When my late business partner, Kevin Muspratt, and I commenced business in 1980, we were focused on bringing technology to farmers and contractors to improve their productivity and efficiency. While this core focus of the business hasn’t changed, the technology that we offer and the applications they serve have.
Back in 1980 using lasers for land levelling was still in its infancy. In fact, it was just a little over 10 years since Bob Studebaker had developed the first rotating laser and formed his company Laserplane in Dayton, Ohio USA. Laserplane merged with Spectra Physics in 1975 to become Spectra Physics-Laserplane, our first technology partner. 1998 saw the merger of Spectra Physics-Laserplane with Geotronics and Plus 3 Software to become Spectra Precision. In 2000, Trimble Navigation acquired Spectra Precision. So, while we celebrate our 40-year anniversary as a business we also celebrate a 40-year relationship with Trimble.
Through the 1980’s and the 1990’s Spectra continued to supply a steady stream of new products that also introduced us to different customer segments beyond agriculture.
In the late 1990’s we began selling GPS based technology for the first time through the GeoStar and BladePro 3D products. In the early 2000’s, after Trimble acquired Spectra, we began selling and supporting the first GPS tractor steering and guidance solutions.
At the time I don’t think we truly appreciated what a change GPS would have on our major customer markets of Agriculture and Construction. The use of GPS has enabled Precision Agriculture to become possible.
The constant evolution of technologies has meant that as an organisation we have needed to learn about and support these different technologies. But, more importantly, we also had to continue to learn and understand “what are the problems our customers are trying to solve” and how we can help them maximise the benefits the technology offers. Providing solutions, not just products, has always been a core element of the culture of our business.