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able to make this work is precision is our top focus, so every salesper- son is working with it. We’re putting systems on Apache sprayers, so we’re selling these same systems to other Apache dealers, which is giving us a leg up on the competition because we’re the primary source for it. That’s been one of the biggest things.”


Q


What precision services do you offer to farm cus- tomers and how are you delivering those as a source of revenue for your dealership?


Carlson: “We offer about four packages when it comes to agro-


nomic services. The first one is measur- ing electro-conductivity of the soil, which builds the map of the actual soil they have across their farm. The second is providing soil sampling in those zones and then agronomic advice on how much and where to put chemicals. The third one is a scouting package during the growing season where we look at what’s going on and sending tissue samples to a lab. “We send the soil samples and the tissue samples to the same lab if re- quested and look at disease pressure as well as nutrient needs. So if the plant needs more nutrients, the agronomist and the customer sit down and decide if it’s worthwhile and how much money they want to spend.


“The last one is putting it all together on a website; collecting all the data. It’s all GPS recorded and it doesn’t matter what machine it is. The customer has access to see what the end results are and how the results were arrived at based on the chemicals that were put down and our recommendations.”


Strunk: “We offer sales on the hardware and also RTK subscrip-


tion or an Omnistar subscription. We’re looking at data management, but only to the point of printing out yield maps and information like that per our cus-


tomers’ requests. We have no desire at this time to make recommendations for variable rate. We’re also looking at adding a repair center in the near future for precision technology products. “We offer customers some unique things. One thing we do with Raven is a swing program for the Viper Pro monitors. So if the customer has one that is out of warranty, we send them one and then we send their unit in for repair. That keeps them up and go- ing. So they get a monitor that’s been repaired by Raven and then we just charge them what the repair cost and they keep that monitor. We probably have 18-20 monitors in that program at all times just because we have so many Viper Pros out there in the system.”


Gittins: “We offer hardware, sales service and support on the hardware, installation, troubleshoot- ing and whatever the case may be. We also offer a service plan for their equipment, which includes having a technician onsite to update and trou- bleshoot their equipment, or look over their equipment preseason. It’s sort of a preseason inspection and also in- cludes phone support for the year with one of our technicians. “We offer data management and analysis as a service and we also of- fer grain management, hardware and installation and service. It’s a little dif- ferent product line than your tradition- al precision ag dealer, but to us it still falls into the same category. We’re using electronics to increase the ef- fectiveness or simply, the process of, agriculture. So we use grain manage- ment tools to do that and it’s been a big piece of our business. “We really have three tiers. We look at hardware, we look at installation, ser- vice, support, the service billing side of that, and then we look at data manage- ment as our third layer of service. We do this internally. We’re able to handle and process the data from a technology standpoint. We don’t necessarily make agronomic recommendations.”


Kennelly: “We don’t have a structured service plan set up


028 PRECISION FARMING DEALER ••••• 2013


other than hourly service charges after the first season of use, but we do some preseason checks on guidance sys- tems. The customer pays a service fee and we’ll come out and make sure ev- erything is updated, calibrated and the monitors are operating properly. “As far as being a revenue source, I’m going to say it’s not a big revenue source for us. I feel that it goes back to our main goal of being efficient. “We try to make it price-structured and we’re not trying to make a whole lot of money on it. We feel the commit- ment we get from the customer and the goal of providing quality service keeps


want to price our service so high that only a few people can afford to do preseason service…





them happy. If preseason checks aren’t done, there are usually more problems in the field, which means downtime. “We don’t price preseason checks in such a way that we’re making a large amount of money because we feel like it makes everything more efficient and we want as many customers taking ad- vantage of that as possible.”





Draude: “Right now, we have our normal hardware, which is Raven, Precision Planting, Ag Leader, Trimble, John Deere, NORAC; just about all of the key players. But then we have a lot of other things which in- clude service agreements. We’ve start- ed doing a lot more on the mapping side, helping customers with variable rate technology.


“One of our guys is mainly dedicated to the software side, keeping customers up to speed, doing in-house training with co-ops and retailers we sell bars to. We get a lot more small groups of 10-20 people, and hopefully in 2013


We don’t


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