Troubleshooting today’s precision technology is as much an art as it is a skill. Innovation, experimentation and a little luck are often part of solving an equipment compatibility equation.
Having the ability to diagnose and deliver a lasting solution to a frustrating problem is a gateway to increasing service revenue by building confidence and credibility with your farm customers.
During a dealer-to-dealer panel discussion at the 2017 Precision Farming Dealer Summit on Jan. 10, three veteran precision farming specialists will offer bankable advice and share lessons learned from overcoming adversity caused by compatibility headaches. From finding the right combination of components for retrofitting used systems to analyzing the latest software updates prior to recommending them to customers, learn how these dealers are applying a “plug-and-play” mentality to improve equipment functionality.
Speakers for this panel include:
Lance Larsen, precision specialist, South Dakota Wheat Growers, in Aberdeen, S.D. (2014 Precision Farming Dealer Most Valuable Dealership). During 6 years with the 5,400 member co-op, Larsen has spent most of his precision farming career installing and troubleshooting technology. Working for a “colorblind” company that generates 70% of its precision revenue from service offerings, and billing more than 4,000 hours per year, Larsen works with more than a dozen different equipment brands and has helped develop several unique hardware solutions. Embracing the silent company motto of “making the impossible possible on a daily basis,” Larsen will cite examples of his mix-and-match approach to overcoming compatibility obstacles and how it has given the company a competitive service advantage.
Bryan Peterman, Integrated Solutions manager, Atlantic Tractor in Clayton, Del. Supporting precision software often requires patience, persistence and creativity. Unlocks and upgrades offer a recurring revenue source for Peterman at Atlantic Tractor, an 11 location dealer group in Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania. But capitalizing on this potential comes from training, testing and assessing the value of new software launches before selling it to farm customers. Peterman draws on 30 years of service experience with the dealership and will share advice for being a customer support bridge to precision software updates and how a reliable support package can convert skeptical customers.
Jon Bickel, owner, Used Precision Ag Solutions in Fort Wayne, Ind. Market conditions have driven demand and sales of used ag technology creating a lucrative specialty business for Bickel. Considered a pioneer in capitalizing on the niche precision market, Bickel has spent the last 16 years buying, selling and consigning dozens of different brands and models of used precision components. With 90% of revenue generated through sales and service of used hardware, retrofitting older technology with new machinery is a necessary skill, honed through trial-and-error and a calculated risk-taking mentality. Bickel will share secrets to solving compatibility quagmires with used precision equipment that have helped achieve 30% sales margins. He also will deliver examples and advice on when to avoid systems that are more trouble than they are worth.
Co-located with the 25th Annual National No-Tillage Conference, the 2017 Summit will be held Jan. 9-10 at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark. Among the Title Sponsors making the learning and networking opportunities possible for dealers are CDK Global, Charter Software Inc., Equip IQ, Farmers Edge, Laforge Systems, Montag Manufacturing, MZB, Reichhardt, Western Equipment Dealers Assn. and Yetter Farm Equipment.
View the complete 8 page program here. For more information and to register for the Summit click here or visit www.PrecisionSummit.com. Stay tuned for more updates and speaker announcements. We’ll see you in St. Louis!