David Emmett: A Renewal of BBI’s Enduring Commitment to Quality

Thanks to the commitment of our people, in tandem with the increasing loyalty of our many customers and great dealers, BBI Spreaders has experienced record growth for several consecutive years.  With record growth comes greater responsibility, and as sales increase, companies like BBI must redouble their efforts to maintain the quality, durability, and efficiency of the equipment that attracts so many fans in the field.

BBI can’t simply deliver more product to the field—it must continue to redefine what bringing the best to the field is all about in equipment for farming, poultry, construction, and more.  As a renewal to our company’s enduring commitment to quality—when we say you “bring the best to the field when you spread BBI,” really meaning it—our company is proud to announce the hiring of a high-impact performer in quality control and warranty, David Emmett.

With over 40 years of managing installation, quality engineering, parts, manufacturing processes, and warranty issues on equipment at a variety of companies, David is one of those people that companies like BBI need to stay ahead of the competition, and, more importantly, to exceed customer expectations for performance year after year.  As David sees it, his job is to do the deep dives into BBI’s equipment, component parts, and manufacturing processes to ensure that today’s small worries become big wins for the company and its customers, rather than evolving into persistent problems.

BBI Spreader News recently sat down with David to explore his vast expertise in quality machinery and talk about how his role has emerged at BBI since he joined the company this summer.  

BBI Spreader News: Good morning, David. Tell our readers about your experience in working on quality control and warranty issues with equipment.

David Emmett:  I’ve had the privilege of working for several companies, gaining an understanding from many perspectives of how equipment should perform as a result of how it’s made, along with an ongoing, steadfast commitment to building the quality that drives peak performance. 

I’ve been in production and assembly of equipment in many settings since the 80s, working in quality control, research and development, and purchasing. Most recently, I spent eight years working for Kubota, a company with a real determination to always do things better than before.  At Kubota, I had several great opportunities to impact the business in positive ways. I worked in assembly, served on R&D teams working on new products, and did a lot of great work in the warranty department.

In warranty, we did a lot of tracking of issues, which then graduated to checking parts, working with suppliers, and making changes to give our customers greater performance and durability with their equipment. In QC, we did a lot of straight-off-the-line inspections, trying to capture potential problems before customers ever experienced them in the field. We were relentless in making changes and revisions to our products, all resulting in better operation.

Some of the most fun I had was heading up the field testing of new products and revised products prior to their launch. I can remember testing mowers, for instance, on 300 acres at a time in grass eight feet tall—extreme mowing!  I loved that, the fact that we’d put those products through at least twice the beating that a customer ever would in their day-to-day use.

From my other companies prior to Kubota, I bring similar experience in the areas of quality, parts, and warranty. Some of my best work happened during stints with a couple of poultry processing equipment companies. In one of those roles, I handled purchasing, which gave me a skill set for greater understanding of the financial impact of the necessary changes that occur within quality and warranty frameworks at companies.  I can tell my leaders that when they spend a little today, they can reap huge benefits down the road.

BBI Spreader News:  What attracted you to come to BBI?

David Emmett:  If there’s a running theme in my career, it’s that I’ve always wanted to take on as much responsibility in areas where I think I can make an impact.  What’s great about BBI, for me, is that while it’s a sizeable company, it’s a bit smaller than what I’m used to.  I could tell that BBI would be a place where I could come in, do what I do with a little freedom, and collaborate with people across the company to keep building on their great foundation of success.

Having experienced companies larger than BBI, it’s important that I can get my voice heard when I think it’ll benefit the company.  That perception was there for BBI, and I haven’t been disappointed so far. BBI’s a much smaller company than what I’m used to, so I feel like I can make a bigger impact. Use my knowledge to benefit a company of this size to really impact things, as opposed to a bigger company where your voice may not be heard. 

Doing great work, building great machines in this business, comes down to a couple of things—excelling in welding and manufacturing. It’s that simple, just like building houses comes down to the quality of the material and the hammering of nails. I believe that my skills and experience are already proving to be a great match with those of the people at BBI, and I can continue to grow as a quality professional as BBI grows.  

BBI Spreader News:  Tell us how your role has been emerging within the company.

David Emmett:  For me, it’s a matter of rolling up my sleeves and getting my hands on the equipment, as well as analyzing quality and warranty issues from a historic perspective, as they emerge, and from a preventive angle.  It’s my job to recommend and implement changes, that, to the untrained eye, may look small but will have a huge, positive impact on the user experience with regard to performance, efficiency, and durability.

I collaborate with a couple of great people—Joe Kingrey in production and Russ McEver in parts and warranty. With Joe, I’m seeking greater uniformity in the production of parts and components, making sure that end of the business continues to run as smoothly as possible while making changes toward continuous improvement for quality standards. This is so important—as BBI is growing, getting our spreaders onto more fields, we want our brand’s reputation for quality to continue to move to the next level.

In Joe’s group, we’re also identifying new opportunities for rigorous production standards on everything from gearbox to u-join placement to the location of labels and serial numbers.  It’s important, from a quality in production perspective, that our customers and dealers see consistency. This can be a challenge, as we’ve built a reputation for flexibility within our brand to meet the exact needs of farmers and other customer groups. 

With Russ, I’m looking at small things like some of the parts we’ve been using for years, to identify high-impact warranty calls and greatly reduce problems in the field.  You can only fix what you see. For example, we can identify something like a shaft for seals, making sure that shaft doesn’t betray the seal design, eliminating leaking issues.

To sum up my role, all of these efforts with Joe, Russ, and others in the company will add up to continued, greater success for BBI, and success happening in the right way. I define that as customers having fewer and fewer problems, with BBI’s reputation for making the best, most durable equipment for the industries it serves growing even more.  I appreciate the company’s dedication to this area and especially the trust they’ve put in me and my colleagues to deliver on this promise.