Source: Southwest Booster

SWIFT CURRENT, Saskatchewan — JayDee AgTech's Swift Current, Saskatchewan, John Deere dealership held the grand opening of their new multi-million dollar facility at 2777 North Service Road West on Monday, March 2, relocating from their former home on the South Service Road.

Duane Smith, the CEO and general manager of JayDee AgTech, says the building project took approximately 20 months, but the company’s growing business had necessitated an expansion for awhile.

“It’s been a big project — it’s been such a long time coming. For a number of years, we were looking at how we could expand our old facility to facilitate continued growth in the company. We added one new shop to the old facility [on the South Service Road] back in 2004 and we thought that would be sufficient, but as we continued to sell and grow the market, we were just running out of room. Our parts space was short, we were renting space in other areas in town, we didn’t have enough room for staff, so we had them located elsewhere. Ultimately as we looked forward at what we needed, we decided to build a new facility. Back in 2012, I acquired land on the west side of town, so we developed that and got it ready for building.”

Smith says the team did their homework before breaking ground.

“We did a lot of research on a variety of facilities other dealers had built in Regina and Saskatoon; that process made it more effective for us, as we were able to look at their facilities and see what would work for us — see if it was working for the customer flow, what we did and didn’t like in the design and the look. From there, we hired our contractor in Swift Current — Chad Salter from Silverline Construction, and then worked with him and the architects and the designers in putting this facility together.”

Smith, who oversees nine dealerships across Saskatchewan, says the new facility has received positive reviews from customers since it opened its doors for business in the middle of January.

“The impressions of the customers have been fantastic. The other facility had numerous expansions over the years, but the first piece had been built in 1968, so we’d been at that location as a John Deere dealer for almost 50 years. This new facility has a significant ‘wow’ factor — from the time that you walk in, you see the front showroom, it houses actual large pieces of equipment. Then you see the size of the shop — with five cranes, and then you see our training theatre that seats up to 90 people for customer clinics that we used to house off site.”

The training theatre is a point of pride with both Duane Smith and the Pattison Group, who purchased JayDee AgTech in April 2014.

“The primary focus of the training theatre is for us to provide optimization clinics for our customers. The equipment we sell is sophisticated, and for the customers to get their best return on investment, they really need to understand the piece of equipment, how to use it, and how to apply it to their conditions. We host a lot of clinics where we’ll bring John Deere experts in, or our own in-house experts, and we’ll walk them through how to use the equipment — how to service it, how to set it properly for field conditions so that when they go out to their fields, they’ll maximize the production out of that piece of the equipment. There’s nothing like the training facility in Swift Current,” Smith said.

The new facility will continue having a positive economic spinoff for the region, according to Smith.

“For the construction contract, it was a pretty substantial economic impact for the area; well over $10 million for the contract. So even that has quite a spinoff with the materials bought, the labor and the sub-trades. Going forward, our plans are, with the expanded space, that we need to hire a lot more technicians — we want to add at least six more techs and some additional agrologists. So there's extra man power involved there. As the facility allows us to continually grow our market, it provides the resources to continue adding people.”