Heritage Tractor Moves Into Ukrainian Market With Support From CS Kansas City
Dealership Powers Through Pandemic With Overseas Sales
Heritage Tractor is a 21-store John Deere dealership based in Baldwin City, Kansas, with other stores in Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas, and trade territory expanding to Nebraska and Oklahoma. In February 2020, Kurt Miller, Director of Sales for Heritage Tractor was connected with the U.S. Commercial Service (CS) Kansas City team as the company started thinking strategically about international sales. Heritage wanted to focus on building long-term sales partnerships overseas instead of reacting to one-off inquiries as they had been in the past. To accomplish this, Heritage expressed an interest in customized market research to help identify where to focus their international efforts.
During this initial exchange, CS Kansas City staff suggested a conversation with the Rural Export Center in Fargo, North Dakota. The joint call was scheduled to discuss customized market research projects through the Rural America’s Intelligence Service for Exporters (RAISE) program. Heritage Tractor registered to participate in the RAISE market research, including a Matrix, Polling, and a 3-Country Research Report. “To start building relationships globally with no experience is very overwhelming and ends up with potential time wasted and time spent in the wrong areas. Utilizing US Commercial Service has enabled us to be better at what we do: focusing on building relationships and selling machinery. Working with US Commercial Service out of Kansas City and the Rural Export Center has helped us have a bullseye approach with selling globally,” said Miller.
Based on the results of the RAISE matrix, and additional outreach conducted by the CS Kansas City team to gather feedback from in-country specialists, Heritage selected Ukraine as a market with strong potential for used agricultural equipment, undertaking an International Partner Search (IPS) beginning July 2020. The final IPS report was delivered in September 2020.
To compete with lower-cost competitors globally and at the recommendation of CS Ukraine, Heritage also expressed interest in exploring financing opportunities. CS Kansas City staff facilitated an introduction to the Export-Import Bank’s (EXIM) local point of contact to learn about international financing opportunities. Following this call, Heritage decided to offer EXIM financing to prospective international buyers and partners for the first time.
In February 2021, Heritage was contacted by a Ukrainian company about a potential sale. The buyer was one of the companies from the final IPS report; nevertheless, CS Ukraine offered to complete an International Company Profile (ICP) to support the company’s additional due diligence in the market. Heritage proceeded with the sale and envisions selling additional used equipment into Ukraine.
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