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John Deere launches innovative spare parts competition: Motivating staff towards even better service to the farmer

This post is also available in: Afrikaans

John Deere is not only in the forefront when it comes to technological development. The firm also believes in motivating its staff with exciting projects, teaching them to work quicker and more innovative – everything aimed at better service to the farmer.

Three years ago John Deere launched a very successful ‘Technician of the Year’ competition and this year the spare parts sales division also boarded the innovation wagon.

Ronnie Phillips (spare parts marketing) is very excited about the ‘Spare Parts Expert of the Year’ competition. “It is important to us to inspire and motivate our spare parts team. This competition will contribute towards the improvement of their skills,” says Ronnie.

The competition is open to all spare parts personnel including spare parts managers.

There are thousands of parts of which the salesmen have to know and understand the purpose, functioning and position of the part in the machinery. They also have to understand how the naming of the equipment’s serial numbers hang together. When a farmer is at the counter of the spare parts dealer and describes the part he is looking for, the salesman should be able to find the correct part on the system. If a farmer can provide a serial number, it obviously makes the process much easier.

Sometimes there can be different engine models for the same machine; there are also different engines or spare parts from various world regions. A spare parts salesman should know about this or be able to detect it.

Barbara Crabbe is John Deere’s training coordinator, spare parts marketing. She says: “We have 130 entrants from all over Sub-Saharan Africa. In the first round participants had to complete two online courses through the John Dear University. 51 candidates then passed to the second round. The next round was a written test to nominate the ten top contenders.

In the last round the finalists had to do a practical test in which they had to find spare parts on the John Deere system and also had to deal with a problem case. After that a written test followed in which searching questions were asked regarding John Deere products. The top three finalists were then selected.

The three winners will be announced in November at a gala occasion and will coincide with the prize-giving of the other competitions. The first prize for the Spare Parts Expert of the Year and partner is a tour to the value R100 000 to an overseas John Deere factory. The second prize is a John Deere E110 “Ride-on” lawn mower to the value of R32 150, and the third prize a holiday weekend to the value of R10 000.

Contact Kevin Lesser on 082-807-2603 or 011-437-2600 or email to find out more about John Deere’s unique product series.

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