More dealerships — either by choice or by directive — are incorporating agronomic services into their businesses. Results of the 2018 Precision Farming Dealer benchmark study showed that nearly half of dealers require agronomic training for their precision specialists — the highest total in the history of the study.
But breaking into this business can still be a hard sell — at least initially. Some dealers admit that early entry into agronomic services was seen as more of a burden than a benefit. Those dealerships that have been receptive to adding prescriptive farming options to complement machinery and component sales have gradually been able to gain traction with customers.
During a diverse panel discussion at the 2019 Precision Farming Dealer Summit on Jan. 7-8, you will hear 3 perspectives on how dealers are incorporating data-driven services for profit, along with best practices for collection, storage and analysis of customer data.
Speakers for this panel include:
Craig Benedict, ag technology solutions manager, Reynolds Farm Equipment in Noblesville, Ind. When adding in-house agronomists, knowing where to find talent is a critical part of the process. When Reynolds Farm Equipment, a 7-location dealership serving Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, hired its first agronomist in 2013 (and another in 2015), both were locally known independent service providers.
In addition to instantly inheriting the agronomists’ knowledge of service costs and pricing, the hiring also brought competitive benefits along with the addition of new customers. Benedict says the hires helped Reynolds quickly build its pricing model and to address factors related to launching their program.
“Our program is in its fifth year now,” he says. “We set a goal of $350,000 of added revenue in 2018, and our agronomy teams is on track to surpass that mark. As our customer base grows, we see the goals being easily attainable and then some.”
Benedict details how the dealership developed its plan for agronomic revenue growth, including setting a realistic pricing structure and flexibility, along with the value of an agronomic mentorship program to develop new agronomy hires.
Ryan Powell, information services manager, Ag Info Tech, Fredericktown, Ohio. As data analytics become an emerging part of precision dealers’ business growth, knowing how to deliver and support those services is essential to making them profitable. During his 4 years with Ag Info Tech, Powell has helped develop the independent precision retailer’s data, soil sampling and variable-rate service offerings, growing revenue by more than 66% during the last year.
Powell shares how he leverages the dealership’s “Precision with a Purpose” sales tool — to customize, price and support data-driven services, while prioritizing return on investment for both the dealership and customer.
Todd Janzen, attorney, Janzen Ag Law, in Indianapolis, Ind. The rise of smart sensors that collect and relay data means that nearly every equipment manufacturer today has some form of data collection tool. Dealers selling and servicing equipment are often the middle man between the manufacturer and the farmer, and in the middle of the data stream.
So just what are the dealer’s obligations to their customers with respect to this data? It’s not always an easy answer, says Janzen, who worked with the American Farm Bureau Federation to develop the Privacy and Security Principles for Farm Data, an agreement signed by over 30 prom¬inent agriculture technology provid¬ers.
Janzen provides an insider’s view on the problems companies encounter when addresses ag data collection, storage and security, along with an explanation of how dealers can increase trust with customers when accessing their ag data with examples of best ag data practices for dealers.
3 Things You Will Learn From this Session
- Tips on pricing and promotion of data-driven services and how to set incremental revenue expectations
- The competitive and long-term value of investing in experience when adding agronomic services
- Cautions and advice on strengthening customer relationships via safe, secure handling of precision data
Co-located with the 27th Annual National No-Tillage Conference, the 2019 Precision Farming Dealer Summit will be held Jan. 7-8 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown. Among the Title Sponsors making the learning and networking opportunities possible for dealers are Charter Software Inc., DigiFarm VBN, Laforge Systems, Montag Mfg., Reichhardt, Topcon, AgDNA, AeroVironment, Praxidyn and Yetter Farm Equipment.
For more information and to register for the Precision Farming Dealer Summit click here or visit www.PrecisionSummit.com. Stay tuned for more updates and speaker announcements. We’ll see you in Indianapolis!