Spaldings, Britain’s leading distributor of after-market soil-engaging components for cultivators, subsoilers and seed drills, has secured an exclusive distribution agreement for Dutch Openers tine drill coulters in the UK and Ireland.

The Lincoln-based company has previously shared distribution rights for the Canadian manufacturer’s advanced products but the new exclusivity agreement will enable the two operations to work closely on product enhancements and new designs.

The Dutch ‘Universal’ coulter range offers a choice of easily fitted low-draft points for single- and double-row seeding, band sowing and liquid or solid fertiliser placement.

They can be installed on a number of tine drill makes and models used in the UK and Ireland, with replacement bodies or frogs making it easy to convert to the new points, while the single roll pin that secures them in place makes it quick and easy to fit replacements.

New management team

Securing the exclusivity agreement was one of the first initiatives of a new management team at Spaldings following the acquisition of a majority shareholding by British private equity firm Inspirit Capital.

Spaldings chairman David Fox, chief executive Paul Bray, and chief operations officer Nigel Whelan know the business inside out having previously held senior management positions in the company.

“We’ve all returned to our old desks with a lot of experience and knowledge about what makes Spaldings a successful business,” says Paul Bray. “This boils down to providing customers with an attractive product range and first-rate service, whether they order by telephone, online or through our field sales team.

“One of our first actions upon returning to Spaldings was to recruit additional field sales personnel to create geographically smaller and more manageable sales areas, because we know customers appreciate the personal interaction and service they get from our specialists on the ground.

“At the same time, we’re enhancing our digital presence for those who prefer to place orders online, with a new app for mobile devices and an updated website to come.”

Distribution agreement benefits

As a result of the exclusive distribution agreement with Dutch Openers, supplies of genuine Dutch coulters from other outlets will be run down.

“There are non-genuine look-alikes in circulation but you have to question whether they meet Dutch Industries’ high standards for design, the quality of materials and manufacturing techniques,” says Paul Bray. “If it doesn’t say ‘Dutch’ on the part, it’s not a Dutch opener.”

Drill manufacturers Horsch and Sumo will continue to be supplied direct by Dutch Openers, with Spaldings handling replacement and conversion kit sales for drills already in service.

An important consequence of the new agreement is that the engineering development departments of Spaldings and Dutch Openers will work together with a view to enhancing existing products and developing new ones suited to European soils and establishment techniques.

As Paul Bray emphasises: “Spaldings is not just a distributor, we have our own technical staff and advanced engineering technologies to develop product lines like our SPL Ultra range of high-performance subsoiler and cultivator points and wings.

“We pride ourselves on our in-house design and innovation, and our engineers are now in regular contact with their counterparts at Dutch Openers who have visited our facilities and customers up and down the country to help develop new drill coulter products for the UK and markets elsewhere in Europe.”