Smart Machines Deere’s Path To The Future

January 19, 2021


It has been evident for a few years that Deere has been on a smart machine technology path. From the opening of its Intelligent Solutions facility near Des Moines last year (see October 2019 Diesel Progress), to the ascension of John May as chairman and CEO, smarter machines are obviously a key driver in the next chapter for John Deere.

May brings to the CEO’s chair a background that includes being chief information officer and running Deere’s intelligent solutions businesses. And, in Deere’s new structure, the company has a new chief technology officer reporting directly to May. All of which point to smart technology being a high priority on the corporate agenda.

Further, John Stone was recently named president of Deere’s high-profile global construction, forestry, and power systems group. In one of his previous stops he was senior vice president of the company’s Intelligent Solutions Group.

So when Deere recently said it was announcing, “a new vision and operating model,” it was not surprising that the second half of the sentence was, “in order to accelerate its success in the integration of smart technology innovation with Deere’s legacy of manufacturing excellence.”

Deere said its new Smart Industrial strategy is designed to, “unlock new value for customers and to help them become more profitable and sustainable, while simultaneously revolutionizing the agriculture and construction industries through the rapid introduction of new technologies.”

The Smart Industrial strategy, Deere said, will be concentrated in three areas.

Production Systems

Deere said there will be a strategic alignment of products and solutions around Production Systems roadmaps – which capitalizes on the company’s knowledge of its customers and how they work. This new structure, Deere said, enables the company to drive an integrated product roadmap and related investments that span all aspects of a customer’s jobs.

Technology Stack

This, Deere defines as investments in technology as well as research and development that deliver intelligent solutions to through a technology stack made up of hardware, embedded software, connectivity, data platforms, and applications. Deere said the family of smart machines, systems, and solutions unlocks customer economic value through enhanced precision, automation, speed, and efficiency.

Lifecycle Solutions

Lifecycle solutions is defined as the enterprise integration of Deere’s aftermarket and support capabilities to more effectively manage customer equipment, service, and technology needs across the lifetime of a John Deere product, with a specific focus on the ownership experience.

“As Deere businesses and those of its customers become more competitive and dynamic, Deere’s track record of technological innovation puts it in a position to anticipate, respond, and outpace those dynamics by offering cutting-edge solutions to enhance customers’ productivity, profitability, and sustainability,” said May, in making the announcement. “The new operating model represents a leap forward in performance for the company from an already strong starting point.”

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