Paul Alcock is joining the Vantage England & Wales team as an Area Sales Manager to cover the North Wales and West Midlands region.
Bringing with him a range of experience within the agricultural industry, Paul’s past experiences include working in aftersales, technical support and in contractor instructor roles both in Eastern Europe and West Africa.
Drawing on all this experience gives him a unique view on his customers’ needs. Farmers will be sure to find a customer focused approach with Paul. You can see he has a passion for the sector and the people within it.
When it comes to finding precision farming solutions, focusing on what is important to customers and their needs is key. For Paul the attraction to this role was being involved in the application of technology in agriculture. “Vantage are an established leader in the UK within the field of precision ag technology.” he says, “working with the Trimble brand gives you the confidence that you are providing your customers with the best solutions which will work for them”. The Trimble product range allows customers to seamlessly join up there operations regardless of manufacturer or brand. With this diversity in product range farmers are guaranteed to find a solution that works for them.
Mark Griffiths, National Sales Manager says “Paul brings a lot of experience to the sales team having worked for equipment manufacturers in the past managing aftermarket and distribution channels. The area of North Wales and West Midlands is diverse in farm type and due to its geography, our support of the dealer networks will be key in getting more of our solutions to the end users”.
In terms of value to the farmer, Paul wishes to focus on a more rounded approach “Not only do I want to support my customers, but also the dealer network in my area, OEM’s and users alike” Supporting all business networks provides a stable and consistent product offering to all customers and end users. Paul will bring experience of business to business sales and knowledge of how dealers support customers, important for this sales region.
Although generally considered the industrial centre of the country the West Midlands plays an important role in our country’s agricultural industry too, with a diverse range of farming applications taking place within the counties that make up this region. Put that together with the northern regions of Wales and you have an exciting area of the country to be working within.
Traditionally we think of precision ag technology solely for the arable farmer however as Mark goes on to say “Often we underestimate the advantages our products can bring to areas associated with livestock, this is something we would like to improve and Paul plays a large part in helping customers realise the full potential of their farms.”
There are great opportunities to develop the future of farming. With access to the Trimble product portfolio Paul will be able to deliver a connected farm and assist customers in making the most of their technology. Together growing and developing to build a stable farming future utilising technology which facilitates the industry to thrive.
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Precision farming can make a difficult job far quicker and less stressful – and the latest addition to the Vantage support team can certainly testify to that.
Paul Knights – who has a long and varied career in electrical and mechanical communications – has been appointed the new area sales manager for Norfolk and Suffolk, acting as the first point of contact for farmers using Trimble precision farming technology.
“After I got the job I had a test drive using Trimble GPS on my friend’s farm in Kent,” says Mr Knights. “I hadn’t sat in a tractor for some time, but within minutes I was able to use a 9.3m roller with pinpoint precision. I rolled a 50ha field, and it looked like perfectly corrugated cardboard – and I still felt as fresh as a daisy afterwards. If I hadn’t had the precision kit I would have been a gibbering mess trying to achieve that level of accuracy by myself. It’s just phenomenal.”
Mr Knights started his career in the Army’s Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers corps, before later moving into telecommunications engineering. “I also worked on sheep stations in Australia and cattle farms in New Zealand – I love their ‘can-do’ attitude.”
As a project field engineer with Nokia, he was piloted in to manage the most complex and remote mobile installations in Europe. “About 70% of the sites were very rural, so I was dealing with farmers and landowners and helping to solve their problems. The countryside is my passion and I think it’s vital to communicate effectively and treat the land with respect – and I bring that professionalism with me to my new role.”
A father of three boys, living in rural Norfolk, Mr Knights knows how important it is to fit in around farmers’ busy lifestyles. “I passionately believe in building a good rapport and maintaining a high level of support for the customer. Good communication is just common courtesy.”
Having trialled the Trimble technology himself, Mr Knights is more convinced than ever about the benefits it can bring to farmers. “Farmers are wanting to save time and effort, and become more profit orientated. I’m looking forward to making a positive impact, marketing and assisting with something which I know works and is the Rolls Royce of guidance systems. That makes the job so much easier and allows your conscience to say: ‘I’ve done something good today’.”
Richard Larke, the current sales manager for East Anglia, is becoming Vantage’s Trimble Agricultural Business Software sales manager with a focus on connecting farm information to help deliver more informed decisions. He will remain the sales manager for Cambridgeshire.
Mark Griffiths, national sales manager at Vantage England and Wales, says the addition of Mr Knight to the team will help the firm to become the best in the country for providing joined-up solutions for British agriculture. “Paul comes from a strong background in telecommunications; with all equipment becoming more connected it is important for us to have expertise in this area. Paul’s roots in the rural community and his experience of coordinating projects across challenging terrain will strengthen Vantage, where delivering solutions for our customers is our number one priority.”
Data-driven decisions can improve farm efficiencies significantly, and a new team member at Vantage England and Wales is set to show farmers the full benefits of precision technology.
Lily Nuttall, the firm’s new area sales manager for the South East, has considerable experience in helping farmers to benefit from data rather than simply recording it – and is looking forward to linking up her knowledge of software with evolving precision farming techniques.
“Precision farming is more cost effective – there’s reduced waste – and with the uncertainty of Brexit it is a logical move,” she says. “I’m really excited about getting to grips with different Trimble devices and how they can help individual farmers.”
Miss Nuttall grew up on a farm and studied agriculture at Plumpton College, Sussex, spending her middle year working with pedigree beef cattle, followed by a summer precision soil sampling with ACS Farm Image. Upon graduating, she secured a job at Farmplan, training and supporting farmers and agronomists using the data recording software.
“I saw the Vantage job advertised, and wanted to bring my practical knowledge and enthusiasm to the role. Trimble equipment and software is so flexible – even if you’ve got lots of different brands of machinery on your farm you can fit the Trimble system to it. Then if you sell a tractor, you can just take the hardware out and put it into the new one, it’s just so adaptable. And with complete record keeping of what you’ve done and where it makes everything so easy.”
Mark Griffiths, national sales manager at Vantage England and Wales, says Lily’s appointment will bring an important presence in a key region for the firm. “Around 10% of UK farms are found in this area, with strong potential for most crop types,” he explains.
“Lily will bring experience of data collection and analysis from a variety of equipment. Having the expertise to supply equipment correctly based on farmers’ requirements is important, and understanding how this equipment and data can be used to make informed decisions is of great value in this area of the UK.”
MapShots, Inc. and Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) today announced a new integration that allows all users of MapShots’ signature AgStudio® software platform to read as-applied maps and production data from Trimble’s Connected Farm™ solution. Previously, AgStudio software users could only read harvest data from the Connected Farm solution.
Now, users with current subscriptions to AgStudio software are able to communicate seamlessly with Trimble field devices and wirelessly transfer field data, as-applied maps and production data from planters, spreaders and sprayers as well as combines for harvest data. The recent integration taps into the new Trimble Connected Farm file transfer API, which provides data sharing access with the Connected Farm solution, and offers AgStudio software users more flexibility in importing data from an even wider variety of company systems.
“This integration with Trimble’s Connected Farm solution allows our customers greater access to information that streamlines production management,” said Ted Macy, vice president of operations at MapShots. “Whether it’s variable rate seeding, variable rate fertility, or managing harvest data, AgStudio software users now can import even more valuable information and make decisions based on activities carried out by Trimble guidance and steering systems.”
Trimble’s Connected Farm solution combines industry-leading hardware and software to increase efficiency and enable better decision making. Together, the two companies allow agricultural providers to better manage production data.
“The integration with MapShots AgStudio software fits into Trimble’s Connected Farm strategy to provide growers a more complete picture of their field activities while allowing them a choice of software tools to analyze data and make production decisions,” said Pierre-Andre Rebeyrat, strategic marketing director of Trimble’s Agriculture Division. “We are excited to welcome MapShots to the growing list of companies that have taken advantage of the Connected Farm file transfer API.”