For over 50 years, JR Perry Ltd. has been offering an unrivalled agricultural machinery solution to farmers in Kildare and surrounding counties. We dropped into the Athy head office and discussed the history and current well-being of this exceptional second-generation family business with managing director Stephen Perry.
When a company boasts an impressive track record that spans decades rather than years, then you know that particular business has been coming up trumps for its customers on a consistent basis.
One such entity is JR Perry Ltd. – an importer and distributor of agricultural machinery with bases in Athy, County Kildare and Kilkenny city which has been delivering the goods to farmers in the region for over 50 years, 42 of which have been spent as a New Holland dealer.
Reflecting on the genesis of the family business, MD Stephen Perry notes: “The company was formed in 1962 by my father John R Perry, who was known as JR. He started out with a hardware shop in Wicklow and then worked for another company in Athy before starting out on his own.”
From humble beginnings, JR Perry built the company up before handing the reins over to his son. Stephen has been working full time in the family business since 1980 and had been managing director since 2006.
A second branch was opened in Kilkenny in 1990, allowing more customers to benefit from the excellent JR Perry range of products and services.
Specialising in the sale and servicing of new and second-hand agricultural machinery, JR Perry Ltd. is main New Holland dealer for Kildare and Kilkenny and also holds a number of other well-known franchises including Vaderstad, Kverneland, Kuhn, Berthoud, Abbey, Bargam, Rossmore, Sulky and Vicon.
Regarding the New Holland dealership, Stephen reveals: “New Holland is very much our major player and we have a long-standing association with them. We’ve had the blue tractors here since 1972 and we also took on the Ford car franchise in 1974, which is now run by my younger brother Neil.
“The New Holland harvester dealership would cover Kildare, Kilkenny, Wexford, Wicklow, Laois, Carlow and parts of Tipp, while the tractor dealership covers Kildare, Kilkenny and Carlow and parts of Wicklow and Laois.”
Stephen is pleased to report that there has been a noticeable upturn in business in recent times. “It has certainly picked up a little bit and we had a very good year last year,” he says. “We were on call 24/7 during the harvest season and we were open seven days a week. When you are that busy, you can’t have too many complaints.”
Nobody will ever be stuck and every effort is made to ensure that all problems are dealt with instantly. Outside of business hours, an answering machine gives a 24-hour, after-hours emergency number, which can be accessed around the clock.
“We always have somebody on call,” Stephen promises. “We have five service vans and if needs be we are only too willing to send one out to make sure any problems are resolved as quickly as humanly possible. Service is everything in this line of work and we pride ourselves on offering a brilliant back-up service. You have to. Farmers invest a lot of money in these machines and the onus is on us to make sure that they get the maximum value for money.”
At any given time, JR Perry Ltd. stocks a vast range of second-hand equipment, including everything from tractors and harvesters to ploughs, spreaders and sprayers, tillage equipment, grassland equipment, balers, telehandlers etc.
The servicing department provides full servicing on all makes and models of machinery, while a wide range of spare parts is stocked at all times. A next-day delivery service is provided on all parts.
Looking to the future, Stephen says the plan is to keep providing the same stellar service for which JR Perry Ltd. has become renowned near and far: “We will be looking to consolidate. We have found a nice niche for ourselves and we’d like to hold onto that by keeping our standards up.
“Everybody wants to expand but there’s no point in getting over ambitious. Of course, you are always keeping an eye out for new ideas and new opportunities but at this point in time there is nothing too extravagant in the pipeline. If we can maintain things as they are, we will be more than happy with that.
“We employ a team of 14 here at the moment and it’s a good size, so we’ll keep our sleeves rolled up and continue to provide our customers with the best machinery on the market and an excellent back-up service.
“We’ve expanded the premises gradually over the years and we are confident that we are in good hands going forward, in terms of facilities, products, franchises, personnel and experience.”
JR Perry has looked after its customers tremendously well for over 50 years and all the signs are encouraging that they will reach many more milestones in the future. All told, this is a top-quality family concern with few – if any peers – and they have been providing exceptional solutions to two and three generations of some families in the local farming communities.
They are an integral part of the local community, as much a part of the landscape as the land itself.
JR Perry Ltd.
Taken from Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 2 No 1, May 2014