Fastline Media Group and Iron Solutions announced today a new strategic partnership in which Iron Solutions will provide a valuation tool available to farmers through the Fastline website. The tool, IronAverage, provides a starting point in determining the value of a piece of used equipment. It represents the average value of a piece of equipment, with the most commonly equipped options, of the same year, type, make and model assuming average usage based on age, explains Linda Rader, general manager of Iron Solutions. It is computed using Iron Solutions’ proprietary formula based on dealer-submitted retail sales transactions of similar equipment. (Note that the actual value of a piece of equipment will be impacted by the machine’s actual usage, condition, options and market factors.)
“We are the only one in the industry with this type of all-inclusive valuation tool for used equipment,” says Bill Howard, CEO of Fastline Media Group. Howard says the time was right for the two companies to work together. “We were the first searchable database for farm equipment back in 1998, and the first one that actually came out in a competitive situation was Iron Solution, so we did have competition that was going on between us, but it was good competition. There weren't any shenanigans going on as there are in some of the situations in current times,” he says.
The idea for such a partnership came about during Farm Equipment’s Dealership Minds Summit in 2017, which both companies sponsored. “I had the opportunity to hear from one of their reps and immediately I thought, we are now not in a competitive situation, and I think this could be an area where we could really align ourselves. I went down and visited with the folks down in Nashville and from that, we started about how this could possibly work and we started investigating the idea of doing some strategic planning, with the idea of developing a partnership,” Howard says.
“We’re excited about this partnership. For decades Iron Solutions has worked with dealers and lenders to help them appraise the valuations of equipment that farmers have brought in. We want to help growers come to a quicker decision with their local dealer for the best piece of equipment for their operation,” says Rader. “With our tools, we provide the only source of used equipment valuation that is based on actual dealer-sold transactions, providing a far better estimate for the farmer than those based on auction values.”
Rader adds that both organizations are dedicated to making sure their customers, farmers and dealers receive the best service and the best information they can in order to drive the agricultural industry forward. “We have that mutual interest, and when possible, we like to partner to drive that for both dealers and farmers. And this is a good opportunity to do that,” she says.
Rader says IronAverage will benefit dealers as well. “One of the greatest challenges that dealers have is farmers have traditionally had early auction values and advertised values as point of reference when they're trying to estimate the value of the equipment they bring in on a trade. These two types of data points are actually the extremes of the value of a piece of equipment. But they often serve as the farmer's reference point, and they can actually end up getting in the way of the transaction between the dealer and the farmer.
“Our goal with IronAverage, and appraisal through IronAppraiser.com, is to provide that middle ground point of reference for the equipment value based on a large sample of retail transactions involving comparable equipment. As a result, we believe farmers and dealers will be able to conclude their transactions more quickly and with less stress.”
Howard adds, “When I was at the Dealership Minds Summit, dealers were focused on to you determine what's the best price for this equipment? Is auction price really the best? The reality is to know exactly what the market has sold for. I think that's where this critical piece comes in. It helps both farmers and dealers. We have learned in today's technology, if you're trying to not be transparent, you're not going to win. There's too much information and data out there for you to go, so the people who recognize that and are actually more skilled at being able to pull up that data will be the ones that will win.”
“This is a significant opportunity for Fastline and our audience because, together with Iron Solutions, we are providing web visitors with industry-leading price averages based on Iron Solutions’ proprietary formula,” continues Howard. “In conjunction with our Price Comparison Tool, Fastline is providing the most comprehensive valuation and comparison tools in the industry to determine the average current retail price and the value of advertised used ag equipment.”
The Fastline Price Comparison Tool provides a real-time look at agriculture equipment prices in a chart with the current asking price and hours for each piece of equipment in the chart. The consumer or buyer can filter the chart by proximity and the year the equipment was manufactured. This gives the consumer the ability to see, based on specific website equipment averages, exactly where the equipment rates for its age and hours. The IronAverage provides another layer of filtering, so the consumer can see the average price of an average piece of equipment, in comparison to the equipment they are searching.