NZ Parts Technician says she ‘still has room to grow'
Despite having deep roots within the agriculture industry, Megan Tree never imagined she would be working as a parts technician, capable of sourcing and sending a rapid flow of parts and equipment to a diverse range of machinery operators across New Zealand.
Megan grew up on a sheep and horse farm on the South Island where her parents trained racehorses.
"My first career was in veterinary nursing, and I worked in vet clinics for three years before I decided I wanted a new challenge and made a career shift," Megan said.
"I'd always enjoyed working with farmers and I saw an ad for a service administrator at Southland Farm Machinery in Gore, so although I didn't know much about heavy agricultural machinery, I decided to dive in."
Six years later, she is the John Deere 2022 New Zealand Parts Technician of the Year.
Megan's knowledge of the John Deere product is unrivalled at her dealership, Southland Farm Machinery in Gore, and she has used her outstanding organisation and communication skills to build the trust of farming customers. She worked firstly as a service administrator then for the past four and a half years in parts.
It was in her role as administrator that she filled in for the parts person when they were busy or went on holidays, and gradually built up her confidence in the role as she sourced and delivered parts to farmers involved in cultivation, baling, dairy and sheep.
"It was funny being in parts because at first a lot of farmers wouldn't speak to a female. They preferred to deal with a man. But that's changing now, which is very cool," Megan said.
"The training and technology that came with the role made it not so daunting too. I really enjoy being parts manager and I still have room to grow and gain more knowledge. I think it's about being a help to industry, just getting people going and keeping them going."
Megan found it ‘pretty special' to be nominated as one of three finalists in the award and to receive the positive feedback from her manager and the customer who supported her nomination.
"To get that acknowledgement was absolutely awesome, I would never have expected that at all. I think the key to my job is just making sure that every customer leaves satisfied, to go that extra mile to get them an answer and follow up if the part hasn't arrived. It's good communications really," she said.
"You never know what sort of breakdown you're going to get, so you're always learning. I recently took on a large new client and successfully managed the account for the dealership, so that was one of my biggest achievements so far."
Speaking at the awards, John Deere Australia and New Zealand Managing Director, Luke Chandler, said New Zealand was fortunate to have an enormous pool of talented technicians working across the country, so finalists like Megan deserved to be very proud for being named among the best in their field.
"Technicians working in the parts department have an intimate knowledge of machinery and are often a farmer or operator's first port of call when seeking new parts," Mr Chandler said.
"They play an integral role in ensuring the day to day operation of agriculture, forestry and construction industries."