With three large manufacturing facilities located in strategic locations across Brazil, Montana is proud of its close ties to both small and large farmers. It is this intimate knowledge and understanding of the sector that enable Montana to carry out its mission: creating innovative machinery. Helen Larkin explores how Montana has kept innovation a priority at every turn.
Our company was established just 16 years ago as a manufacturer of small machines for small-scale consumers,” explains Carlos Magno, Montana commercial director. “Our move towards manufacturing larger machines, seen over the past decade, was born out of market trends and needs.”
Montana has always seen itself as a company established, not only to generate products, but also as an entity ready, from day one, to face and, ultimately, overcome major challenges. The company opened for business in Sao Jose dos Pinhais in 1996 and, at once, began its long commitment to the Brazilian agricultural industry. Since then, the company has kept pace with the many advances of this fast-changing sector, from scientific breakthroughs, to advances in industry, to the ever-shifting market demands of the agricultural sector. The company’s own growth is tied to these exciting times of modern Brazilian history, sharing in this evolution and reflected in the victories of the different sectors involved.
Today, Montana’s industrial facility covers 17,000 square meters, with daily production capacity of 40 units of different product models, each one created to solve specific needs of the company’s extensive client base. A total of 406 employees receives ongoing training in production of Montana products and is also consistently motivated to create technological innovations that will make a difference in the daily lives of Montana customers. “We value our relationships with our clients above all else,” says Magno, “and this ethic is shared by every Montana employee and partner.”
Montana’s current focus is on expansion, and in researching technology from the point of view of the producer, a mission requiring heavy investment and high-level of confidence. “Montana is always looking for new markets and new business,” says Magno. This search is mirrored in Montana’s production process from start to end, and can be most clearly felt in the bustling Montana factories.
Montana’s head office is located in the city of Sao Jose dos Pinhais, in the state of Paraná. This 17,000-square-meter facility boasts a daily production capacity of 40 units of a number of different Montana models. The Sao Jose dos Pinhais facility focuses on assembling a line of self- propelled sprayers, the Cotton Blue line, and Landina tractors. In addition to these lines, the factory produces cutting edge equipment tailored to address new product research and design. The head office also houses all the administrative, human resources, and technical departments, which respond to the needs of more than 200 points of sale across Brazil and abroad.
The second Montana facility is located in the city of Fraiburgo, in the southern state of Santa Catarina. This busy plant is strategically located to respond to all of Santa Catarina’s agricultural needs with customized equipment and technical assistance, acting as an important stream in Montana’s corporate strategy of consistently offering solutions to solve clients’ specific problems. The Fraiburgo plant was designed specifically for the production of automated turbine sprayers and, in particular, to address the specific demands of fruit farming.
Montana’s third facility is strategically located in Rondonopolis, in the state of Mato Grosso. This facility is located in one of the most important Brazilian agricultural venues, and the Montana plant was built specifically to provide support and fast delivery of equipment of the highest quality to the farmers of that region. In addition, similar to all Montana plants, there are many points of sale in the region, and the Mato Grosso facility is there to provide support to the brand’s dealers in the region.
Montana’s first international outpost is located in the city of Cacilda, Argentina. This venture represents an exciting step for the company.
“This sector has three main factors to contend with and respond to,” begins Magno. “The first one is climate. In the agricultural sector, you can only do as much or as little as the earth allows in a given season. The sun can make or break a company. The second factor is the financial situation of farmers, our clients, to whom we must always respond and rely on. The third factor, of course, is the price of commodities.”
Montana is structured to be able to face these factors with new and innovative machinery solutions. “We are set apart,” says Magno, “by the constant drive to develop new products. We are always striving towards greater productivity and offering new products to the market at lower costs. We are always acting with the final consumer first and foremost in our mind. Through every action in this company, every worker, every engineer, every single component of the Montana team has the final consumer in mind.”
This drive to offer solutions has been the Montana ethic since its inception. The company’s history is marked by the capacity to think big and because of this core value alone, a great partnership and high level of trust has been established with the Brazilian agricultural community, used to facing all sorts of problems, while continually breaking records in production. This philosophy is incorporated in every aspect of Montana’s daily activities, all the way from employees, departments, dealerships, to external collaborators who, because of their integration into this shared ideal, form an agile, competent team, continuously looking for more and better solutions. Montana naturally incorporates and practices social and environmental responsibility, not just in words, but in practice. With this integrated approach, Montana’s corporate success will be accompanied by the personal growth of the whole team.
Because this is Montana: a business of solutions for agriculture, a living, breathing example of a strong, independent Brazil at the forefront of agriculture.
“We have a very distinctive corporate culture,” says Magno. “We are closely tied to the final consumer, who in turn places all his trust in us. With our large client base, an inventory of clients with courage to buy new and innovative products, we feel safe in reinventing the wheel at every turn. This is special.”
As Montana’s 12th anniversary comes close, the company’s product portfolio features five different equipment lines, used all over Brazil and delivered through more than 200 branded points of sale. With this philosophy of maintaining real-time partnerships with Brazilian producers, Montana is capable of producing machines fitted to meet the needs of every type of crop. For instance, since 2006, the Montana facility in Fraiburgo, state of Santa Catarina, has focused on assembling automated turbine sprayers to address in particular the requirements of the fruit farming market. By developing these crop-specific products, Montana, once again, developed solutions that satisfy the specific needs of farmers. Today, in addition to its strong presence in Brazil, Montana has begun to export its product lines to countries such as Argentina, Russia, the Ukraine, South Africa, and Chile, among others.
In 2001, with the launch of Parruda Ma 3027, Montana once again created a product that conveys agility, efficiency, increasing productivity and cost reduction, in addition to eliminating the use of tractors in the applications. It was a divider of the waters for farmers and also for the company, which evolved from a small operation to one of the fiercest competitors in the field.
The Parrudinha (“small Parruda” in Portuguese), and the Parruda Canavieira (sugar cane plantation in Portuguese), available in 4×2 as well as 4×4 models, are testimonials to Montana’s creativity, giving the company the national market lead in the field of self-propelled machines. Montana is currently working towards leadership of the global market. The current Parruda model was designed to deliver excellent performance in the field. The Cotton Blue cotton combine harvester is the latest example of this ongoing quest for solutions, and provides a way to end dependence on foreign technology for this crop.
THE MONTANA WAY
Montana’s goal is to become the world leader in self-propelled sprayers in five years. The company is well on its way, having already conquered the Brazilian market and now setting its sights internationally. As a company that serves both production and agricultural equipment customers, its structure is defined according to its relationship to both of these factors.
Montana is also successful through leadership that is based on family values, and the Montana structure is arranged in a way that promotes the development of each employee. Montana seeks out a certain type of person to join its high quality team, someone who takes advantage of the opportunity to demonstrate virtues and values, and does not conform with trends. Montana’s employees stand out for their correct, sincere attitudes, creating around them a creative, spontaneous and friendly environment. They become leaders. This is the Montana ethic.