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Agrimarketing : April 2008
30 AgriMarketing April 2008 FEATURE STORY Perched on a hillside, between Iowa City and Des Moines along I-80, is the epitome of agri-marketing success ---KINZE Manufacturing, Inc. As any veteran agri-marketer has observed over the years, the highly visible facility seemingly adds a new building to its location each year. The company's President and owner, Jon Kinzenbaw, founded the company in 1965 after returning to his home area near Ladora, IA, fol- lowing a stint in the service. Raised on a 160-acre farm in central Iowa, Kinzenbaw originally founded the company as a welding shop in Ladora where he repaired, and then began inventing, farm equipment. Armed with a $3,665 loan to purchase a 1,400-square-foot build- ing, parts and tools, the 21-year-old started a venture that has become one of the largest privately held U.S.-based manufacturers and mar- keters of farm equipment. Today, KINZE Manufacturing is a living testament to the good old-fash- ioned entrepreneurship, ingenuity, and work ethic for which Ameri- cans are known. "The company manufactures and markets two principle product lines: planters and auger wagons for grain handling," says KINZE COO Brian McKown. McKown, a graduate of Missouri State University with a B.S. in Industrial Management, joined the company in 2003 in his current posi- tion. Previously, he was located in the Kansas City area where he was with Emerson Electric and Grant Thornton, LLP. "Our corporate offices and man- ufacturing facilities now occupy more than 20 acres under roof," reports KINZE VP Susanne Veatch, who is Kinzenbaw's daughter. A graduate of Iowa State University with a B.S. in Management Informa- tion Systems, in addition to being a full-time employee of KINZE, she and her husband also farm in the area. She joined the company in 2005 and previously was a Systems Analyst with Caterpillar in Aurora, IL. "KINZE now has approximately 550 full-time employees," Veatch says. "Our receiving department logs in nearly 35-million pounds of steel each year and handles an average of 5 to 7 truckloads per day. We have more than 13,000 active parts and 8,000 repair part numbers in stock at all times to support equipment in the field." KINZE owns a fleet of semi- trucks and trailers, she reports, uti- lizing GPS tracking for up-to-the- minute scheduling. "We haul a high percentage of our outbound prod- ucts to dealers," Veatch says, "and we backhaul raw steel and compo- nents for manufacturing." All KINZE products are manu- factured at the Williamsburg plant. "We ship the basic unit to the dealer and they install any additional fea- tures the customer has specified," Veatch says. MARKET LANDSCAPE The KINZE heritage begins with its array of innovative products (see timeline). "Planters represent approxi- mately 90% of the company's rev- enues with the balance coming from the sale of auger wagons," says McKown. "Geographically, we pri- marily serve the Corn Belt and east- ern Canada. We also export to the former Soviet block countries plus Australia and New Zealand." Industry experts estimate that KINZE planters have a market share in its geographic region of 40% which is comparable to John Deere's share. The remaining market is served by Case IH, Great Plains and White. "KINZE currently manufactures 13 planter models," McKown says. "They range in size from 4 to 36 WHAT'S IN A NAME AND A LOGO? In high school, Jon Kinzenbaw began using the name Kinze because it was shorter and simpler than Kinzenbaw. He reports, "In 1967, a friend created the KINZE Man logo, using the "K" to form the figure and the index finger to dot the 'I' on KINZE." AM Kinzenbaw KINZE Manufacturing INNOVATION SPELLS SUCCESS by Lynn Henderson, Editorial Director KINZE Manufacturing INNOVATION SPELLS SUCCESS by Lynn Henderson, Editorial Director
May 2008 Supplement