The Groundsman

June 2012

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the Groundsman June 2012 Non-stop innovation Paul Hawkins joined John Deere recently for the company's 175th anniversary celebrations – travelling 9,300 miles in six days visiting various company sites to gain an insight into this mega-successful global operation In 2010, the 500,000th Gator utility vehicle came off the line and key components were added to the EZtrak zero-turn. At another site - the Turf Care factory in North Carolina – being showcased on the 335,000 ft2 of floorspace is a range of hybrid golf and commercial mowing machinery. The factory is also home to the virtual reality design and product verification & validation (PVV) process which sets product specifications to meet safety standards and regulations, and for reliability and durability tests, as well as for 'measuring' products against customer expectations. The John Deere headquarters in Moline, Illinois The core values of integrity, quality, commitment and innovation that John Deere founded his company on way back in 1836 – when he built his first commercially successful steel plough – still ring true today, according to Samuel R Allen, chairman and CEO of Deere & Company, "and we believe these values have been key to the longevity of our company". This year, as the global organisation celebrates its 175th anniversary, the business scenario is somewhat different; though John Deere continues to regard agriculture as a core business, the organisation today is a $3.6 billion multi- national that also specialises in construction, forestry, lawn and turf care machinery and equipment. It has 60,000 employees worldwide and 64 factories in 18 countries. And one measure of its continued progression is the fact that in Europe alone, last year it unveiled more than 100 new agricultural and turf products – including the autonomous Tango E5 mower. The Horicon Works in Wisconsin has been very influential in the company's growth. It was here that the first lawn and garden tractor was manufactured – five million were made by the year 2010 – and development has continued with, in 1970, the first rear- engine riding lawn mower, then an electric version in 1972. Bicycles and snowmobiles followed. Looking forward, John Deere executives point out that global macro-trends present significant opportunities for the organisation, with new customer segments and technology advances, as well as investment in supporting businesses such as credit finance, parts and service, intelligent solutions, satellite navigation and power systems. It's a global strategy that, they say, will double net sales to $50 billion by 2018 across its four operating regions. www.JohnDeere.com FEATURE 25

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