DTN / PF: Has CNH found a workaround, new ways to secure parts and materials?
VIN: We literally go to great lengths to find ways to make and ship products to our customers. There have been five or six months this year where we have transported engine blocks from Brazil to Italy to build tractors. We were paying 20 times (the normal price) for semiconductors just so we could keep building (the product). In Malaysia, where much of the chip-and-chip assembly work is done, (factories have been) dismantled due to severe COVID outbreaks. (But) I’m really excited and impressed with the work (our) team is doing to make it happen.
DTN / PF: You were in the Navy, graduated from the Naval Academy and worked in naval supply. Does anything you learned from those days carry on until today?
VIN: One thing I learned when I was a Supply Officer is (called a) “Message to Garcia”. This meant that no matter what, you will get the parts needed to keep the ship running. No matter what job I have now, I’m not too big or too important to (not) ship parts. I’ve had regular calls with some of our major suppliers, and I’ve taken trips to see the suppliers because that’s my role. The supply of spare parts hasn’t changed much in my 30 years in the Navy.
DTN / PF: Let’s move on to the takeover of Raven Industries by CNH. It was a big tech buy. How are you going to integrate it – and its technological talents – into CNH, in particular Case-IH and New Holland?
VIN: We were Raven’s biggest customer. We knew them well. The board of directors of (CNH) challenged me to ensure that we are not only competitive, but at the cutting edge of technology (in) our agricultural businesses. We all felt like we could do it better and faster if we owned Raven. (President and CEO of Raven) Dan Rykhus has built a very strong team. Their technology is really good, (and) what they do with battery life is awesome. We are really encouraged by what we can do together.
DTN / PF: What do you think will come out of this purchase, say – you pick the timeframe – say two or three years from now?
VIN: We need to be able to offer (to our customers) the best precision solutions on the market. It starts with precision technology. Ultimately, we will move to stand-alone technology. Raven will become our tech hub – Sioux Falls, South Dakota (where Raven lives) will be the tech hub for CNH Industrial.
DTN / PF: What demand do you anticipate for autonomous farms?
VIN: I think for small farmers, I think it will take a while because they like to drive their tractors. When we go west to Montana to Canada, these farmers would take it right now if we had it. (They have) 11 combines running at the same time, and they (would) just (rather) have one guy be the leader and everything else would follow. The lack of manpower and the need for autonomy will force us to move there faster than we think.
DTN / PF: Scott, where is CNH in terms of the right to compensation?
WINE: We certainly believe in offering our customers the best possible value for money. And if that means they’re on a farm in northern Wyoming and they want to be able to fix (their machines), we would definitely love that. (But) safety is paramount, both in the repair itself and then for the person who uses this machine afterwards. And we want to make sure that all the care we have taken to build the machine the right way, the warranty is not broken. We believe in the right to repair; we just want to make sure it’s done the right way.
DTN / PF: How do you divide, between the guy who wants or has to do his own repairs and your concern about fixing this engine, these pollution checks, that sort of thing, are not affected?
VIN: I spent a few years in different companies before coming here. And, you know, one of the things that we’ve done is take almost every aspect of repairing our vehicles and put it on YouTube so that customers can figure out how to work properly. If they bought a part online, (a) video would come with it. This can be done. It just takes a concerted effort.
DTN / PF: Is this something CNH is looking at?
VIN: I’d be surprised if we didn’t.
DTN / PF: Let me ask you a question about one of these other companies you worked for. You were president and CEO of Polaris Inc., a manufacturer of off-road vehicles, electric cars, motorcycles, snowmobiles and boats. What did you take away from Polaris that you brought to CNH?
VIN: Well, you know, success in strength sports (is) based on three factors – product, brand, and distribution – and being great at all three. And guess what? Winning at CNH Industrial is about getting the best products, the best distribution, and getting the most out of our brands. That’s part of the reason I took the job because it was so familiar to me in this regard.
Dan Miller can be contacted at [email protected]
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