The history of HORSCH Ukraine is impressing and due to a large team, it has developed at a tearing pace – very successfully and with a new company site which was inaugurated at the end of July.
On the 1st of June 2009 everything started rather moderate, not to say small, with the foundation of the Ukrainian HORSCH daughter in Polkownitsche. Of course, HORSCH had already been present in the Ukraine before with its partner Agro Soyuz, but at that time there was a clear focus on direct seed drills with tines like HORSCH sells them very successfully for example in Kazakhstan. In 2009, HORSCH started at full speed in the Ukraine – for since that time a product range that is adapted to the respective region is sold.
The Ukraine is divided into several agronomic zones: from the high yield sites with stable rainfall in the west to the poor steppe in the east.
Adapted equipment and top quality of the machines is crucial – in fact across all farm sizes and also across all engine-power classes of the tractors. For in the Ukraine a certain engine-power class that optimally matches the HORSCH machines dominates among all arable farms. It starts with the Belarus class (80 to 120 hp) which, however, is decreasing via the main class with 300 to 350 hp to the premium class with around 600 hp. “For us as a manufacturer this helps a lot as we can easily plan a certain demand for standard working widths. For example, a Joker with 8 metres or a Tiger with four metres for 350 hp for tillage, eight or twelve metre working width for seed drills and all of them with pre-configured equipment options”, Johannes Kluth, managing director of HORSCH Ukraine, says. The typical customer in the Ukraine farms between 1,000 and 5,000 hectares. These farms are mainly run by individuals. Smaller holdings own between 10,000 and 50,000 hectares and the large holdings up to 600,000 hectares (see the article about Kernel in terraHORSCH 21/2020).
“One secret of our success in the Ukraine, however, is the service”, Johannes Kluth points out. “Half of our approximative 33 employees are practice-oriented sales and especially service specialists. Moreover, there are five colleagues in the warehouse/logistics department who guarantee a fast spare parts supply and, of course, the colleagues from marketing, accounting and HR. But it is our excellent service that made us well-known all over the Ukraine. Just one example: We had some problems at a machine because of oxidised plug connections. Even though this problem only occurred after three years, we replaced these plugs at all machines as a gesture of goodwill. Word got around and thus our service surely is one of the reasons why in the meantime we have become one of the market leaders in the country.”
In the Ukraine, technology “Made in Germany”“ is highly respected and a guarantor of quality. For with the extreme farm sizes an eight metres compact disc harrow might work up to 10,000 hectares per year if a farm manager uses it in shifts all year round. A Maestro 24 works more than 3,000 hectares during the few weeks in the season. But the HORSCH team alone would not be able to support the whole country at the same time. This is why HORSCH for many years has been co-operating very successfully with four large sales partners: Poletehnika mainly is in charge of the eastern part of the country and selected nationally active large farms, Zolochiv TH is responsible for the western part and Ropa as well as Astra take care of Central Ukraine.
It is the sales partners who pass on their knowledge about service and the use of the machines to the farms. Especially in large holdings this is a crucial factor of success. A Maestro can only work more than 3,000 hectares in a few days if the driver of the machine is perfectly trained with regard to handling the machine and in case of an error message knows immediately what to do. “Only by an intensive theoretical and practical training of the engineers and drivers we can guarantee a smooth use of the machines“, Johannes Kluth adds. “The drivers of the machines even get certificates. With HorschConnect we want to make the service even more efficient and sort of put it to the next level by detecting and resolving possible problems or wrong settings earlier.”
With HorschConnect digitalisation finds its way into the sector of mounted implements. The focus is on the flexible control of selected machine functions via the smartphone by means of the MobileControl app as well as the transmission of machine and telemetry data into the HorschConnect Telematics Portal. This allows for a central insight into as well as the administration and documentation of all relevant machine data.
To make sure the sales partner can build up this knowledge they are trained every year by the HORSCH product and service experts. And with the new company headquarters at Veliki Soltanivka this sector will become even more professional. “The new company site is optimal for our purposes“, Johannes Kluth explains. “The location - about 30 km south of the capital Kiev and conveniently located directly at the motorway to Odessa – offers numerous advantages. And our sites can also easily be accessed via the two airports at Kiev.“ The area of the new building amounts to approx. 3,000 m² and is divided into four parts: a central spare parts warehouse, a repair shop with gantry cranes, a soundproof training hall which is accessible for vehicles and offices. One special feature is that you can see the machines already from the training rooms and there is a direct access from the training room into the machine hall for an optimum mix of theory and practice. A total of about 4.5 million Euro was invested into the new site. The infrastructure (gas, power, water, …) on the 14-hectare area has already been designed for a further growth in the years to come. “If you consider the number of rows sold in the single grain sector, we already are the market leader in the Ukraine with the Maestro. And with the new site we want to extend this lead even further“, Johannes Kluth proudly states.
The Maestro single grain seed drill is one of the most popular products in the Ukraine. The main crops of the country are maize, wheat, sunflower and rape. “This is where the Maestro shows its strengths. But the seed drill Pronto NT, too, is a success story “Made in Ukraine” and was developed in a very close co-operation with the sales partner Poletehnika. The company founder and managing director Alexander Mistyuk himself owns several arable farms with about 45,000 hectares where mainly wheat and sunflowers are grown. For sunflowers he, of course, relies on the Maestro. For sowing maize, the Pronto NT was developed which has been perfectly adapted to the agronomic requirements and the infrastructure of the farms in the south-eastern region where minimum tillage prevails. Already about five years ago Alexander Mistyuk emphasised in a terraHORSCH interview: “The Horsch brothers are farmers themselves. They know the requirements and the problems, and they act accordingly. At the same time, HORSCH is not only a European company, but a global player. Already today they think about what will happen tomorrow. And they are passionate about what they do. And as the same is true for me, we get along so well.” Mistyuk was able to calculate in detail the market potential a machine like the Pronto NT could have in the Ukraine. Unlike the Pronto DC the narrow wavy discs of the NT only open a small gap in the soil where the TurboDisc coulters then place the seed in the wet soil. In addition to the Maestro, the Tiger MT and the Joker RT, the Pronto NT is one the mainstay of sales in the Ukraine.
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