.

“Our staff members are pivotal to that which means in designing a new building we can provide a good working environment for both staff and customers.

“We can deliver a very good integration of service, parts, sales and administration which demonstrates the professionalism that is needed in today’s industry.

“For example, the new premises is designed with a special equipment testing area which will further enhance our pre-delivery schedule to set up machines.

“We also will have a room for owner schools and product training and that will be a focus throughout the year with seasonal updates for customers related to precision farming, spraying and the like.”

For Ian McIntosh, it was a time to reflect.

“Our business started 61 years and 29 days ago,” he said. “My father Les and mother Olwyn went into partnership with John Parker in 1955 and two years later took over the dealership completely.”

Ian entered the scene in 1963 to build the company into a leading business in WA.

Last Friday he looked on proudly as his family joined him to celebrate - wife Chris and sons Hamish, Stuart and Cameron.

“Our success has been due to the loyalty of our staff and our customers,” he said.

“And the key to this new investment is knowing we have the right staff who want to be with us and grow with us.

“We have confidence in the future of agriculture in this region.”

Ian honoured his wife in being a mainstay.

“Family business is a business first but the family has to be functional,” he said. “To create this facility and run a business at the same time is not easy but the family and staff have been outstanding in keeping things going.

According to Anthony much of the building’s design came from direct input from the staff.

“You could say it was custom-designed by us and planned for the future, witnessed by space for an overhead gantry with a 35 metre span,” he said.

Anthony, who joined McIntosh & Son in 2010, said plans for a new branch in Wongan Hills were underway when he started work.

“We had a 56-year-old building that had served us well but the company’s growth and commitment to customers required new premises,” he said.