Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/536658
>> SELLING TO THE MILITARY JOANNE COSTIN T hreats from terrorist groups and hostile nations aren't the only challenges facing the Department of Defense (DOD) these days. Beginning with FY 2013 budget, the DOD began implementing a $487 billion, 10-year cut in spending consistent with caps instituted by the Budget Control Act of 2011. Defense officials requested $534 billion in 2016, an increase from $495 billion in 2015, but a long way from the peak expenditures of $687 billion in 2011. For construction equipment manufacturers and dealers serving the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard, the downsizing is likely to mean fewer sales of construction equipment, maintenance services, parts and special- ized vehicles, with considerably more competition among suppliers. Here's how several suppliers are trying to find opportunity in a tough market. JCB Looks to Build on HMEE Success JCB first made inroads into the mili- tary market with a U.S. Army contract awarded in 2005 that resulted in the sale of more than 800 JCB HMEE-I vehicles (High Mobility Engineer Excavator Type I), including over 60 vehicles sold to the military forces of seven allied nations. A new contract was released recently to produce additional HMEEs for the U.S. Army through 2018, with approximately 90 vehicles currently on order for produc- tion into 2016. Custom built for the U.S. Army, the HMEE-I can self-deploy and support fast moving forces on long-range operations without the need for a trailer and prime mover. It can travel at speeds of up to 56 miles-per- hour, li 2.25 tons, dig to a depth of 13 feet and can be transported in the military's C-130 Hercules aircra. According to Chris Giorgianni, vice president of Product Support & Govern- ment & Defense for JCB, one of the more unique requirements of the machine was the ability to be delivered by a low velocity airdrop. is allows the vehicle to be inserted by parachute into combat zones or other hazardous areas. e vehicle can also be fitted with an armored cab, to provide protection against small arms fire and other hazards. Giorgianni believes the military market represents a growth opportu- nity for JCB both within the U.S. and with other NATO aligned govern- ments. "ere isn't a single product offered within the JCB portfolio that the defense, military, and federal sectors may not need," said Giorgianni. He believes the unique needs and applications of military projects are a good match for an innovative company like JCB. For the HMEE-I project, JCB had an Interim Contractor Logis- tics Support (ICLS) contract that included maintenance and service to the vehicles in the field worldwide, including in a theater. During the contract, JCB field service representa- tives (FSRs) also provided training to military service personnel with the goal that support of the HMEE-I fleet would become 'organic' - mean- ing that military personnel would be able to provide in-house support for their HMEE-I vehicles. at contract has been completed successfully, Built for a Fight Dealers and manufacturers hunt down opportunities despite budget cuts and downsizing 32 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | June 2015 They rank you poor, fair, good or excellent in product support, logistics, technical, price and sometimes other factors The JCB HMEE-I can travel at speeds of up to 56 miles-per- hour, lift more than 2 tons, and dig to a depth of 13 feet. More than half of support staff for this machine is comprised of veterans, including Chris Giorgianni, vice president of Product Support & Government & Defense for JCB.