John Deere continues focus on innovation, technology

19th April 2024 By: Tasneem Bulbulia - Senior Contributing Editor Online

John Deere continues focus on innovation, technology

John Deereā€™s Construction division showcased its equipment and technology solutions to customers
Photo by: Creamer Media's Tasneem Bulbulia

Equipment manufacturer John Deere South Africa will continue to focus on pursuing innovation on its machines and technology as it looks to strengthen its footprint in Africa.

This was outlined by speakers on April 18, when John Deere’s Construction division showcased its equipment and technology solutions to customers at an event in Johannesburg.

John Deere has an over 140-year history in South Africa and provides turf, agricultural, construction and forestry machinery solutions with precision technology.

The company continues to pursue strengthening its presence in Africa and the Middle East, building on its over 218 dealer touch points across the region, its dealer network with a regional parts distribution centre in South Africa and sales and marketing offices in South Africa and Kenya.

At the event, the Construction division was said to have undergone a “transformative” journey in the country over the past three years, through its focus on innovation and dedication, and with the company looking to build on this by also leveraging the expertise of the global team.

Speakers informed that this would entail a continued focus on ensuring that customers enjoyed products that offered a quality cost of ownership, engendered through machine features including durability, reliability and hi-tech, as well as better fuel consumption without compromising on productivity and efficiency.

The company will also continue to benchmark against its competitors, aiming to provide products that can compete in terms of materials handling and efficiency, fuel consumption, et cetera.

Also emphasised was the importance of customer relationships, with this noted to be built on trust, integrity and mutual respect.

Speaking to Engineering News on the sidelines of the event, John Deere technical marketing planner Vikar Sheopershad said that John Deere globally was not just a machine manufacturer anymore, but had also shifted to being a technology company, and with more innovation set to come from this.

One technological innovation outlined on the day was the JDLink, a telematics device for the company’s equipment.

The controller for this sits inside the cab of the machine, and uses a Sim card that runs on all South African networks, Sheopershad informed.

This Web-based platform offers remote monitoring, where customers can remotely connect to machines, and see elements including fuel consumption, use and productivity, besides others.

Sheopershad said this allowed customers to see what was or was not working, so that they could adapt accordingly.

Moreover, they are able to add maintenance plans for machines.

JDLink also offers an “industry exclusive” feature of connected support, whereby dealers can remotely connect to a machine, and from the diagnostics, discern what the issues are and thereby prepare properly before coming to sites to rectify it, Sheopershad explained.

Moreover, it also sends out alerts when something is predicted to be going wrong, to ensure that this can be rectified quickly.

Sheopershad said the company pursued JDLink in the vein of providing customers with a solution to be more productive and “hands-on” with machines, without actually having to be in the field.

He noted that it is “industry leading” in this, noting that the company invests funds in technology and ensuring customers’ needs are met when bringing in products.