At the John Deere Horicon Works in Wisconsin USA, a brand new facility gives workers full control over the quality of the Gator utility vehicles they build and ship to discerning customers around the world.
When you care about quality as much as the people who build our Gator utility vehicles, it’s only natural to want to do everything yourself. Following a major expansion at our John Deere Horicon Works, our skilled staff can do just that! The new 125,000 m2 facility combines assembly and shipping operations under a single roof for the first time, giving employees full control over
“This expansion makes a real difference to the way we work,” smiles factory manager Steve Johnson. “Now we can put each Gator on our assembly line and keep it there until it’s built just the way the dealer ordered, and ready for shipment worldwide.”
The new facility – the first major expansion in Horicon in more than thirty years – is a logical response to the growing global demand for Gators. By combining two separate operations, it streamlines the entire delivery process and gives our skilled shop floor the opportunity to make sure everything is just so.
The new extension has plenty of headroom for the next 10 to 15 years, so we’re good for a while.
I spend around 40 percent of my time on the shop floor because that’s where the quality happens.
If that sounds like management jargon, it’s because many big companies have imported a similar approach in recent years, often from Japanese manufacturers. The difference in Horicon is that here, the strategy has been growing organically for 156 years and is hard-wired into the factory DNA. In fact, many people at Horicon are third- or even fourth generation John Deere employees. There is a real family spirit, and a sense of continuity that makes sure standards never slip over time.
Put simply, nobody would ever accept a ‘quick fix’ or stopgap solution anyway because, as Steve wryly observes, “they know they’d still be here when it came back to bite them.”
In that sense, the new facility is the perfect upgrade for a team that insists on getting things right. But while everyone at Horicon is enthusiastic it’s actually you, the customer, who will benefit most. Whatever the model, whatever the specs, you can rest assured that from now on, Steve and his colleagues will be covering all the angles to make sure your new Gator arrives quickly, punctually, and just the way you ordered it.