Landscape & Irrigation

March 2017

Landscape and Irrigation is read by decision makers throughout the landscape and irrigation markets — including contractors, landscape architects, professional grounds managers, and irrigation and water mgmt companies and reaches the entire spetrum.

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Page 12 of 35 Landscape and Irrigation March 2017 13 BOB-CAT works alongside professional landscapers of various fl eet sizes to understand not only their requirements of the job, but also any potential desires. Understanding how and why they work their terrains is just as important as what they do. Professional landscapers' insights are the key in providing direction in how we design and build our mowers. — Ron Scheffl er, product manager, BOB-CAT We went beyond our standard robust product development process and engaged 100 landscapers to put the new PRO Z mowers to test. For 16 weeks during the heat of the season, they pushed these mowers to their limits. The landscapers provided weekly feedback during this time that informed our fi nal design. No stone was left unturned — everything from cup holders to engine selection was reviewed, analyzed and tested before making into the fi nal PRO Z lineup. After thousands of hours on the job, these landscapers proved the PRO Z Series could handle the daily demands of serious professionals. — Allen Baird, professional product manager, Cub Cadet We get feedback from commercial cutters and also from our dealers through the commercial cutters. We take this into consid- eration when developing or refreshing existing commercial units. — Brad Unruh, director of product strategy, Excel Industries (Hustler) Exmark works closely with customers to better understand their needs and priorities. We take the importance our machines play in their success very seriously, so we make it easy for customers to give us their feedback. We travel thousands of miles each year to conduct in-person meetings with customers, and we're constantly talking with customers about their Exmark ownership experience. We're consistently hearing from customers that they're not making much, if any, more money on the properties they maintain, compared to fi ve to 10 years ago. As a result, they need new mowers to be both more productive and more effi cient than the machines they're replacing. Fuel is a major expense for landscape professionals. As a result, Exmark offers an industry-leading number of EFI-gasoline and EFI-propane engine options on our Lazer Z, Vantage and Turf Tracer models. In addition, our exclusive EFI+RED Technology, offered on the Lazer Z X-Series model, can reduce fuel consumption by up to 40 percent compared to an equivalent carbureted engine. The shortage of qualifi ed labor is a consistent challenge we're also hearing about from customers. This underscores the need for increased productivity per worker, and since our customers are consistently hiring, training and integrating new workers, controls must be intuitive and easy to operate. A good example of an Exmark technology that's resulted from this need is our exclusive Enhanced Control System (ECS) controls. Featured on Exmark walk-behind and stand-on models, ECS controls are easy to learn and intuitive to use. Plus, the improved comfort and ergonomics of the ECS controls reduce employee fatigue, so they're more productive when they get off the mower and move on to other tasks. — Jamie Briggs, Exmark product manager Grasshopper receives continuous feedback from customers and dealers on what they want in their mowing equipment, ranging from how to enhance comfort and productivity to new product suggestions. We take all of that feedback seriously. We look at every customer response we receive — and not just the positive. Our production line is confi gured to incorporate design enhancements throughout the year, not just at the beginning of a product year, which allows for continuous, instead of staggered, improvement. — Mike Simmon, marketing specialist, Grasshopper What we know and hear on a fairly consistent basis from customer feedback is that landscape professionals choose and buy different commercial lawnmower models based on features and benefi ts, fuel economy, durability, reliability, and equipment downtime. Honda also knows that landscape professionals are prone to choosing and buying lawn mowers that offer easy-to- perform minor maintenance and straightforward scheduled services so as to avoid unexpected maintenance expenses. At Honda, we understand that all these attributes translate into long- term value for professional landscapers. Taking all of this into account, Honda works to develop and produce technologically innovative commercial mowers that consumers not only want to buy but come to depend on and make them more successful. — Elisha Lipscomb, Honda Power Equipment, senior marketing strategist, lawn & garden One of our mottos is that our products are designed for landscapers, by landscapers, which means their feedback is incorporated into nearly every step of the design and manufacturing process. This results in user-centric designs that are refl ected in every professional product we offer. During the commercial summits that are held at our global R&D engineering headquarters, we've heard landscapers emphasize they want products that remain durable over long hours of use. We incorporate these types of comments directly into our design process. — Giovanni Crespi, director of regional product management of Husqvarna North America We integrate the feedback we receive from our customers and landscape contractors directly into current and future product PH O T O P RO V I DE D B Y C UB CA D E T SPECIAL FEATURE

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