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Jacobsen: It Takes a Team

Jacobsen recently unveiled the all-new Truckster XD heavy-duty utility vehicle, and it boasts a massive, class-leading 3,550 lb. standard payload capacity, with steel up to 75% thicker than comparable boxes and 20% more volume. A lot of work on the front end goes into a new product release like this, and at Jacobsen, it’s the result of an emphasis on training and teamwork.

“At our headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, we operate a state-of-the-art training and education center called Jacobsen University,” said Brad Adamson, VP of Customer Care for Jacobsen. “In addition to providing learning and growth opportunities for Jacobsen employees and dealer personnel, this world class education and support system gives golf course superintendents and technicians a greater understanding of turf management techniques, maintenance procedures, product training and technical training. Using a combination of hands-on opportunities and classroom discussion, Jacobsen University provides the knowledge and skills needed to keep organizations running smoothly.”

At Jacobsen, a “team” atmosphere is always prevalent. “We build a collaborative environment where people work together across functions and geography,” said Nina Stasinopoulos, VP of Human Resources for Jacobsen. “Teams are expected to produce results by working together toward common goals. Whether it’s working cross-functionally across the enterprise on a project like the new Truckster XD, or within department teams, Jacobsen employees always have a clear understanding of their individual roles and responsibilities and how they fit into the larger picture.” Stasinopoulos believes communication is essential to fostering a team atmosphere. “It helps the group to understanding goals and objectives and for team members to build relationships and trust. We share information with employees about what is important to the business, hear what’s on their minds and engage in ongoing, informal communication.”

Team members are always involved in developing new innovations. Jacobsen recently created the Advanced Design & Technology (ADT) team. Manager of the ADT team, Rachel Luken Thompson, explains the team’s purpose: “Our group is responsible for discovering new knowledge about products, processes, and services, and then applying that knowledge to create new and improved products, processes, and services that fill customer needs. More specifically, the ADT team identifies emerging trends in turf care markets; helps discover new solutions to increase productivity and conserve resources; and improves customer satisfaction.” ADT team members are familiar with a variety of industry concepts, practices, and procedures, and are given a wide degree of creativity and latitude.

Employee retention is of upmost concern at Jacobsen. “Treating employees with respect goes a long way to employee retention,” said Stasinopoulos. “Also, providing interesting, meaningful work keeps employees engaged and contributing to the business. We invest in our employees’ development through training, stretch assignments, and internal promotions. Being a company where employees can grow their careers means they can see a future for themselves at Jacobsen.”

Teamwork is always a major factor that contributes to the development of new Jacobsen products. “Teamwork was critical to almost every aspect of the development of the new Jacobsen Truckster XD heavy-duty utility vehicle,” said Chris Fox, Product Manager for Jacobsen. “The Truckster XD team included representatives from engineering, manufacturing, customer care (service), quality, product management, and sales. Each department came together with one, simple goal in mind: to create a heavy-duty utility vehicle that would answer the unmet needs of today’s turf professionals. During the development process, when issues arose, the team worked to resolve them quickly and effectively. I think the true collaboration and cooperation within this cross-functional team is what allowed us to launch a product that is truly a game-changer in our industry. And that’s ultimately what this team set out to do.”

Jacobsen takes great pride in communicating with customers. “When we started this project, the first thing we did was to ask hundreds of superintendents and sports field managers what they wanted from a heavy-duty utility vehicle,” said Chris Fox, Product Manager for Jacobsen. “The feedback was unanimous: they told us they wanted a truck with more capacity, power and comfort. Nothing on the market was able to fulfill their needs properly. Based on the extensive field testing and feedback we’ve received over the past year, we’ve delivered exactly what turf professionals asked for.”

“We have two main goals with this new vehicle: to make turf managers’ jobs easier and to satisfy their unmet needs,” said David Withers, President of Jacobsen. “When you look at what is currently available on the market today, there’s nothing as tough, powerful or comfortable as the Jacobsen Truckster XD. As a result, it will serve as a game-changer in the heavy duty utility vehicle category.”

With over 90 years of experience in the turf maintenance industry, Jacobsen has built a legacy of precision craftsmanship, legendary quality-of-cut and unmatched expertise. Dedicated solely to delivering perfectly groomed turf, Jacobsen equipment is used on some of the finest golf courses, sports fields and other formal turf areas across the United States and the world, through an extensive distribution network and the international Ransomes brand. Additional information about the company can be found at www.jacobsen.com.

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