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Precision Farming Dealer 2013 Baseline Survey

Dealers Bank on Products & Personnel

Precision hardware sales & additional staff could lay the foundation for future service offerings.

Jack Zemlicka, Technology Editor M

any precision farming dealers we’ve talked to share the same challenge of trying to increase revenue at a time when qualified help is scarce

and technology is evolving at such a rapid rate. It’s diffi- cult to keep pace with training employees, much less edu- cating customers. To paraphrase a precision specialist in Illinois, who is the primary salesperson for three stores and services hundreds of customers — there isn’t a universal set of instructions on the best way to do this job. Trial and error is often the “road map” to success — or failure — for many precision farming dealers. Those who thrive often live on the cutting edge of innova- tion, making the most of new opportunities in the marketplace. Farm customers today have no shortage of options when

it comes to finding the right precision farming tools to suit their operation.

“Everyone has products,” says a dealer from Iowa. “It’s what you do to service and support those products that keeps customers coming back.” For the first time, Precision Farming Dealer takes an in-depth look at how dealers are currently structuring and maintaining their precision farming business, as well as plans for the future.

This baseline study lays the foundation for an annual analysis of the performance trends and service objectives of precision farming dealers in North America. The 2013 results provide an interesting entry point into the current breakdown of nearly 70 dealerships’ precision interests and reveal several notable results.

Objectives & Delivery

For the majority of dealers, precision farming products serve as a complement to farm equipment sales. Based on responses from 27 states and Canada, 55.4% of dealers say their primary objective with selling precision technology is to supplement wholegoods sales. Only 18.5% of respondents say their primary goal with precision farming is to be an independent source of sales revenue. Another 18.4% say their primary goal with preci-

008 PRECISION FARMING DEALER ••••• 2013 One Indiana equipment dealership we visited recently

opened a precision-only store to make a statement to custom- ers about its commitment to servicing precision technology. But the dealer also aims to eventually create an independent revenue stream — separate from its machinery sales. As precision departments potentially outgrow space and resources available within equipment dealerships, it’s pos- sible more may be spun off into stand-alone stores.

sion products is aftermarket sales and service, while 7.7% say their main objective is to make money through inde- pendent service and support.

This could change though, as iron dealers grow their pre- cision farming departments, and precision-only operations continue to emerge.

Some iron dealerships have also begun to separate their precision departments from their machinery interests, go- ing so far as to open independent precision ag stores.

Primary Business Objective with Precision Farming

Independent Service/ Support Revenue: 7.7%

Aftermarket Sales & Service: 18.4%

Independent Sales Revenue: 18.5%

Supplement Wholegoods Sales: 55.4%

The goal for most dealers with precision farming is to supple- ment wholegoods sales, but some see it as an independent revenue source.

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