“When we think of MacDon’s family, we not only think of it including all of our employees and their families, we also think of it including our suppliers, dealers and our customers as well.”
This year marks the 65th Anniversary of MacDon, a significant achievement for any company. But when you consider how fierce the competition has been in the agricultural industry over those 65 years and how many once dominant brands are no longer with us, it makes the achievement that much more remarkable.
So what has been MacDon’s secret? How has it survived and grown when so many others haven’t? For anyone familiar with MacDon’s history one might point to the many harvesting innovations it has helped usher in. After all, MacDon was at the forefront of the swathing revolution in the early 1950s when it introduced one of the world’s first self-propelled windrowers. It was also the first to advance the use of draper heads on combines, as well as the first to reinvent the flexible header when it introduced the FlexDraper®. But for Gary Giesbrecht, President and CEO of MacDon, innovative technologies like these are too easy an answer.
“At MacDon we’ve always known that our products have to be measurably better if we are to compete with the larger brands out there,” said Giesbrecht. “But it is our process in how we get to making better products that is the real secret to MacDon’s longevity and that process is fueled by the family culture that permeates everything that we do at MacDon.”
Giesbrecht says that the concept of family at MacDon goes much deeper than the fact that the Company has always been family owned, first by the Killbery Family during the 1950s and 1960s and then the MacDonald Family thereafter.
“When we think of MacDon’s family, we not only think of it including all of our employees and their families, we also think of it including our suppliers, dealers and our customers as well. And like any family, we are at our best
when we’re listening to each other, learning from each other and working together to common goals.”
Giesbrecht points to a product like the FlexDraper® as an example of how MacDon is constantly listening and learning from its customers and dealers.
“The FlexDraper® is the direct result of us responding to one of our customers who believed that a flexible draper could be superior to anything then available for harvesting soybeans. We listened to him, made the investment in R&D and now this product is revolutionizing harvesting worldwide.”
“Stories like that have been the key to MacDon’s success; how we work hard to give our customers what they tell us they need, and not what we think they need. A lot of companies find that approach difficult, but it is something that everyone at MacDon takes a lot of pride in.”
To celebrate MacDon is holding a number of events large and small to help celebrate its 65th Anniversary. One such occasion was the 65th Anniversary and Dealer Meeting held May 8th and 9th for MacDon Australia. Another was MacDon Family Day held September 13th for all employees and their families from MacDon’s Winnipeg facility. There is also an event planned in November for the MacDon Dealer Family and our Owners Circle Group in Nashville, TN.
“Events like these are an opportunity to say thank you to people who’ve played an important part in our success and show how much we appreciate them being part of our family.”