Kipp Curtis and Steve Van Mouwerik of Pacific Ag visited Krone world headquarters in Germany in October. While Pacific Ag has worked closely with the equipment manufacturer’s North American operation for some time, the trip marked the first meeting with owners of the parent company in Germany.
Pacific Ag made the decision to purchase Krone balers over a year ago, factoring not only the equipment’s record of performance, but also the manufacturer’s capacity to provide service and support. Ultimately, however, Pacific Ag chose Krone because of the unique opportunity for the two companies to partner. “We can collaborate with them on the technical side,” Steve explained.
Given Pacific Ag’s higher-than-average levels of equipment use, patterns present more quickly, more clearly, and more definitively. That information is useful to a manufacturer that is focused on continuous improvement and innovation. The dialog also allows for optimization of components for more demanding, high-intensity environments, benefiting customers that operate on a large scale like Pacific Ag.
“The relationship allows us to improve our operations in tandem with Krone’s continuous effort to further develop their products and processes,” Steve explained.
“When we meet with Krone, it’s always about what’s best for both of us,” Kipp said. “We have a shared vision, with both companies focused on growing their respective operations in North America,” he added, noting that Krone’s unique focus on hay and forage equipment allows the company to give more attention to research and development efforts.
The two-day visit included a tour of Krone’s manufacturing facility and headquarters, where Steve and Kipp met product engineers, international salespeople, parts and service personnel, department heads, and two generations of Krone family leadership.
“This is a fourth-generation family company, and we really like that,” Steve said. “We appreciated the opportunity to get to know them and to understand how they’ve grown to be the company they are today. We consider Krone to be a part of our success,” he said.
Krone was founded in Germany in 1906, and established North American operations in 1973. It is still owned and operated by the Krone family, which has hands-on involvement in the day-to-day operations of the company.
Steve Van Mouwerik is vice-president of operations for Pacific Ag. Kipp Curtis is general manager and operations manager for the company’s Pacific Northwest and California division.