John Deere, the world’s largest agricultural equipment manufacturer, has plans to centralise its logistics organisation in Asia Pacific as it creates a new role for global logistics manager in the region, which will be filled this month by David Panjwani.
Panjwani, who was most recently the global logistics manager responsible for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, will be based in Singapore and have responsibility for logistics in the region including inbound to manufacturing, outbound and the distribution of spare parts. He told Automotive Logistics that with John Deere’s expansion in the region, including plans to grow to eight factories in China and five in India, now was “a good time to explore and execute a centre-led logistics organisation”.
Panjwani is a 20-year veteran of the logistics centre and has also held the top transport position for John Deere in the US. In both the US and Europe he has played an instrumental role in centralising logistics functions at the same time that John Deere has developed strong fourth party logistics providers (4PLs) for both inbound and outbound logistics.
In the US, for example, John Deere is now using CH Robinson as its inbound 4PL, while for outbound it is now using a company called PSL.
In Europe, John Deere has recently began to develop the use of a 4PL for outbound distribution, called ATM, which is being “groomed” to serve John Deere, according to Panjwani. “PSL and ATM are not large companies but were more or less formed to meet the needs of John Deere,” he told Automotive Logistics.
The outbound 4PL has responsibility for overseeing areas such as the tactical oversight of carriers, freight bill management, track and trace, measuring metrics, claims handling and managing permits for transport. At the recent ECG Conference in Paris, Panjwani explained the need for such a specialised provider for a company such as John Deere because, unlike other areas of transport, such as container shipping and van transport, “high and heavy logistics is not a commodity and requires specialised providers with in-depth knowledge of the sector”.
Uwe Schmitt, a 30-year veteran of John Deere, has filled Panjwani’s role in Europe.