Independent forum is an outlet for specialists to exchange precision solutions, but creator hopes to increase number of users and variety of discussion topics.
Soon after Nick Lund launched an online precision problem-solving forum in 2013, Precision Farming Dealer talked with him about his goals for the interactive website.
When the level of a technology related issue moves from problem to exasperation, Lund has seen several instances where his website has served as the court of last resort for precision farming dealers. Now, he would like to see the Precision Agriculture Tech Support site — www.precisiontechsupport.com — become the first option for dealers needing a rapid solution for a specific problem.
“I set a goal of 100 users in a year and have about 80,” says Lund, a site developer and precision farming specialist at Koenig Equipment, a Case IH dealership in Gas City, Ind.
Lund says about 50 of the current 80 subscribers are dealers, with the rest being farmers. His goal is to double the number of dealer subscribers in the second year, but ultimately his desire is to tap into another 600 or so precision farming dealers.
With an annual subscription fee of $3.99 per single dealer or $9.99 for a dealership group, Lund says the cumulative knowledge of the other dealers would far outweigh the monetary benefit.
Helping dealers solve those problems for their customers is the whole premise behind the website.
“You kind of forget the brand on your shirt or who you work for. I’m just trying to fix the problems for the end user….”
If you get into a situation that’s only yours, you’re just throwing around random guesses,” he says. “Where the forum is useful, is when specialists have the same problem, and instead of guessing a million times, somebody says ‘Try this’ and it’s going to end up working.
“That’s why I created the forum in the way I did. There’s a lot of trial and error and it’s mostly error that I wanted to minimize.”
Sometimes the initial poster figures out the solution to his or her own problem, and shares the information.
Since launching the website, Lund says one of the most consistent issues continues to involve equipment compatibility, or the “mixing of colors.” A manufacturer might have its own part of a problem on record, but have no way of knowing — and often doesn’t care — about issues with a competitor.
The forum discussions allow for dealers to help bridge that gap.
“You kind of forget the brand on your shirt or who you work for,” Lund says. “I’m just trying to fix the problems for the end user.”
Another common problem is working with various generations of technology, especially in conjunction with the age of the mechanical equipment.
“You’ve got products upward of 20 years old still being used every single day because they work,” Lund says. “But the customer tries to do just one more operation with a product. In those instances, it might take some crazy engineering to make it work and that’s what he comes to us for.”
Lund says he hopes the website will be of more use to dealers in the future because of rapid changes in technology, as well as the increased tech savviness of the next generation of farmers who are used to — and expect — an immediate response.
“Once the next generation rolls that over into farming, farmers are going to demand immediate solutions,” Lund says. “If a problem exists and you don’t have an answer, that’s not good.
“This forum is just another tool in a specialist’s toolbox to fix a problem. It’s something they’ve been wanting for a long time.”