The success of every dealership’s precision farming business starts at the top. Without a clear vision and detailed goals from management, failure is almost guaranteed. But even with defined direction, turning a profit doesn’t happen overnight — trial and error is an inevitable necessity on the pathway to sustainable growth. Learning from early mistakes — and then adapting — is the foundational philosophy of Tim Norris, CEO of Ag Info Tech, Precision Farming Dealer’s 2015 Most Valuable Dealership, based in Mount Vernon, Ohio.
Norris has nearly 2 decades of experience using, selling and servicing precision farming technology. In 2004, he formed Ag Info Tech, an independent precision ag company, based on his beliefthat technology would drive the future of agriculture. Annual precision sales have grown from $1.6 million in 2010 to more than $3 million, with an emphasis on diversifying revenue streams and ultimately achieving the goal 50/50 split between hardware and service revenue.
- Make ROI the focus of your sales pitch to farmers to help take price out of the equation
- Track your billable service hours — if you can track it, you can manage it
- Understand and plan accordingly for the seasonality of precision to maintain a steady revenue stream
- Know what precision employees cost your business and how to maximize their productivity
- Maintain your margins — precision dealers should strive for at least 25% margin on hardware
To thrive in today’s increasingly competitive precision market, dealers need to be “selling partnerships, not just products,” according to Norris. This requires a systematic approach to adopting an organizational flow chart for employee responsibilities, implementing a reliable CRM system and maintaining diversity with product and service offerings.
As the opening general session at the first-ever Precision Farming Dealer Summit on Jan. 5-6, Norris will detail the managerial methods and calculated risks that have helped his precision business thrive during the last decade, along with the valuable lessons learned that have sharpened his business focus.
Co-located with the 24th Annual National No-Tillage Conference, the 2016 Summit will be held Jan. 5-6 at the Indianapolis Downtown Marriott. Among the Title Sponsors making the learning and networking opportunities possible for dealers are Ace Pumps, CDK Global, DigiFarm, Dealer Information Systems (DIS), DLL Financial Solutions, Iron Solutions, LAFORGE Systems, Montag Manufacturing, MZB, Reichhardt, Western Equipment Dealers Assn. and Yetter Farm Equipment.
For more information and to register for the Summit (discounted for dealers who register prior to Oct. 15), click here or visit www.precisionsummit.com. Stay tuned for more updates and speaker announcements. We’ll see you in Indianapolis!