What sales and marketing strategies does your dealership use to deal with obsolescence of precision farming products?
“We realize that technology is always developing and changing at a very rapid pace. Most of our hardware venders try to make new technology on their older displays. This is great because a 5-year-old Ag Leader Integra will do the same things that a brand new Integra will.
However, there comes a time in any product’s life that an new platform is needed to keep up with the demands of newer technology. My staff and I usually learn about new products being released just days before the public announcement or even the same day as the public announcement. Because of that knowledge we try to explain to customers that what we’ve got now is the most current technology.
“But there is no guarantee that the company may come out with a new display or new technology soon, and as far as we know there is nothing new coming. We also talk about lost opportunity if customers choose to wait and with the return on investment being within a year or two on most products, it just doesn’t make any sense to wait on new technology that may or may not come.
“As for products that become obsolete we will reduce our price if it’s in inventory and try to move them out ASAP. But we make sure that the customer is aware that new products are coming out soon, if we know that to be true. We also offer a trade-in program on most products if a farmer wants to upgrade. This not only helps the customer, but gives us used products to sell at a reduced price to fill the bargain hunter market.”
— Tim Norris,
Ag Info Tech,
Mount Vernon, Ohio
“We are a John Deere dealer with 4 locations and 2 AMS consultants. As far as the obsolescence of products, we still have a good market for any of our older used John Deere items locally.
“We seem to have a waiting list for any used precision products. We try to stay away from taking in competitive products. If we can find another dealer willing to purchase then we will take the trade it in.
“Prior to my employment here, salespeople traded in competitive products and set values based on what customers felt they were worth. I’ve been here 10 years now, and we still have some of those items sitting on the shelf. As a dealer, if you don’t get them sold quickly their value can drop off considerably.”
— Lonnie Eichele,
Leading Edge Equipment,
“Our company puts an emphasis on our customers staying ahead of the game. By offering the new products to our customers, we can help them understand how upgrading their out-of-date precision equipment can eliminate clutter in the cab. Most precision displays can take the place of rate controllers and seed monitors and display the read outs on one display.”
— Lance Boelts,
Central City, Neb.
“The one thing we do that is most effective is adjusting the market at which products that are facing obsolescence are targeted toward. In other words, making sure that if the product has reached its peak with the early adopters, it's time to focus on the core buyer.
“When the product loses its luster with the core buyer, then it's time to trade them out of it, get them into the latest product and move those trade-ins to the economy precision purchaser. To sum it up, just as a with any well-run corporation, each precision product needs to have a succession plan.”
— Kevin Ward,
Findlay Implement Co.,