Meet Kent Heckman – KNG Pricing Manager
Figuring out the best price to charge for quality products can be a tricky business. Kent Heckman calls it “a balancing act” that can make or break a company’s bottom line just as easily as it can attract or alienate valued customers.
Heckman is well-aware of this. As pricing manager for Kent Nutrition Group, he collects input from many internal constituents – weighing marketing and sales goals against overall corporate objectives. His team also pays close attention to competitive pricing within the Kent and Blue Seal sales regions.
“Everybody wants premium quality at a discount price,” says Heckman, who grew up feeding Kent on his family’s farm in Southeast Iowa. “But when it really comes down to pricing, if you don’t add value it is generally a race to the bottom on price.”
That’s the part that makes Heckman’s job a bit easier. Because Kent and Blue Seal feeds offer premium proprietary products while also delivering value that other companies simply don’t (or won’t).
“Whether it’s management tips, direct access to nutritionists, expertise in market projections and operations . . . we are serving customers in ways that go far beyond feed,” Heckman says. “At KNG, our goal is to produce quality feed. And that, coupled with the added services, often sets us apart.”
Heckman celebrates his 28th anniversary with KNG this year. He respects the company’s Midwestern values, and he’s proud of the team atmosphere throughout the organization.
“The minute I walked through the doors all those years ago, I could just tell it was a different kind of company,” he says. “No one is just a number here. When you walk out of the office with (CEO) Gage Kent, and are able to carry on a conversation, that says something about a company. Our kids went to school together, he knows my name. That’s just really rare for large companies these days.”
Kent lives in Muscatine, Iowa. He enjoys taking motorcycle trips with his wife, Mary, working on the farm, pheasant hunting with his dog, Rylee, and spending time with his two grown sons.