Deere & Co. on Wednesday announced a new vision and operating model aimed at accelerating its integration of smart technology into its products. The new model, which the manufacturer has labeled its Deere 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 company said in a press release it will concentrate its actions on three focus areas, including a new production systems structure that will drive an integrated product road map; a “technology stack” made up of hardware, embedded software, connectivity, data platforms and applications; and a life cycle solution 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 John May, Deere’s chairman and CEO. “The new operating model represents a leap forward in performance for the company from an already strong starting point.”

Deere further announced the appointment of individuals who lead redesigned or newly created business units:  

Cory Reed has been appointed president of Worldwide Agriculture & Turf Division for Production & Precision Agriculture Equipment and for the sales and marketing regions of the Americas and Australia. In this new role, Reed will be responsible for leading a team to develop equipment for production-scale growers in large grains, small grains, and cotton and sugar.

Markwart von Pentz has been appointed to the new role of president, Worldwide Agriculture & Turf Division for Small Ag & Turf and for the sales and marketing regions of Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Asia and Africa. Von Pentz and his team will be responsible for defining, developing and delivering products and services to support midsize and small growers globally, as well as for turf customers. The unit is principally organized around production systems for dairy and livestock as well as high-value crops.

Jahmy Hindman, who was recently appointed as senior vice president, Intelligent Solutions Group, has been named to a new position as the chief technology officer, reporting to the CEO. Hindman will oversee the Intelligent Solutions Group, responsible for Deere's end-to-end technology stack, shared enterprise engineering and John Deere Electronic Solutions product delivery.

Marc Howze, currently chief administrative officer, will continue in that role while also assuming enhanced responsibilities in a new role as group president of Lifecycle Solutions, responsible for leading a team focused on the enterprise-level integration of aftermarket and support capabilities, and a focus on customers' ownership experience over the lifetime of Deere’s products.

With the new model, the company said it will adopt a more disciplined approach to capital allocation by devoting research and investment dollars to the most promising and profitable opportunities. Deere plans to dramatically accelerate the speed with which it brings priority technology to market.

“The new operating model will help us respond to changing market conditions with greater speed and efficiency,” May said.

Deere’s revenue has declined 18% in the past quarter due to the coronavirus to $9.25 billion; the company recently reported net quarterly income of $666 million for its second quarter, down from $1.14 billion a year ago.