Five minutes with… Keith Hallam

five-minutes-withI began my career as a commercial apprentice with Massey Ferguson at its Banner Lane factory in Coventry, partly following in the footsteps of my father and grandfather who both worked there. They, however, were both skilled engineers and unfortunately that gene didn’t get passed on or I still haven’t found it yet, as my practical skills are somewhat lacking.

During my apprenticeship I worked in many different departments, including the tractor assembly shop, learning how the business functioned. After this, it was the market research function that I decided appealed most and so I joined the UK Market Intelligence department.

Over the years I moved on and had responsibility for market research and forecasting for various regions of the world. Towards the end of my career (now with AGCO) I had responsibility for research and forecasting in Europe, Middle East and Africa for the MF, Fendt, Valtra and Challenger brands working closely with my colleagues in these divisions of AGCO.

Now, working with Systematics International, my main objective is improving data quality, especially of the tractor registration data in Europe which Systematics provide to its clients.

The many years spent in the agricultural machinery industry has been invaluable as a lot of the original registration data from various countries in Europe is unrecognisable in terms of brand, model and kw/hp. Many are very old models that I can recall from the earlier days of my working life and some have to be tracked down from a variety of sources that I have used in the past. Some ‘model’ names turn out to be manufacturers’ production code or an engine identifier.

For example, in recent Polish registration data there was a reported a Massey Ferguson tractor model called R 5500 with a power rating of 37kw. From experience, I knew that Massey Ferguson never produced a model of that name, but I did recall it as a Landini model sold in the 1970s and 1980s. A quick check with the Systematics shipments model survey confirmed it. That was an easy one but many can take considerable time to correctly identify. Nevertheless, each correct identification is another step in improving the data quality.

My association with Systematics International goes back to the mid-1970s when Massey Ferguson, along with other major agricultural machinery manufacturers, belonged to the tractor shipment exchange when I used this information in many research projects and programmes. However, the company of today is vastly different, especially since the Management Buy Out by Christine and Manuel.

It is now much better focused on satisfying clients’ requirements and is well managed and flexible in its approach. It has a small but very capable and experienced team who can respond quickly and accurately to the various challenges it faces in an ever changing business climate. The fact that Christine and the company have won various local business awards in recent years speaks for itself.

I look forward to continue to work with them in the future to maintain and improve data quality and client satisfaction.


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