New and Old Business

Up to now, “Truck Motors” in the Ukrainian city of Sumy has only repaired motor vehicles and dealt in spare parts. Now, this is going to change: Yevgen Kabanets, owner and managing director, intends to take on the sales and distribution of agricultural machinery of the companies Agravis and Fricke in Ukraine. And the old business is also to be polished up. Thus, Kabanets’ employees are soon to go to school – with the support of DEULA-Verband, the German association of educational establishments in the field of agricultural technology.

No one can say that Yevgen Kabanets was bored in Germany; the Ukrainian businessman already has firm projects and orders in the bag. He is to represent the company Agravis in Ukraine as from 2015. The management team of Agravis is preparing corresponding contracts and will be taking them to Kharkiv for signature during a visit that has already been arranged. A project with the company Fricke is also well underway. Fricke already has 45 locations in 17 countries and is very interested in further expansion in Ukraine. So interested that experts from Fricke have already been to Sumy to jointly plan the project for expanding the Ukrainian firm in the areas of service and repairs. The contract details were negotiated at the beginning of June 2014: in the first two years, Kabanets is to act as a dealer in the Ukrainian market. Once the political situation has stabilised, further negotiations will take place regarding an exclusive agreement.

The entrepreneur also hoped that, through the MP, he would be able to assert himself more quickly in the market segment of service for agricultural machinery. Here new management methods were needed, which he acquired in a detailed and practice-oriented way during the Programme. “At last I was able to get to know and learn to understand work processes in large companies”, Kabanets reports. He transferred quite a lot of this knowledge to his own company, e.g. the careful analysis of customers’ requirements and problems. The entire process from the acceptance of goods through to service and right up to the evaluation of customer satisfaction is very closely monitored by the responsible employees in order to retain customers for the long term. “We examine every mistake, every customer complaint so that they don’t happen again”, the participant explains. He has also successfully implemented a new customer-friendly notification system to notify the customer on completion.

To gain a foothold in the agricultural machinery industry, it is necessary that not only the boss has a good command of the latest methods; the employees also need professional training. The members of the German federal association of educational establishments in the field of agricultural technology (DEULA) are among the most significant regional and national providers in this industry. Reason enough for Kabanets to place the training of his employees as disseminators for the technical support in the hands of DEULA. The entrepreneur was able to hold first talks with DEULA and a representative of the Ministry of Energy, Agriculture, the Environment and Rural Areas in Schleswig-Holstein. The ministry is to provide support with practical agricultural placements and DEULA will examine the general possibilities for vocational and further training. Kabanets has a specific training centre in mind where Ukrainian specialists can learn how to provide technical support for agricultural machinery on the basis of the DEULA methodology. Joint training with the large machinery suppliers such as Claas, RIELA and AMAZONE could also be organised locally. Furthermore, Kabanets is looking for a possibility to open several service centres that will specialise in repairs and maintenance of Claas agricultural machinery – with authorisation from Claas. “The participation in the MP opens up new perspectives and enables a different view of the own business, which benefits largely”, the businessman summarises.