By Karl McDonald, LSU AgLeadership Class XV member
As a John Deere employee, we all begin being told we work for a global company. We see the maps. We know who makes each model. Even with all of that… it is still easy to get into your day to day role and forget what “global” means.
Today I had the privilege as a John Deere employee to visit a facility half a world away as I have before. The facility in Iberica, Spain is one of our world-class training facilities. We were greeted by the kind face of Juan Carlos and immediately served from a spread of Spain’s finest pastries and café (coffee for those in the European world). Juan Carlos took us around the facility to show our class what a world-class training facility “is” and what it “does”. We saw the theater seating room where new models are introduced to the dealers and support personnel which had the awe-inspiring black curtain which you knew has preceded many “Oooooo’s” and “Ahhhhh’s” over the years. This is where dealers first lay eyes on the NEW and IMPROVED model customers are waiting to get in the seat of. Following the big reveal, dealers are welcomed to the floor to walk around get a closer look at the machines. We were then lead up to the floor where the training, marketing and customer support teams sat. The view was spectacular! Somewhat elevated from the area around, it feels an idea tank in rural Spain with lots of space and open workstations. Juan Carlos did a great job emphasizing that the facility does the job of getting the right talent in the door, but it is the people that differentiate the leaping Deere brand. He was absolutely right! We then were lead to a large training room where he shared various statistics about the region such as:
- The 31k trainees that come through the facility from Spain and Portugal annually
- The vast class offerings dealer technicians can attend and gain valuable hands-on experience in the many shop bays
- The diverse crops across the countries which in-turn require diverse machinery
- The complex profile of agricultural machinery for this unique region
- The ever-changing environment they wake up every day to challenge and succeed
- The latest and greatest tools dealers can learn and use to sell and service those Green Machines
Global Company? Yes indeed! A half a world away, I serve John Deere in the capacity of Territory Customer Support Manager and have the privilege of driving sustainable results with global initiatives, the same initiatives Juan Carlos discussed with our LSU Ag Leadership Class XV. No matter where you are in the world and no matter how advanced the technology becomes, we still have the same challenge every year of cultivating the ground, planting a seed, nurturing that seed and hopefully one day harvesting a fully mature plant that is producing a maximized yield. It was great to see that our dealers can get the same world-class training in Spain and Portugal that we provide at our factories and training facilities in the US and all around the world. No matter where you go, that leaping deer stands for quality, innovation, integrity and commitment; our core values.
These are the moments you KNOW you are apart in a global company!