As the owner of Bristow Landscaping in Wake Forest, N.C., Logan Bristow relies on his Massey Ferguson tractors and Woods Equipment Company landscape implements virtually every day of the year. While the most often used machines are a MF1540 compact tractor and a Woods counter-rotating tiller, he also owns several other pieces of Massey Ferguson and Woods equipment. All of the machines, he relates, were purchased from Louisburg Tractor & Truck Company in Louisburg, N.C.
“Part of the reason I have so much equipment from both brands is the good relationship I have with the dealer,” he says. “But I also like the durability and versatility of the equipment. We’ve never once had a problem with Woods implements, and the MF1540, in particular, is small enough to get in tight areas, yet powerful enough to run the tiller in tough conditions.”
While Massey Ferguson dealers and Woods have had a long-running affiliation, that relationship has expanded at the company level, says Alistair McLelland, AGCO vice president of marketing, North America. In an effort to provide Massey Ferguson customers with the highest quality implements available anywhere, AGCO Corporation and Woods have joined together to market a full line of Woods rotary cutters, finishing mowers, flail shredders, rear-mounted snow blowers and landscape equipment through participating Massey Ferguson dealerships.
AGCO’s Massey Ferguson Manufacturing Facility at Beauvais, France, has been presented with France’s prestigious Factory of the Year 2016 award.
The Beauvais site in Picardy beat ten other shortlisted factories from a wide range of industries in France to win the title.
The Factory of the Year Awards are organised by “L’Usine Nouvelle”, the leading industrial magazine in France. In selecting the overall Factory of the Year Award winner, the Jury looked for a facility that has demonstrated an in-depth transformation initiative and delivered significant performance gains including increases in productivity, quality, competitiveness and market share. Key partner of the awards event and a member of the judging panel is Boston Consulting Group, a leading global management and business strategy specialist.
Operated by Massey Ferguson’s parent company, AGCO, which is headquartered in Duluth in the United States, the AGCO Beauvais site designs and manufactures Massey Ferguson tractors from 75-400 hp. It is France’s largest producer and exporter of farm machinery. Some 14,500 tractors leave the assembly lines each year, 85% of which are shipped to markets all over the world. In the last 12 months, four new MF tractor ranges built at the plant have been unveiled for global markets.
The Factory of the Year award recognises the AGCO Beauvais facility’s successful and wide-ranging reorganisation project known as MF Fast Forward. The plant has seen significant productivity gains through the implementation of Lean Manufacturing processes, 5S good housekeeping techniques and the Hoshin Kanri Continuous Improvement Strategy.
In addition, the Jury highlighted the site’s Quality Transformation Initiative and the clear commitment of Beauvais employees to the transformation process. Latest in-house figures from the plant show a rise in manufacturing quality levels, while Massey Ferguson’s Customer Satisfaction Index reveals improvements in perceived quality by end-users. For example, non-conformances in the production process have been reduced by more than 40% during the last two years from what was already a very good base. Massey Ferguson’s comprehensive Customer Satisfaction survey reveals that in respect of tractor product quality at the point of delivery, the ‘positive answers’ ratio from end-users has moved up to 94% in less than five years.
“It is a privilege and honour to win this coveted award,” says Richard Markwell, Vice President and Managing Director, Massey Ferguson, Europe, Africa, Middle East. “It is a tribute to our 2500-strong workforce at Beauvais who have been the architects of the factory’s major transformation over the last five years. This latest accolade is yet another milestone in our relentless pursuit of continuous improvement to ensure our customers get the very best products for their farm businesses.”
“The award comes in addition the prize won by the Beauvais site earlier this year as France’s Best Foreign Exporter,” he continues. “High-quality manufacturing is at the heart of the renowned reliability and dependability of Massey Ferguson equipment. This, coupled with our leading design and engineering, is ensuring that our famous ‘Triple Triangle’ brand continues to move ahead. Massey Ferguson’s market share increased again across the Europe, Africa, Middle East region last year – the 6th consecutive year we have increased this figure.”
Commenting, Boussad Bouaouli, Vice-President Manufacturing Beauvais says: “The Beauvais Quality Transformation Initiative is part of AGCO’s global objective to be N°1 in Perceived Quality and was considered an outstanding achievement by the Factory of the Year Award Jury members. It illustrates every single employee’s dedication to deliver ‘best in class quality’ for each individual tractor on the production the line. We are thrilled to receive the title of Factory of the Year and congratulate all our employees in Beauvais. This award is truly the result of their commitment and hard work.”
By: Ben Craker
A unique event in the ag industry returned to Lincoln, Nebraska; the annual spring “Plugfest” took place the week of May 9th, hosted by the Nebraska Tractor Test Laboratory. Plugfest is a twice a year meeting between member companies of the Agriculture Industry Electronics Foundation (AEF). The spring event is held every year in Lincoln and the fall Plugfest is hosted at different locations in Europe, planned for Bologna, Italy in September this year. Read the rest of this entry »
To help producers overcome farming’s many challenges—as well as adapt to favorable market conditions—AGCO has recently introduced Fuse® Connected Services. Backed by AGCO Parts, AGCO Service and AGCO Advanced Technology Solutions (ATS), Fuse Connected Services combines the right machines, technology, parts, service and support to help customers optimize their operations and maximize uptime. It is a key delivery mechanism of AGCO’s overall approach to precision agriculture.
According to Eric Hansotia, senior vice president, global crop cycle, ATS and dealer tech support at AGCO, Fuse Connected Services is designed to help growers improve overall farm efficiency through preventative maintenance, machine condition monitoring and year-round consultation—all of which are designed to lower input costs, increase equipment uptime and improve yields.
“Using Fuse Connected Services, a producer can control and/or monitor his entire operation, either on his own or with the help of his AGCO dealer. This means making sure machines are up and running when they need to be, coordinated in the right place at the right time, with a seamless ability to use and transfer data,” Hansotia explains, noting that two levels of Fuse Connected Services will be introduced through North American AGCO dealers over the next three years.
Level one of the new service enables customers to conduct self-monitoring, data transfer and operation support from the global Fuse Contact Center via phone, live chat and email. The second-level package offers proactive, remote condition monitoring by dealer experts, off-season inspections and reviews, operational consultation and operator training.
“Unlike some manufacturers,” explains Hansotia, “AGCO believes that machines and precision farming systems need to ‘talk’ to each other, no matter the color. Consequently, Fuse provides mixed-fleet farming operations with improved access to farm data and better connections to trusted service providers.”
Plus, says Hansotia, AGCO not only understands the producer’s need to choose the partners that work best for his or her operation, the company also respects the right to data privacy. “Fuse is also the only solution that provides two distinct data ‘pipes’—one for machine data and one for agronomic data,” he says. “Farmers don’t have to share their farm data with AGCO to use our products or connect with other trusted partners.
“At AGCO,” Hansotia continues, “we acknowledge that the grower owns all equipment and crop data generated by his or her equipment. Through Fuse Connected Services, we want to make sure our customers have the best tools and support to manage their operations via whatever product or partner they choose.”
By Nyasha Mudukuti, AGCO Africa Ambassador 2016
Under the theme “Vision of the Future” AGCO held a farm mechanisation event between the 6th and 8th of April 2016 at its Future Farm in Zambia. l had the opportunity to take part – and when I arrived l thought for a moment l was not in Africa. It was the most majestic agricultural place l have ever been to and it reminded me of the farms l once saw in Iowa, USA. For me, to see this farm in Africa was like a wakeup call to the African agriculture sector. In short, it’s just a state of the art farming center.