BBI’s Customer-centered Innovation with a Holiday Twist

At BBI, we pride ourselves in being the industry leader in continuous innovation in the design of our spreading equipment, and the fact that this innovation is in response to listening to the needs of our customers in the field.

Last month, one of our Canadian dealers referred us to their northernmost customer, a Mr. Kris Kringle.  We were honored to host this gentleman, popularly known all over the world as Santa Claus, at our BBI manufacturing facility in Cornelia, Georgia.  Mr. Kringle told us that throughout the year, his team at his North Pole headquarters amasses toys and goodies through licensing agreements with major global manufacturers to distribute to children all over the world.

Mr. Kringle presented BBI with his rather unique operational challenge—delivering all of these toys to children in a timely fashion, as they sleep on Christmas Eve each year.  While his team has the benefit of delivering across over a dozen time zones, basically prolonging his delivery window by several hours, the team of reindeer pulling his aerial sleigh has gotten older through the years, resulting in the team just barely meeting its Christmas deadline for deliveries.

Thus, Mr. Kringle asked the spreader experts at BBI if we could help.  “I came to BBI after reading some farming publications and then checking out their website,” stated Kringle.  “I thought to myself, if we could team up with guys like Steve Owenby, Joe Kingrey, and David Emmett, they may be able to solve our problem.  Rudolph and the gang are still very reliable and love their job, but we have to make the job of delivering Christmas presents a little easier on them as they get older.”

Upon visiting the BBI facility, Kringle was immediately taken with the both the precision and power of MagnaSpread, BBI’s flagship spreader line for granular fertilizer and lime applications.  “My sleigh is built to carry as many presents as we need to meet the Christmas wishes of billions of kids around the world, as long as they just believe in what we’re doing,” explained Kringle.  “When I saw MagnaSpread, well, needless to say, I was impressed.  So I asked Steve and his crew if they could design a sleigh-mount version just for me and my crew.  That way, instead of having Rudolph and the rest land on the roof of each house—this is tough on their old bones and joints right now anyway—we could effectively hover over each neighborhood and spread presents down each respective chimney. We wouldn’t necessarily deliver to every house this way, since I do need to go into several hundred homes, at least, and eat cookies and drink milk that the kids leave for me.”

Owenby and the team relished the challenge posed by the North Pole outfit.  “I’m so glad that Mr. Kringle came to BBI, and we’re obviously honored by the confidence he showed in us,” stated Owenby, who heads up the company’s engineering.  “Kris, Rudolph, and the elves have been such an important part of the lives of all of us at BBI, and especially our children, that we saw this as an opportunity to give back.”

The BBI team got to work, and this past week delivered Mr. Kringle’s sleigh-mount MagnaSpread.  Featuring UHMW paint and stainless steel construction throughout, with a Santa Claus signature red and green color scheme, this MagnaSpread gives Kringle’s team the ability to deliver Christmas presents at 80-foot swaths in either direction of the sleigh.  In most neighborhoods, this means that Kringle’s team can deliver presents to dozens of homes without ever landing the sleigh on a particular roof-top.  With in-cabin controls, Kringle will have the option of either multi-home present spreading or landing on a rooftop for more manual, sack-oriented delivery, so that he can enjoy the offerings left by the children.

Mr. Kringle wasn’t surprised by BBI’s attention to detail in design, nor its commitment to meeting his critical deadline to ensure a seamless Christmas Eve delivery of his gifts to the world’s children.  He was, however, startled by the men who showed up at the North Pole last week.  Richard Hagler, BBI’s president, and Lee Kilpatrick, the company’s director of sales and marketing, accompanied the delivery to the North Pole.

“It was such a wonderful surprise to meet Richard and Lee,” stated Kringle.  “Richard and I exchanged ideas and strategies, as CEOs often do--he was quite informative! When I gave them the tour of our facility here, he worked hands-on with the elves to implement new processes for our operation,  so that we can continue to streamline our efforts and get more intelligent in building our inventory, measuring quality, and preparing for our annual delivery,” stated Kringle.  “But Lee had the biggest surprise of all—with Richard’s blessing, he tore up our invoice! Ho-ho-ho, indeed!  ”

“Richard and I spoke on the way to the North Pole—we had a lot of time to talk about a lot of things, since it’s such a long flight from Georgia,” stated Kilpatrick. “And we thought long and hard about this, with the conclusion being that we couldn’t present a bill to a man who has singularly made children happy around the world for so long, including the two of us when we were kids, and now our own kids, and in Richard’s case, his two grandchildren this Christmas.”

Merry Christmas from BBI to you and yours—and to you, Santa Claus.  We look forward to working with you in the future for all of your parts and service needs with our dealer network.