Agriculture Internationale - Exactly four years ago, a new board was elected at the head of SEDIMA (the national professionnal organisation representing agricultural machinery dealerships). Can you tell us more about your professionnal organisation?
Raphaël Lucchesi - SEDIMA is a very old organisation whose founding dates back to 1919! It was founded with the aim of federating dealerships and sharing useful information.
A.I - What is the situation in 2013 in terms of memberships?
R.L. - SEDIMA which, I insist, was founded 94 years ago, gathers 700 members with more than 30,000 employees. It accounts for 70 % of the turnover of the French agricultural machinery sector.
A.I. - How is SEDIMA organized?
R.L. - SEDIMA is “run” by an executive board of 9 members which meet every month to decide on the actions to conduct. The orientation is then validated by the board of directors.
A.I - What is the daily organization of SEDIMA?
R.L. - The driving force of the organisation is a woman, the General Secretary. Anne Fradier leads a team of 12 officials who all have high skills in various specialized fields. Don’t forget that SEDIMA’s priority is to provide services to its members in social and legal matters, regulations, security or environmental concerns, not to mention the economic analyses which are in increasing need. There are also work committees in charge of the issues that concern us most, and working as think tanks to set new directions for the future.
A.I - Can you tell us more about it?
R.L. - SEDIMA's executive board relies heavily on the work of the committees to which our company directors contribute. They provide the board with new ideas and directions to think about. The new board which was elected last February wishes to go further in the direction established by its predecessors. There's no need to change everything. All the ongoing committees have been renewed: the ones in charge of social issues, management, communication, training and employment, the secondhand market, guarantees, etc... A committee on skilled trades has been recently set up, with sub working parties on grape and wine growing, cattle breeding, parks and gardens.
A.I - You've mentioned skilled trades. I thought SEDIMA was a professionnal organisation dedicated to machinery. Have things changed?
R.L. - Not at all. The agricultural machinery dealers who are members of SEDIMA are mostly dealers of self-propelled machinery (tractors and other motorized machines) and tracted equipment. They account for 82 % of our memberships. There's no question of changing our fundamental orientations. Conversely, we must not leave out 18 % of our members who don't sell tractors.
Apart from the “tractor” activity, SEDIMA's aim is to represent all the aspects of agricultural machinery, whether we can see it in the fields or not, this includes irrigation systems or livestocks facilities. The former board, whose President was Alain DOUSSET, had made it clear that the green spaces activity in the professional sector had to be included in SEDIMA's sphere of intervention. In fact a committee dedicated to this activity was set up to meet the expectations of the180 members working in this sector.
A.I - In the end, what is the meaning of all this?
R.L. - It means that there's not just “one” but many types of agriculture. From one region to the other the situation is different. If you compare a cereal producing area to a mountain area, or a highly specialized dealership to a more diversified one there are major differences. It is increasingly important to look after all the sectors on our companies. In any case that's what we want to do. That's the spirit in which the board has been elected. This diversity will help us to have a very open minded approach to the different problems that members have to face.
A.I - There's no dealers without manufacturers. In two word what is your position on that?
R.L. - My predecessors have paved the way for a better communication with the manufacturers' representatives. I wish to continue in that direction. We are on the same boat, and it doesn't make sense to me to oppose one against the other.
A.I - Eight years ago, SEDIMA launched an DSI (a dealer satisfaction index survey) whose aim was to assess how the distributors were judging the suppliers. Do you intend to go further in that direction?
R.L. - As a matter of fact, the 2013 survey has just been completed. Its popularity hasn't failed. The turnout has increased by 15%, which is a very good sign. The dealers have things to say and wish to put forward their expectations. In short, the relationship between distributors and licensors is based on the win-win principle.
A.I - What are your relations with the other European countries?
R.L. - SEDIMA is a member of a European organisation of dealerships, CLIMMAR. Nine of its members have adopted the French DSI model. The results are very interesting.