Smith Power Equipment (SPE) specialises in high-ticket capital equipment for farmers that includes tractors, quad bikes, generators, forklifts, golf utility vehicles and golf carts and according to SPE communications officer, Robert Keir, the importance of creative financial solutions and good service from the finance house in closing the deal is often underestimated.
“I have seen the power of creative financial solutions from Merchant West time and again. Today one has to accept that there is basic product parity in the market and the so-called extraneous factors like service and financial solutions that fit the customers’ needs are most often the factors the ultimately make or break the deal. In this regard we owe Merchant West a significant debt of gratitude,” says Keir.
Merchant West’s director of Commercial Asset Finance, Vic Viljoen, says the company’s main competitive advantage is its ability to give customers a personalised service and to tailor the financial solution to their specific needs. “While we are one of the largest privately owned financial institutions in South Africa, we are still small enough to provide our clients with solutions that take their own unique challenges into account,” he says.
He adds that SPE and Merchant West have been particularly successful together in the agricultural market, which represents a dynamic landscape that demands operational and financial innovation. Merchant West’s underlying success in this regard is that it provides finance options that are designed to meet the challenges farmers face with regards to input, operations and revenue and it designs products with the flexibility that enables repayment linked to production cycles. “Crucially this allows customers to pay when they have the cash,” says Viljoen. “Understanding this ethos is what sets Merchant West apart from our competitors.”
Viljoen says that while Merchant West’s macro business strategy makes the ultimate difference to customers, it is reinforced by the company’s willingness to make extremely competitive offerings in the detail of the deal. “For example we offer operating rentals with no deposit and we are able to offer interest rates as low as Prime -3% on selected products. We also offer ‘off balance sheet’ financing which has many advantages including: no initial capital outlay; improved cash flow by maintaining current working capital; lease payments are fully tax deductible and VAT is paid monthly,” he says.
Keir says that while Merchant West’s unique financial approach has made a palpable difference to SPE business, the other side of the coin is their excellent customer service. “All the financial wizardry would be to no avail if the customer didn’t get the personalised and caring service they deserve when investing large sums of money. In this regard Merchant West is exemplary,” he says.
Henri Goosen long-time client of Merchant West concurs. “I have been a Kubota user for some time and apart from the great product I am faithful to the brand because of the excellent service I have received from Merchant West. They make life much easier with their innovative and forward thinking finance ideas,” Goosen says.
Viljoen says that Merchant West has a holistic approach to service and that this objective is achieved through the collective expertise of their high-calibre teams. “In short our philosophy can be summed up as: anchored by integrity, driven by imagination and inspired by our clients,” he concluded.
MERCHANT WEST (PTY) LTD
P.O. Box 651098 Benmore 2010
Tel. +27 11 305 9400
Fax. +27 86 743 0147
This article has been feature on ProAgri’s Website [click here]
This article was published Supply Chain Today – Dec 2015