Dealers, Dealers, Farming

Building upgrades and new dealer-principal for G&J East Kadina

G&J East Kadina is investing in its future, with the South Australian dealership expanding its footprint and appointing a new dealer principal

Plenty has been happening for South Australian multi-franchise dealer G&J East Kadina.

The appointment of a new dealer principal, facility upgrades to its main building and a rebrand courtesy of a fresh logo speak to a business building positive momentum.

Based in the state’s Yorke Peninsula, north-west of Adelaide, G&J East Kadina has behind it more than 90 years of history – along with the associated trust in its local community – but has also started 2024 with both eyes firmly focused on the future.

Part of this future focus has been the introduction of Stephen Murdoch as dealer principal, who joined in mid-February.

While Murdoch is an injection of new blood, an area in which G&J East Kadina has excelled is through the loyalty and experience of its staff, who have become trusted advisors to the community it serves.

One example of this is Colin Adams, who has spent 39 years with the dealership and previously had the dealer principal role.

Murdoch says his recent appointment was “simply because of the growth in the business”, with Adams’ role essentially being split in two to suit each of their strengths.

“Colin is still with the business and we’ve just decided to split his role, so that I would manage the dealer principal side and Colin would manage the sales side of the business,” Murdoch says.

“He has all the customer relationships dating back 39 years and so it was more advantageous to keep Colin on the customer relationship and sales side, and then I came on to manage the business side.”

Murdoch’s career has been spent in the mining industry, working in the dealer side in places as diverse as Africa and former Soviet republics, but decided to go back to his roots after returning to Australia late last year.

“I’m a farmer’s son, so I’ve come out of the rural side of things with my childhood and am getting back to my roots,” he says.

“Getting away from mining and back into the ag side of business was a good fit for me.

“I come out of a very large corporate world in mining and am really enjoying this environment here where it’s much more approachable, friendly, family run and just welcoming.

“The drawcard for me was it being a family-owned business and I’m really enjoying it.

“It’s not just me – we’ve got several new team members in the sales department as well and that’s brought a new energy to the business.”

An expanded showroom allows machinery to be displayed undercover. Image: G&J East Kadina

The positive sentiments have been echoed by G&J East Kadina’s existing staff, including administration manager Kylie Weltman.

“From a staff point of view, all staff are really happy to welcome Stephen on board and are really looking forward to the future with him at the helm,” she says.

Fresh digs

Murdoch’s appointment comes at a time where G&J East Kadina has invested heavily into its facilities.

The business is still owned by the East family – now being into the fourth generation – who decided it was time to upgrade the premises on Goldsworthy Street in Kadina.

Its newly expanded showroom and customer service centre measures 192m long and 22m wide, providing plenty of space for indoor displays of the farm machinery it sells.

“Matthew and Alex East decided it was a good time to upgrade the facilities because they wanted the ability to bring machines undercover,” Murdoch says.

“Farmers come in over the winter period and want to inspect something, so being able to do that inside a building makes a difference and provides a modern look, while the upgrades also giving staff extra offices to work out of.”

A redesigned company logo also shows G&J East Kadina’s desire to think and plan for the future.

Big brands

In the past four years, G&J East Kadina has been recognised as a Claas Harvest Centre – and is the only one in South Australia.

The Claas branding is immediately evident when approaching the dealership and its machinery is prominent.

While the manufacturer’s Lexion combine harvesters are a popular machine in the grain growing Yorke Peninsula, it is far from being all the dealership offers.

“We’re really wanting to get the message out there that we’re not just a Lexion harvester dealership,” Murdoch says.

“We offer a full range of Claas tractors – wheeled and tracked machines with all the smart technology – we’re not just selling Claas harvesters.

“I see a lot of upside in terms of the synergies between selling a farmer a Claas harvester, which are the market leader in that space, and then taking a Claas tractor alongside of that, and us being one port of call for service and parts.”

Claas machinery and branding feature prominently at G&J East Kadina. Image: G&J East Kadina

Service and parts are also important aspects of G&J East Kadina’s offering.

In addition to offering new and used farm machinery, the dealership stocks plenty of genuine spare parts for the equipment it sells.

Its service team is factory trained and has an extensive range of experience in all manner of machinery repairs and service, offering both on-site and off-site servicing.

Claas machinery is G&J East Kadina’s biggest product, along with other Claas Harvest Centre brands such as Amazone and Väderstad.

As a multi-franchise dealer though, it means G&J East Kadina customers also have access to machinery from the likes of Massey Ferguson, Deutz-Fahr, Fendt and Hardi.

“We’re a multi-franchise dealer that can service a multitude of farmers’ requirements, and that’s across all brands, whether it’s sales, service or parts,” Murdoch says.

“All of the products we sell are very good quality products.”

G&J East Kadina is located on Goldsworthy Street and its full product range can be viewed online at www.gjeast.com.au and www.claasharvestcentre.com

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