Josh Ming works in a world of second chances and missed opportunities. It's become his mission to capitalize on the former and work toward eliminating the latter.
Ming is a core reclamation lead at John Deere Reman in Springfield, Missouri, who looks for opportunities to reclaim parts and components that can be used in Deere machines.
Having these affordable remanufactured parts and components at the ready not only helps reduce downtime for Deere customers, it illustrates the company's commitment to its Lifecycle Solutions strategy—the concept of adding value to the life of a product, maximizing uptime and minimizing costs.
Ming said it's what he can do for Deere customers and dealers that really drives him because he knows their businesses rely on it.
"Think of the customer who has older equipment and when parts begin to fail it doesn't make sense for him to go buy a brand new one," Ming said. "But if there's a remanufacturing option—a like-new part—that's a priority for him because of the cost and ease of repair. When you back that up with Reman quality, you can see where this would be an attractive option."
What are the benefits?
For customers, downtime is like a four-letter word. It can drain efficiency and strain a bottom line, especially for those working within small margins. Having affordable remanufactured parts and components at the ready helps reduce downtime.
For Deere dealers faced with skilled workforce shortages, remanufactured parts also provide flexibility in their repair shops. Instead of taking the time and skill required to rebuild a customer's engine they can replace it with a remanufactured one, again keeping the life of the original product going.
For the environment, not having to make a new engine or axle from scratch means natural resources are preserved, melting furnaces aren't fired up, and carbon footprints are smaller.
To emphasize that significance, the Remanufacturing Industries Council established Global Reman Day (April 8), a date set aside each year to update and educate those around the world about remanufacturing.
While the benefits are apparent, getting to them continues to be a work in progress.
"It's that challenge of trying to take something that has already been proven and you don't know how many design iterations it went through to get there. You just see the final state," Ming explained. "It's taking something broken and making it function again."
Reman, part of John Deere Power Systems, has established a "design for remanufacturing" process to make rebuilding worn out parts and components more successful. Ming feels like these efforts are working.
"I see it gaining momentum and I definitely see the culture is shifted in the last five to six years," he said. "I'm building a network of contacts in JDPS and the support is growing. The first step is building the relationships."
The second step, of course, will be rebuilding the parts.
"I'd say it's become a bit of a calling," Ming said. "I've become very passionate about anything and everything remanufacturing"