Lely has decided to revise its mission and vision. Although the company is not going to proceed in a totally different direction, some areas have been changed. We asked Alexander van der Lely, CEO of the Lely Group, to explain Lely’s strategy for the coming years.
Alexander, why this major change?
“A pleasant working environment as well as profitability refer to the words that we used in the past: improvement of the financial and social wellbeing of farmers. Doing what you want to do has to be enjoyable, while at the same time you also have to be able to make a good living out of it. Although durability definitely was a starting point that has always been inherent in all of our products (ranging from life span to low energy consumption), sustainability will be ranked even higher. Contractors and dairy farmers are working with nature every day. There is a lot of social discussion going on about our business, ranging from the amount of methane emission by cows to the number of liters of water that is needed to produce one kilo of meat. Consequently, we can see the agricultural business changing from traditional producers of food and raw materials to a sector where the environment and production of food and energy at local level is key.
We believe in ground-breaking initiatives allowing the agricultural business to continue adapting with great agility to its markets and surroundings. Being the ‘innovators in agriculture’, we obviously consider consistent innovation to be the key for the future.”
What does this new vision mean for Lely’s strategy?
“A new vision is a clear guideline for the choices that we make and it will definitely affect our primary strategic objectives. Our ambitions remain unchanged. We have strengthened our portfolio through acquisitions and R&D, while we are continuously investing in innovative concepts for in the barn. All choices we make are aimed at helping farmers to increase their scale of operations, while remaining flexible and safeguarding animal welfare.
On top of this we will concentrate on sustainability from now on, which will lead to a new portfolio in the future. We are going to embark on the dedicated manufacturing of products that contribute to an energy neutral agricultural business, or include such products in our portfolio.”
What does all this mean for Lely customers?
“Let’s go back to our vision. Sustainable translates into long lasting products that save our energy resources. In that context, sustainability is a major starting point for us, in such a way that every investment should yield the farmer sufficient profitability, even without subsidies. Profitable translates into products that allow more efficiency and lower running costs. Enjoyable translates into the development of reliable, robust and productive machines, which also provide sheer working pleasure. Ease of operation and design play an important role in all our product developments. We have to make sure that we are the most reliable suppliers to our dealers – the partners they love to work with. Eventually, this loyalty will become apparent in the way our customers are advised.”