Last week, I had the pleasure of attending an annual Field Day in Biglerville, PA. Hosted by equipment manufacturer GVM, Inc., this marked the first public occasion for the company since it spun off its dealership group into the newly-named Independent Ag Equipment. “Separating distribution from manufacturing will allow Independent Ag Equipment locations to carry a larger parts inventory and focus on providing their customers with customer service,” said GVM Owner Mark Anderson to the 130 attendees at the event.
In a one-on-one chat during the event, Anderson said another reason for the change was to combat the reluctance of some potential customers from during business with an entity carrying the “GVM” name. “Our distributors already carry the Spra-Coupe brand owned by AGCO, but some people just see the name and think ‘I can’t do business with one of AGCO’s competitors,” he said. “So a name change made good business sense for us.”
Speaking from experience, there is something to this thinking. I remember back in my beverage days, I often covered the fountain battles for restaurant soft drink shares between Coca-Cola and Pepsi. At that time, Pepsi owned its own chain of restaurants (Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut), and Coke fountain representatives made a pretty compelling case to potential clients that doing business with Pepsi was like “putting money in your competitor’s pockets.” Hurt by this criticism, Pepsi eventually spun off its restaurant group and has been able to fight Coke on an even playing field among fountain customers ever since.
In addition to the spin-off of its distributors, GVM is also preparing to move into a new 35,000-square-foot facility in nearby East Berlin, PA. According to Anderson, this will not only give the company more space to work with vs. its current location, but allow GVM to employ a line production system instead of its current bay construction one.
“I’m very excited for this move to happen,” said Anderson. “This should be a big step in helping GVM move into the future.”