With more than 10,000 John Deere workers on strike as of this morning, Deere dealerships across Iowa are shifting gears for the long haul.
Curt Christoffel, store manager of the Le Mars Agri-Vision farm equipment dealership, says this strike has long been rumored so they were able to prepare. “We have been planning this for awhile,” Christoffel says. “The last several weeks, we have been ramping up our stock orders and our inventories at all of our locations to make sure that we are able to service these customers through the remainder of harvest.”
Christoffel says because of COVID-19, there have been previous challenges with suppliers getting the needed equipment. Plus, he says the Quad Cities-based company had a back-up strategy.
“John Deere has got a contingency plan right now in effect to where the people that are working in the offices have moved to the parts warehouses and some of the factories,” he says, “and they are continuing to make sure that we get parts out of the depots.” Christoffel says if they need to obtain a specific part, the dealership may remove that part from a machine that’s already sitting in an inventory lot.
“Most all of our harvest equipment is here, actually, I think all of our harvest equipment is here now,” Christoffel says. “We should be in good shape there. John Deere has got most of the things on hand that they need to keep the factories going for a very long time.”
He doesn’t anticipate this strike to last as long as the previous strike in 1986 which ran for 156 days. In terms of new equipment orders, Christoffel says John Deere will manufacture the sold equipment first, and produce stock equipment second, and he doesn’t think costs will increase much due to the strike.
AgriVision has 16 locations throughout southern and western Iowa.
(By Dennis Morrice, KLEM, Le Mars)