In the ever-evolving precision ag industry, turning a blind eye toward changes in sales trends, customer preferences or business needs can prove quite costly to a company’s success.
Keeping ahead of the curve is more essential than ever, especially in a down market. Precision Farming Dealer’s 3rd Annual Benchmark Study, published in the recent summer print issue, analyzes the current precision business landscape and where it’s heading in the future.
A compilation of research in the report, both from primary study results and outside research, highlights how dealers are leveraging today’s technology for future profitability. The results reveal a continuous shift from one-time equipment sales to more sustainable business strategies and service programs, in pursuit of a perpetual stream of revenue.
While equipment installation continues to be the flagship service, an increasing trend toward once-overlooked components in the industry are now debuting on a bigger stage. Services like signal subscriptions, soil sampling and fertilizer recommendations have more than doubled in dealership prevalence compared to 2013.
One reason why more dealerships are diversifying their business is to become less reliant on hardware sales. While the early days of precision ag saw customers clearing equipment off the shelves, farmers are more judicious with where they invest and have higher expectations for the products they buy.
Expecting a product itself isn’t enough. Hence the rise of additional services such as data management and unmanned aerial vehicles to complement equipment sales.
In most dealerships today, customers will find a separate department for precision farming with a dedicated sales specialist. The wider distribution of responsibilities for precision support, however, is becoming increasingly imminent.
The 2015 Benchmark Study details the ongoing trend toward educating customers, not just service employees, on precision farming practices. In order to further convince customers of the value of precision services, going beyond the efforts of just one sales specialist is often required.
Forecasting the next 5 years, dealers will continue to prioritize both customer and specialist training, while also eyeing precision accessories, including planter and seeding controls and application technology hardware as primary revenue-generating sources in the future.