On Tuesday, Mom called around 4:00 pm (6:00 in Horizontina). She was changing clothes before being picked up by her colleague Molly to head to her house for pizza. Molly works for Horizontina and is from the states. She’s been at the plant for three years now and have been helping Mom get used to the culture. Molly is going to ask the hotel to see if there’s any way to turn up the heat a little bit, so that Mom won’t be bundling up like an Eskimo tonight in her hotel room.
My sister and I asked Mom to describe exactly what she is doing with her counterpart (in supply management) at the Horizontina plant. Supply management, in the best way possible, sources out parts for tractors, combines, and other machinery that Deere builds and ship out for sale and use. For example, Deere is looking for tires to put on the combines. Supply management goes out and finds a manufacturer who can build the type of tire that Deere needs for their combines, for a fair and reasonable price.
If a part does not pass quality tests by Deere, the manufacturer either has to fix it, or face losing the account with “the Big Green.” Here in America, John Deere can get parts from all over the world, but they mostly get them from companies here in the U.S.. In Brazil, they do the same thing, as what Mom and Supply Management does, but the Brazilian government has a 60/40 rule in place. Sixty percent of parts made to build Deere machinery in Horizontina has to be from companies in Brazil (locally). It’s to promote and encourage customers to buy locally and nationally-made products, like tractors and combines.
One light-hearted moment was when I was giving Mom some interesting facts about Horizontina. When I told her that the most famous person from the small city of a little over 18,000 people was supermodel Gisele Bundchen, her response was “Yeah, someone said that to me today. I don’t have a clue who she was. Then I was asked if I knew Tom Brady and I said ‘I think so? Doesn’t he work at Deere and Company?'”
Then Mom said that Tom and Gisele came to Horizontina last week for Gisele’s birthday and Brady threw a party for her, though her birthday isn’t until July 20th.