After twenty years at Kubota, Tim Yates has moved into the role of Business Development Manager. He completed a Q&A to speak of his plans for Kubota's groundcare division this year and moving forward.
How are you finding your new role?
The groundcare sector is well known for being friendly one. Since moving into the Business Development Manager role at Kubota's groundcare division in December, I have enjoyed a warm welcome from our dealer network, many of whom I have known for the last few decades.
I've spent that last 20 years at Kubota and, over this time period, I've occupied many different roles within the company. Thanks to this, when moving into my new position, I already had a really solid understanding of the UK business and our customer base, alongside the connections and tools often required to make swift decisions and keep business processes fluid. I also possessed an understanding of the Kubota business as a global entity, having worked closely with our European and Japanese colleagues over the years.
These experiences have enabled my transition to be a smooth one. I have taken on my new responsibilities whilst continuing to work closely with the rest of the wider team at Kubota and engage with our dealer network. I'm looking forward to seeing what the future holds for our groundcare division.
Can you tell us about Kubota's latest updates to its groundcare range?
From a product perspective our main focus at the moment is to ensure that our line up meets the Stage V emissions regulations which impact products over 19kw. Being the largest manufacturer in the world of industrial diesel engines under 100hp, Kubota are particularly well placed to meet these new regulations and adopt the compliant engines into our groundcare product portfolio.
We're also currently placing an emphasis on customer and machine support. As part of a push around these areas, we've launched Kubota Care. This is a fully Kubota-backed extended warranty option, meaning that customers can now fully cover their machines against unforeseen expensive repair costs for 5 years. This can help to ensure that a customer's machine is maintained to the highest possible standards and serviced by Kubota-trained service engineers. The entire warranty can be wrapped up as part of a maintenance agreement and by utilising it - alongside the Kubota Finance options we offer - customers can get more value for their money than ever before.
Are there any machines in particular that are proving popular at the moment? Why do you think this is?
The zero-turn mower market is one that grows each year. These machines make the task of grass cutting quicker, more efficient and more enjoyable. Our ZD1211 model falls under this range of machinery. Designed to offer faster, improved cutting performance, whilst ensuring that user ease and comfort are still front of mind, this machine is proving popular with our customers.
Each year, more and more people are seeing the benefit of cutting around obstacles in on swift pass, therefore we expect this market to continue to grow moving forward.
What do Kubota customers typically look for when it comes to groundcare machinery? How does Kubota look to deliver on this?
Typically, customers are looking for high quality machinery that delivers on reliability, efficiency and cost.
Having operated within the UK market since the 70's, Kubota brings decades of experience and expert knowledge to the table. We support our customers through their buying decisions and then provide a high standard of after care.
Put simply, over the years, our products have spoken for themselves. That's how we have the reputation we have today; as a reliable company that provides sound products and caters to its customers. The important role that our strong dealer network plays in this cannot be overstated. They ensure that our customers' expectations are not only met but exceeded.
Our end goal is always to align our services and products to our customers' needs; whether that's today or in the future.
What are your plans for Kubota's groundcare division moving forward?
Kubota is an engineering company at heart, so from a product design point of view we know that the machines of tomorrow are being designed today and we always try to be at the fore-front of this.
On the UK business front, we will look to further focus on the aftersales market, with the Kubota Care extended warranty packages, maintenance agreements, leasing and other finance options from Kubota Finance.
Do you think that client demand is likely to change and how?
Customers will always demand more. After all, everyone wants to develop their business in order to outpace their competitors. This is true of every sector, whether it is groundcare, manufacturing or even retail. In the groundcare space, having the right machinery can play a big part in standing out from the crowd and delivering on productivity and efficiency goals.
Although we can't be certain about what customers will be demanding from their groundcare machinery in the future, Kubota needs to be one step ahead of the curve. As such, we continually investing in innovations - such as electric technologies - in order to be better than 'the best' and keep our customers happy.