5 January 2001

CHAIRMAN WHO KNOWS BUSINESS INSIDE OUT…

A good ship needs a good captain, reasonedthe Lamma

council when it elected Tony Lighton to the post of chairman

A LIFETIMES association with one of the countrys most well known, Lincs-based, farm machinery names is the ideal background for the chairmanship of the Lincolnshire Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers Association.

So it is no surprise that the LAMMA Council has elected Tony Lighton into the post.

With more than 35 years of involvement with the tractor products produced under the Marshalls of Gainsborough banner, particularly Track Marshall crawlers, Mr Lighton is well known to both farmers and dealers, in the UK and around the world.

After joining Track Marshall on a commercial apprenticeship in 1964, he spent two years on the shop floor, followed by two years of commercial training before being appointed office manager in 1968. That followed spells as both a regional sales manager and national sales manager. Tony became world sales manager for Track Marshall in 1982.

The nationwide rationalisation and amalgamation during the late 1970s and 1980s had a dramatic effect on the Track Marshall company. A series of ownership changes between 1975 and 1998 culminated in its purchase by TMS Gainsborough, set up by Tony Lighton and two farmer partners, John and Roy Stanser, both enthusiastic Track Marshall users on their Nottinghamshire farms.

Although production of Track Marshall tractors ceased in 1996, there are many hundreds still operating around the world and TMS Gainsborough, besides supplying genuine spare parts, is involved in overhauling and refurbishing Track Marshall tractors of all ages.

" Over my 35-odd years of involvement with Track Marshall I have seen many changes, not only in the company, but also in farming," says Mr Lighton. "Being a mainly farming county, Lincolnshire has a lot of businesses associated with the manufacture of farm machinery and many of these are small, family-owned concerns, just like my own.

"Having worked in a large corporate concern for much of my life, I am now more able to appreciate the greater management freedom available to small businesses, since, today, the ability to react quickly to changing market forces is more important than ever. There is also a need to control expenditure, develop flexibility in the workforce and to reinvest profits to develop the business," he says.

Meeting established and potential customers at shows and exhibitions forms part of any companys marketing strategy, but that can be expensive. For smaller companies Mr Lighton believes the LAMMA Show provides a chance to meet customers both old and new. For farmers it is a chance to see new and innovative products from companies which do not exhibit at the larger shows.

"Over the 20 years it has taken place, the LAMMA Show has become a valuable event for farmers and manufacturers alike. Being near to the A1 trunk road, on the Newark and Nottinghamshire Showground, access is convenient from almost all parts of the country. The facilities on the showground, for both visitors and exhibitors, are also of a high standard." &#42

Lamma chairman Tony Lighton: "The show has become a valuable event for farmers and manufacturers."