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Global Mobility - Deer & Company - A Case Study

Globalization is more than a concept: With today’s impressive technologies and emerging markets- globalization is a reality that provides enlightened Chinese entrepreneurs with new experiences as well as exciting opportunities to expand Asian influence.

Jack Olcott   |   1st March 2012
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Jack Olcott Jack Olcott

Possibly the world’s most recognized advocate, if not expert on the value of Business Aviation,...
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Deere & Company—a Case Study

Globalization is more than a concept: With today’s impressive technologies and emerging markets- globalization is a reality that provides enlightened Chinese entrepreneurs with new experiences as well as exciting opportunities to expand Asian influence.

Business Aviation is uniquely aligned with today’s global opportunities. Markets are emerging in distant areas of the world such as Asia- Africa and Eastern Europe. No corner of the world should be overlooked as entrepreneurs and opinion leaders explore potential new partners and customers for Chinese products.

While not as dominant as several decades ago- the USA is still the world’s largest market for goods and services- and its consumers play an important role in China’s position as the world’s second largest economy.

Business aircraft enable business leaders to benefit from globalization. Essentially they are offices that move- and these marvels of mobility enable face-to-face meetings between partners and customers anywhere in the world. The many miles between business associates and new market opportunities no longer remain major obstacles when entrepreneurs can maximize the effectiveness of time spent traveling- and minimize the hassles of moving between locations.

Business Aviation users agree that the security of traveling in a company-owned or chartered aircraft encourages discussions of proprietary business matters. Each passenger is either a colleague or customer- thus conversations can cover issues of business strategy and tactics that would be unwise to discuss in public. Therefore- travel time becomes productive time.

Surveys of business leaders show that the cabin of a business aircraft is more conducive to discussing important issues than the executive’s own office - no one can interrupt when you are miles above the earth traveling at 500 miles per hour.

The controlled environment of a business aircraft also provides comfort unmatched by other forms of travel. Travel fatigue is kept to a minimum. Connecting flights are eliminated- and time lost at airline terminals is reduced. (Several major centers- such as Beijing- have facilities designed to serve the needs of business aircraft passengers.)

Globally Accepted Means of Travel
Deere & Company- a U.S. company located in Moline- Illinois- midway between the nation’s east and west coasts- is the world’s leading manufacturer of agricultural machinery. Its farm equipment is a major factor in meeting an increasing demand for food. Using the resources of its global aviation services- Deere & Company executives have been communicating face-to-face with their Chinese colleagues and business partners for more than a decade.

Representatives of the company were among the first U.S. citizens to fly business aircraft into China. A brief look at the Business Aviation activities of Deere & Company presents a useful case study of why business aircraft provide significant benefits. Operating a fleet of two Gulfstreams (a G550 and a GV)- two Cessna Citation Xs- and a Brazil-based Hawker Beechcraft King Air 350- Deere & Company officials rely on their aircraft fleet to be at locations through the world where opportunities arise.

Larrie Dahl- Director of Global Aviation Services- describes the Mission of Deere & Company’s aviation department as ‘to provide the company with the highest level of safety- efficiency and customer service’.

“Our executives and business leaders must be where the customer resides to understand his or her needs and to find the most mutually beneficial solution-” Dahl stated. “We go to the areas of the world that need our products in an ongoing challenge to expand food production.

“In that endeavor- our business aircraft provide clear advantages for Deere & Company employees. Our people arrive in China rested- unconcerned about issues of security and schedule- or the demands of an itinerary that might include several Chinese cities. Business matters are discussed en-route without fear that proprietary subjects will be overheard- thereby compromising our company’s strategy or competitive advantage.

“Deere & Company’s business aircraft enable our executives and specialists to be where the customer wants us to be. Our people are there on time- ready to do business- and they have the ability to move on to the next location- whether that is elsewhere in China or in another part of the world- where opportunities and needs exist-” he concluded.

Growing Business Aviation Use
Deere & Company’s international flights have increased significantly. About six years ago- less than 10 percent of its activities were outside the USA. Now flights in international airspace account for nearly half of the department’s schedule- and activity could increase by an additional 10 percent within approximately one year.

China is a frequent destination for the company- and the two Gulfstreams are the aircraft selected for those missions. Once in China- the aircraft are also used to complete trips to cities within the country. Operations into and out of China- as well as internally within the nation are noticeably easier than several years ago because Chinese authorities have included Business Aviation as an element within its national policy for air transportation.

According to Deere & Company’s aviation personnel- Beijing has an impressively capable facility available to business aircraft- at which passengers are welcomed at a dedicated terminal where they can clear customs and immigrations efficiently.

Burdensome restrictions have been eased dramatically- while procedures for operating aircraft into- within and out of China have been improving steadily in recent years.

Furthermore- improvements are being made continually for enhancing business aircraft access to international markets as well as domestic opportunities. One Deere & Company pilot remarked- “I like going to China - the people are cordial and accommodating- and the facilities are good.”

Future Considerations
As shown by the experiences of Deere & Company- Business Aviation trends within China suggest a bright future for this form of transportation. Using business aircraft- companies - whether large or small - can reap the rewards that come with improved mobility and prompt access to emerging markets both in China and worldwide.

Chinese authorities responsible for aviation policy also recognize the benefits that can be achieved from facilitating the use of business aircraft to provide efficient transportation to locations not served with the regularity or flexibility needed by entrepreneurs and companies.

Deere & Company exemplifies how a flight department serves a large company participating in international markets. Passenger safety is the first priority within the department’s Mission statement- followed by efficiency and customer service. Embracing the procedures and safety culture of the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO)- Deere & Company’s aviation department illustrates the best operating practices of the Business Aviation community.

Entrepreneurs- companies and government leaders interested in understanding the benefits of Business Aviation can look to Deere & Company as a model worth emulating.

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