Helping Farmers Stretch Capital Investment Dollars

Used Equipment Dealer Improves Inventory Identification/Location Method with Metalphoto®

J & S Tractors, LLCHundreds of years ago in the High Plains region of Texas, herds of buffalo and antelope roamed. Nowadays, these same plains are covered by crops, primarily cotton and peanuts. In fact, Texas is the number one producer of cotton in the United States, with more than two-thirds of that crop coming from the High Plains. It's the number two grower of peanuts in the country, providing nearly 500 million pounds of peanuts annually.

As a livelihood, agriculture is a tough business. Farmers are often at the mercy of weather conditions and agricultural pests, which can impact profitability. Additionally, farming requires capital investments, including reliable farm tractors, supply parts and accessories, land and building, seeds and other costs.

Often, farmers will opt to purchase used equipment. The advantages include being able to purchase an item at a lower price while avoiding the initial depreciation cost. Additionally, buying used tractors and accessories offer a wider range of choices than one manufacturer brand can.

MANAGING A FARM BUSINESS

In West Texas, J & S Tractors, LLC of Seminole, has grown into a successful business by helping farmers get more for their money. The family-owned used equipment dealership, located in Seminole, Texas, specializes in buying and selling well-maintained used John Deere and Kioti tractors, supply parts and accessories. In addition to carrying farm equipment, J & S Tractors also buys and sells used construction equipment. More recently, the company opened a second dealership 90 miles away in Lubbock, Texas.

In business for more than 20 years, J & S Tractors was founded by Jacob Loewen. Before starting his own company, he worked in a similar capacity with farmers in the West Texas region, developing a good reputation and a strong network of buyers and sellers.

"The labels...will last for years without needing replacement."

"We've made it our business to help people find the right equipment for their needs," says Nancy Loewen, assistant at J & S Tractors, LLC and Jacob's daughter.

In addition to its reputation and far-reaching network, the company gets repeat business because of the cost benefits associated with buying used equipment, Loewen says.

"Some of the equipment that we sell is not brand-new, but it's less expensive and still in great condition," she says. "If we don't have exactly what the person is looking for, we'll help them find what they want."

IDENTIFYING EQUIPMENT QUICKLY

J & S Tractors regularly gets new equipment through auctions and from people selling items. Because most people who buy used equipment like to inspect it first, the company uses a computerized system to make finding the item in their vast inventory easier.

"We keep all the information in our database so we know what we have in our yard," Loewen says. This data is then matched and manually tagged to each piece of equipment using plastic adhesive labels. However, these would crack, peel, and fade under the damaging sun. "They just didn't last," Loewen says, "making it difficult to reconcile the inventory back to our records."

"We really love what we are using from MPC."

Early in 2016, J & S Tractors wanted to use a better system to keep track of its equipment inventory. They turned to Metalphoto of Cincinnati for help in creating a serialized numbering system that was easier for them to use and maintain. MPC recommended Metalphoto anodized aluminum with superior resistance against sunlight, abrasion and extreme temperatures.

"The labels are manufactured with sequential identification numbers and have a permanent pressure sensitive adhesive on the back for easy attachment," Loewen says. "They will last for years without needing replacement."

The system that J & S Tractors now uses makes organizing and locating equipment much easier, especially since the company carries different models of tractors and parts.

"We really love what we are using from MPC," Loewen says. "The quality is much better than what we were using, and we won't have to guess what's on inventory or its location. We're very pleased with MPC."

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