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Al

Simplicity getting a new CEO

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Al
HI, Just got a fax that Jim Wier is leaving Simplicity the first of July and will be replaced by a Briggs vice-president. I am at the house and don't recognize the name. Jim Wier has done an excellent job at Simplicity and has always been open and approachable. He has been a champion of The Dealer Line. He took a broken nearly bankrupt Snapper out of the mass merchants and turned it into a profitable company again. It goes to show that you may be a lot better off if you sell less volume and make some money than to be blinded by huge numbers from the mass merchants that they allow you no profit on. They have broke or ruined many companies, Mc Culloch, Homelite, Murray, the list goes on. Once they get you and you invest to meet their volume they keep squeezing the price and demanding concessions until you die. You end up selling to them at cost to meet your loan committments and raising your prices to your regular customers that built you, to survive. This then increases the mass merchants price advantage in the marketplace, which gives them more power. It is very scary how much control they have in the marketplace. Anyway. I hope the new person carries forward Jim's values and that Briggs doesn't Take the Very best company in the industry to deal with and destroy it. Al Eden

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Leroy
Al, Im sorry to hear that Jim Wier is being replaced as well. With Briggs being the owner of this extremely well respected label I would think they would be a little humbled at what they have in their grasp. I have contacted briggs to ask if they intend to introduce a larger unit such as the 4041 to compare with a Kubota 2910 under the Simplicity lable. They told me that they are seperate companys and i would have to ask Simplicity. I didn't say but I thought that Simplicity obviously does not care to compete, or cannot afford the tooling to compete at that level. The shareholders call the shots on most big companys. High profits and quick bucks may not be what these shareholders are made off. Steady durable income seems more like them. We will see.

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roma3112
i wonder if 10 years from now I will still be abel to get factory parts for my new sovereign like i can for my 3112. Hopefully with this briggs guy won't come planned obsolesence and a cheapening of the brand.

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AGCO918
Al, I hate to see Jim go also.I keep up todate on Simplicity,Agco& all the other major Farm Equipment manufactors and see what you are talking about companies going out of bussiness.I think market share is the name of the game ,i think you have to have a dealer network that will make the customer happy.I have always had Allis Chalmers/Simplicity products.They make the best lawn care uquip. in the Bussiness.They go out of their way for you.I have talked with Simplicitys Advertising Marketing Assistant and she has went out of here way to email me back with the info that i have requested.I am not a dealer just a person off the street and am very impressed with how well Simplicity does on getting back with me on my request of advertising items.I have even talked to the very nice lady on the phone.This is a company that wants your bussiness.I just hope the new man in charge doesnt burry the company like others have done. The LegacyXL would be a subcompact type tractor.I dont know how much bigger people want simplicity to go but i am impressed with my Agco2027 Diesel and i like it alot more than the Allis Chalmers 620 that i have .

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MikeES
I work for a big food company. This is how it works. If Jim is not leaving on his own and did not help select his successor then... the B&S guy is coming in to shake things up. It always happens; the take over company thinks it knows how to run the business better (ignorance and lack of experience and top atributes in big companies). They always say they will leave a company alone and slowly integrate them. NOT!!! The timing is a little slow for Briggs to tear into Simplicity (usually about 4 to 6 months) but it is now going to happen. Big Business Buss Words: Reorganization (downsizing), SKU rationalization (no more parts support for old tractors), Marketing strategies (get in bed with W**M**), Production efficiencies (crank out product and let the consumer do your Quality Assurance), Engagement (tell employees that they are involved but actually they are micromanaged from corporate), Associates (trust is good control is better) and lets not forget Lowest Cost Production (move production to slave labor country). All of the above can temporarily raise profits and big bonus for CEO, but long term we all know the story. I hope that this not going to happen, but when the new CEO came from Briggs instead of Simplicity....this is the same story told hundreds of times and NEVER successful.

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TimJr
I would have to say that I am a little worried by the news also. We wouldn't have our tractors and this club if the old machines were not so good. That's why we have them - they last and you can keep fixing them. I realize that time goes on etc.., but parts are where good money is made by a dealer, and company. Has anyone ever heard someone say - "I bought an MTD because my grandad had one". Not likely, but with us it's pretty common. I wish that someone at Simplicity had the wisdom and guts to speak up and realize that tractors like the 7000/7100 series are finally beginning to wear out and be traded off to people that are going to spend money on parts to fix them up again. Thing is, Simplicity is obsoleting more parts every year for things that really are not that old compared to Wonderboy. Here's hoping that Simplicity won't get screwed up and leave us out in the cold, because you can bet I won't buy a new tractor from a company that dumps its parts for its past models too quickly. Tim

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cwm1276
quote:
Originally posted by TimJr
Thing is, Simplicity is obsoleting more parts every year for things that really are not that old compared to Wonderboy. Here's hoping that Simplicity won't get screwed up and leave us out in the cold, because you can bet I won't buy a new tractor from a company that dumps its parts for its past models too quickly. Tim
Tim, What companies are left that sell old parts still, other than Simplicity? What brand would you buy brand new if not Simplicity. I only see Deere as the option, as much as I would rather support anyone else than Deere.

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Leroy
quote:
Originally posted by TimJr
I would have to say that I am a little worried by the news also. We wouldn't have our tractors and this club if the old machines were not so good. That's why we have them - they last and you can keep fixing them. I realize that time goes on etc.., but parts are where good money is made by a dealer, and company. Has anyone ever heard someone say - "I bought an MTD because my grandad had one". Not likely, but with us it's pretty common. I wish that someone at Simplicity had the wisdom and guts to speak up and realize that tractors like the 7000/7100 series are finally beginning to wear out and be traded off to people that are going to spend money on parts to fix them up again. Thing is, Simplicity is obsoleting more parts every year for things that really are not that old compared to Wonderboy. Here's hoping that Simplicity won't get screwed up and leave us out in the cold, because you can bet I won't buy a new tractor from a company that dumps its parts for its past models too quickly. Tim
Pin and Needles is the name of this game. This letter would get more milage if it were sent to Briggs and Stratton and Simplicity.

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Leroy
quote:
Originally posted by cwm1276
quote:
Originally posted by TimJr
Thing is, Simplicity is obsoleting more parts every year for things that really are not that old compared to Wonderboy. Here's hoping that Simplicity won't get screwed up and leave us out in the cold, because you can bet I won't buy a new tractor from a company that dumps its parts for its past models too quickly. Tim
Tim, What companies are left that sell old parts still, other than Simplicity? What brand would you buy brand new if not Simplicity. I only see Deere as the option, as much as I would rather support anyone else than Deere.
Agco supplies some if not many of Simplicity parts. Agco is not going anywhere soon. Agco absorbed Allis Chalmers if im not mistaken.

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Leroy
quote:
Originally posted by AGCO918
I am not a dealer just a person off the street and am very impressed with how well Simplicity does on getting back with me on my request of advertising items.I have even talked to the very nice lady on the phone.This is a company that wants your bussiness.I just hope the new man in charge doesnt burry the company like others have done. The LegacyXL would be a subcompact type tractor.I dont know how much bigger people want simplicity to go but i am impressed with my Agco2027 Diesel and i like it alot more than the Allis Chalmers 620 that i have .
Chad I have to travel 90 miles one way to lay hands on a Legacy XL But i have a big Kubota and a big JD dealer 4 miles down the road,directly accross the street from one another. They are within earshot of one another. The simplicity Dealer is 12 miles from me and will only carry 3 of the smallest riding mowers simplicty has. and 3 two wheeld speacial purpose units. He has no room. and He does not wish to risk a move for larger quarters. The influence that JD has and Kubota in this area is intimidating to the little guy. I want to see the Simplicity compete with the likes of JD and Kubota on the 1500 to 1800 lb class. Im sure with the help of Briggs and Stratton they can do it. Jim Weir does not have the purse strings. He has done a good job. They are not kicking him out or he would be gone. They are giving him time to perhaps relocate. To me, it does not look like a hostile take over. I called the Oregon City Simplicity dealer and asked his take on the low quantity of dealerships in this area and he said it had a great deal to do with the regional managers. He expects that Jim Wier's replacement who has worked with Jim for some time will change things so, Simplicty can go factory direct again, instead on the way things are. He did not go deeper than that. But protected territories is what I got out of it. The dealer did say with much enthusiasm that W***M*** is not part of Briggs and Strattons Plan. That writting is on every wall. He is sending me a, tri fold info packet or a broacher. Kubota and the other mfgrs put the specs online so you can have in print what the unit is capeable of and comparisons. Not so on the Legacy XL. I like to see where the horse power is measured. Zero-on the Backhoe spec, Zero-on the Bucket Cap, Zero-on towing Cap. Maybe now i can get some info. But my 7117 Mower deck will not fit the the Legacy XL, says the Dealer. It's tuff to get a craven fer something if ya can't lay ur eyes on it er hear it run.

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Leroy
http://www.simplicitymfg.com/news_room_12.php “The acquisition is another step in Briggs & Stratton’s strategy to present an ever more compelling value proposition to consumers of our products and superior returns to our shareholders. Consistent with the various elements of this strategy, we intend to redouble our efforts to build closer relationships with our OEM and retail customers from an operational, sales and marketing perspective. We will more aggressively promote our brands to consumers. We will engage our industry-leading service network to provide more effective customer support, and we will continue to extend our cost leadership value discipline to end products,” stated John S. Shiely, Briggs & Stratton’s chief executive officer. Simplicity Manufacturing is Briggs & Stratton’s second acquisition in three years that has focused on engine powered products. “We believe we have proven with our acquisition and subsequent performance in the generator/pressure washer segment that we can deliver on our value commitment to customers and shareholders. Simplicity is a solid company with several compelling brands, a strong position in the retail dealer channel for outdoor power products and superior product development capabilities. We look forward to utilizing these assets to further our high-value integration efforts with our traditional OEM customer base for mutual benefit,” said Shiely. “We’re pleased with the acquisition,” said James A. Wier, Simplicity Manufacturing’s chief executive officer. “We believe Briggs & Stratton has the financial resources and support to allow us to continue our current growth strategy. The management team and our production facilities will remain in place and continue to focus on delivering high value products sold through the independent dealer channel. We plan to operate as part of Briggs & Stratton Power Products Group and will aggressively seek synergistic opportunities with the entire Briggs & Stratton organization.”

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Leroy
If Jim leaves the company, he has done a good deed with Snapper, and he can do it again. I'm sure he is motivated to doing so. Hopefully he will leave a rich man. His turning Snapper around has made him a contender for any company who's bottom line is in the dump.

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wpr
I know better than to put much stock in a press release but this is at least a ray of hope that Briggs will not start pumping these tractors out at a lower quality for mass market sales: "The management team and our production facilities will remain in place and continue to focus on delivering high value products sold through the independent dealer channel." Who knows how long that will last but it's something to hold on to. On the bright side we know what kind of engines will almost certainly be in the new tractors from here on out :D

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bigcountry
quote:
Originally posted by cwm1276 Tim, What companies are left that sell old parts still, other than Simplicity? What brand would you buy brand new if not Simplicity. I only see Deere as the option, as much as I would rather support anyone else than Deere.
What's wrong with John Deere? I own 2 of them and regret nothing about owning them. John Deere is one of the last American strongholds in equipment and manufacturing that has not been sold out and still puts out a quality machine. The problem with Simplicity is that some of the dealers (the 2 in this area anyway) think that the machines are made of gold, especially in the price of the parts. For that very reason is why I put a 11hp Briggs carb kit meant for a JD 111 in the old Simplicity 4211 I had 2 years ago. It was actually cheaper for me to get the JD kit than it was to get the Briggs or the Simplicity kit, even though they were made for the same engine model 252707.

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cwm1276
bigcountry there is nothing wrong with Deere. The problem is all there seems to be left is Deere. The other farm tractor brands dealerships are closing, they used then run simplicity and cubs as sidelines. As IH went downhill Cub went to MTD and the big box stores. As the Agco and related shops have closed that has closed Simplicity dealerships. Even Deere went big box store with Home Depot. How is simplicity without the big pockets brand recongition supposed to compete. Now not trying to bad mouth here but point out facts and reconize them. How do we help? If we don't support the dealers with the parts then the dealer will go out of business, just compounding the problem.

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Leroy
quote:
Originally posted by wpr
I know better than to put much stock in a press release but this is at least a ray of hope that Briggs will not start pumping these tractors out at a lower quality for mass market sales: "The management team and our production facilities will remain in place and continue to focus on delivering high value products sold through the independent dealer channel." Who knows how long that will last but it's something to hold on to. On the bright side we know what kind of engines will almost certainly be in the new tractors from here on out :D
The lack of an independent dealer who is capeable of stocking anything is a problem where im at. But then we have two very big dealers for Kubota and JD and they do a lot of business. Mostly because they can deliver. Having a Briggs in everything will be just fine with me. Haveing Simplicty label continue is a good deal.

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TimJr
My deal on the parts that Simplicity has obsoleted parts that are wear items for stuff that was produced into the 1980's, like gears and bearings for transmissions. Now, I realize not too many of us have been into a 7016 trans, but we all know that now is the time frame when they are finally starting to actually wear out and fail, creating a need for new parts. I am not aware of very many, if any parts for a 1970's or 1980's Deere that you can't get. You can still get every decal for a 110. Try that with a 7016. I understand business and warehousing etc.., but with the takeover and every person who is replaced that has been with Simplicity for a while, comes the real possibility of the brand being diluted, and the past being forgotten. As for the AGCO stuff, they get it from Simplicity, just as always - short of the 300/400's, all Allis stuff was nothing more than a different color of Simplicity - not counting the cosmetics of some early models. An AGCO dealer can't get anything different than a Simplicity dealer, and vice/versa. I wouldn't get rid of the Simplicity tractors I have, regardless of what the company does. I guess if I run out of parts, I will park them and at least admire the style, and remember the work that they have done. The Simplicity brand recoginition problem is real around here also. Some dealers reputation also hurts the company. The area's sales reps have put in a couple of dealers within a couple of hours of me that seriously only have one new tractor in stock, and might, I mean might have some blades and belts around. That is not a good dealer, or representation of Simplicity. Regardless of brand, if you can't get it fixed or get parts, it's no good to anyone for everyday use. Keep mowin', Tim

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bigcountry
quote:
Originally posted by cwm1276The other farm tractor brands dealerships are closing, they used then run simplicity and cubs as sidelines.
That's not neccessarily true. There has been a sudden influx of Kioti, Kubota, Branson and Mahindra dealers opening up around here with good success. They aren't picking up Simplicity though as a sideline. They pick up Exmark, Encore, Hustler and all the ZTR manufacturers, as Simplicity's reputation in the ZTR market is not that good.
quote:
Even Deere went big box store with Home Depot. How is simplicity without the big pockets brand recongition supposed to compete.
The reason JD went into Home Depot was because they wanted to get a piece of the pie that typically Murray, Craftsman, and MTD have gotten in years past. They only sell the cheap models L-series and G-series there. The JD dealers hate that and so do I, but it's a profittable market for JD and they wanted to try and capture that. The dealers hate the warranty work associated with a HD sold JD and also the lost business from the person buying from HD.
quote:
How do we help? If we don't support the dealers with the parts then the dealer will go out of business, just compounding the problem.
Sometimes dealers shoot themselves in the foot with their customer service. I am very happy with one of the 2 Simplicity dealers here, the other, I could care less if they went out. Reason being, the staff is very unprofessional, the parts are sky high when compared to other dealers, and the service just plain sucks. The woman behind the service desk at that particular dealer was more interested in me and what I was doing after she got off that afternoon than my parts order, that's very unprofessional IMO. The dealer that I am satisfied with is very small however, and has Cub Cadet, Simplicity, Exmark, Encore, Honda, Stihl, and Ferris. So at any given time they only have 3 or 4 Simplicity Coronets in the showroom. The 4211H I owned 2 years ago is the oldest mower they have ever seen and they have been in business for 12 years. The owner knows what my Big Ten is, but has never seen one in person.

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dlcentral
I hope the best is yet to come for this Co. BUT the reality is its a box store world now.And there not going back sales no serv. is game they play,schluff it off[repair// warrty wk.] on some poor schhmo trying to run a business,I'll bet for '06 or maybe later, you'll be seeing Sim/Briggs stuff in the craphouses[box stores]They've done it with all the other maj. brands except maybe wheel hoar,?,

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Leroy
quote:
Originally posted by dlcentral
I hope the best is yet to come for this Co. BUT the reality is its a box store world now.And there not going back sales no serv. is game they play,schluff it off[repair// warrty wk.] on some poor schhmo trying to run a business,I'll bet for '06 or maybe later, you'll be seeing Sim/Briggs stuff in the craphouses[box stores]They've done it with all the other maj. brands except maybe wheel hoar,?,
Dave im sure you have good reason for feeling that way. As many would regretably agree with what, may yet be. The effort to build and engine correcty requires steps. Briggs&Stratton has that down and patented. They were not an overnight success and they are not known for making stupid decisions. The sheer quantitys of Briggs&Stratton parts and model numbers boggles my mind. This is a company thinkers and workers. I believe some engines were orderd to be cheap and Briggs complied for that order. I would venture a guess that the primary reason in most aquisitions of like businesses is for the shelf space or in this case flooring,or The label. In Briggs&Stratton's aqusition of Murray IMHO was because Murray owed Briggs&Stratton for the engines they had and it was the best way for Briggs&Stratton to reduce their loses. Simplicity is loved. So many people have been happy for so many years with this equipment and the walk behind equipment. Briggs&Stratton cannot lose market share. They own a big portion of the lawn and garden suppliers. Who among us hates Briggs& Stratton? I have never heard of anyone unsatisfied with Briggs. Perhaps pullers and racers but not on garden tractors for the job they were intended for. I would love to see Briggs&Stratton breakout with a Simplicity compact tractor that would go up against the Kubota B2910 30 Hp 4 cylinder. It will not be tomorrow but the box stores will need to feed the business as well MTD belongs there some folks want to buy throw aways,or cheapo's and sell them with a house. The way things look to me is Briggs&Stratton have their hands in the best pie. They are gaining market share in respect, resurrection and self disipline. They already had a good label now they have the best. If your fears ring true. Kubota and John Deere will still offer a product that wont be offerd in the big box stores.

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