Problem solving and making a difference has driven Case IH, ANZ product manager for hay and harvest, Tim Slater throughout his 18 year career in machinery.
Mr Slater said his experience with the global organisation taught him while increasingly complex questions are being posed by agriculture, simple solutions are often the most intriguing.
Starting with Case IH as a graduate, Mr Slater worked in both logistics and service before taking a role with Case IH parent company CNH Industrial.
“It was a great learning experience because what you find is there’s so many different ways people go about solving a problem, and some of the most ingenious solutions I’ve seen have come from the least amount of resources,” he said.
“There are a lot of smart people around the world who think very differently to solve the same problems, and the best solution is not necessarily the one that costs the most money and involves the best piece of engineering; sometimes the simplest stuff works the best.”
Mr Slater has worked in many parts of the world including China, South Africa, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine and the Pacific before returning to Case IH as a product specialist for precision farming and guidance.
In 2013 he undertook his current role, managing hay and harvest equipment including balers and Case IH’s Axial-Flow combines.
Mr Slater said he still marvels at the changes within the industry in a relatively short period of time.
“If I look at growing up on the farm through the early to mid-80s and what we had then, to where we are today, that’s 30-plus years of innovation. We’ve seen incredible change come through,” he said.
Mr Slater sits on the Case IH global steering committee, providing customer feedback and input into product updates and new features.
“Australia is not the biggest market in the world, but for its size we have significant input into product features, what we want to develop, and where the product is heading,” he said.
“We work closely with global platforms to ensure new products are designed to satisfy the increasing need for performance and productivity enhancements for Australian farmers.
“A good example is the pivoting spout we now have on combine harvesters. I can remember a number of years ago, back when I was in the service side of the business, the previous product manager and I sitting down and talking about that - there were a lot of napkins with drawings all over them - but that’s one idea we can see on all Case IH machines today.
“It really is that ability to make a difference, that’s what I enjoy. Driving a product to where it works for us as a market, and ultimately providing efficient solutions to farmers.”
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