The Toro Company  (TTC)
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The Toro Company

Business Description

We design, manufacture, and market professional turf maintenance equipment and services, turf irrigation systems, landscaping equipment and lighting, agricultural micro-irrigation systems, rental and specialty construction equipment, and residential yard and snow thrower products. With our acquisition of the BOSS® professional snow and ice management business in the first quarter of fiscal 2015, we also design, manufacture, and market professional snow and ice management products. We produced our first mower for golf course use in 1921 when we mounted five reel mowers on a Toro tractor, and we introduced our first lawn mower for residential use in 1935. We have continued to enhance our product lines over the more than 100 years we have been in business. We classify our operations into three reportable business segments: Professional, Residential, and Distribution. Our Distribution segment, which consists of our company-owned domestic distributorships, has been combined with our corporate activities and is shown as "Other."

Our products are advertised and sold at the retail level under the primary trademarks of Toro®, Exmark®, BOSS®, Irritrol®, Hayter®, Pope®, Unique Lighting Systems®, and Lawn-Boy® most of which are registered in the United States and/or in the primary countries outside the United States where we market such products. This report also contains trademarks, trade names, and service marks that are owned by other persons or entities, such as The Home Depot, Inc. ("The Home Depot").

We emphasize quality and innovation in our products, customer service, manufacturing, and marketing. We strive to provide well-built, dependable products supported by an extensive service network. We have committed funding for research, development, and engineering in order to improve and enhance existing products and develop new products. Through these efforts, we seek to be responsive to trends that may affect our target markets now and in the future. A significant portion of our revenues has historically been, and we expect will continue to be, attributable to new and enhanced products. We define new products as those introduced in the current and previous two fiscal years. We plan to continue to pursue targeted acquisitions using a disciplined approach that adds value while supplementing our existing brands and product portfolio.

Our purpose is to help our customers enrich the beauty, productivity, and sustainability of the land. Our vision is to be the most trusted leader in solutions for the outdoor environment. Every day. Everywhere. Our mission, or how we strive to make our vision a reality and what we intend to accomplish, is to deliver superior innovation and to deliver superior customer care.

We are committed to an ongoing engineering program dedicated to developing innovative new products and improvements in the quality and performance of existing products. However, a focus on innovation also carries certain risks that new technology could be slow to be accepted or not accepted by the marketplace. We attempt to mitigate these risks through our focus on and commitment to understanding our customers' needs and requirements. We invest time upfront with customers, using "Voice of the Customer" tools, to help us develop innovative products that are intended to meet or exceed customer expectations. We use Design for Manufacturing and Assembly ("DFM/A") tools to ensure early manufacturing involvement in new product designs intended to reduce production costs. DFM/A focuses on reducing the number of parts required to assemble new products, as well as designing products to move more efficiently through the manufacturing process. We strive to make improvements to our new product development system as part of our continuing focus on Lean methods to shorten development time, reduce costs, and improve quality.

We have strategically identified specific core manufacturing competencies for vertical integration, such as injection molding, extrusion, welding, painting, machining, and aluminum die casting, and have chosen outside vendors to provide other services. We design component parts in cooperation with our vendors, contract with them for the development of tooling, and then enter into agreements with these vendors to purchase component parts manufactured using the tooling. In addition, our vendors regularly test new technologies to be applied in the design and production of component parts. Manufacturing operations include robotic and computer-automated equipment intended to speed production, reduce costs, and improve the quality, fit, and finish of our products. Operations are also designed to be flexible enough to accommodate product design changes that are necessary to respond to market conditions and changing customer requirements.

In order to utilize our manufacturing facilities and technology more effectively, we pursue continuous improvements in our manufacturing processes with the use of Lean methods that are intended to streamline work and eliminate waste. We spend considerable effort to reduce manufacturing costs through Lean methods and process improvement, product and platform design, application of advanced technologies, enhanced environmental management systems, safety improvements, and improved supply-chain management. We also have some agreements with other third party manufacturers to manufacture products on our behalf.

Our professional products are manufactured throughout the year. Our residential lawn and garden products are also generally manufactured throughout the year. However, our residential snow thrower products are manufactured in the summer and fall months but may be extended into the winter months, depending upon demand. Our products are tested in conditions and locations similar to those in which they are used. We use computer-aided design and manufacturing systems to shorten the time between initial concept and final production. DFM/A principles are used throughout the product development process to optimize product quality and cost.

Our production levels and inventory management goals are based on estimates of retail demand for our products, taking into account production capacity, timing of shipments, and field inventory levels. Our production system utilizes Kanban, supplier pull, and build-to-order methodologies in our manufacturing facilities, as appropriate, for the business units they support in order to better align the production of our products to meet customer demand. We believe this has resulted in improved service levels for our participating suppliers, distributors, and dealers.

We periodically shut down production at our manufacturing facilities in order to allow for maintenance, rearrangement, capital equipment installation, and as needed, to adjust for market demand. Capital expenditures for fiscal 2016 are planned to be approximately $70 million as we continue the renovation of our original corporate facility located in Bloomington, Minnesota to accommodate additional expansion needs for our product development and test capacities. Additionally, we plan to invest in new product tooling, new technology in production processes and equipment, replacement production equipment, and investments in new and existing facilities.

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