2016 Precision Farming Dealer Summit — Roundtable  #1

A Precision Farming Dealer Staff Report

To keep precision employees busy year round, dealers at this roundtable first discussed standardizing pricing for precision service. Having uniformity in knowing how to monetize services and how to charge for phone and field support can streamline billing practices throughout the year. It can also keep parts, sales, service and precision staff on the same page when it comes to price quoting.

“If you’re at an equipment dealership, and have integration between your service and precision departments, how do you charge the going shop rate vs. the time in the field?” said roundtable moderator Chad Pfitzer from 4 Rivers Equipment, in Greeley, Colo.  “Is it part of a wholegoods sale where you’ve got service built in for 1 year and are the salesmen charging for that during the deal? If you have to come back to recoup costs, we all have to be really, really aware of what we’re doing as far as how we’re charging and not charging.”

If precision specialists aren’t performing revenue-generating duties, dealers at the roundtable said they should either be training customers or employees in other departments of the dealership. This approach can also equip precision specialists with the experience and confidence to better communicate with customers, share knowledge with colleagues and develop leadership skills, Pfitzer says.

Maintaining flexibility across departments is another way to keep precision staff moving year-round. Encouraging precision cross-training among sales, service and parts can identify strengths and weaknesses of employees and increase productivity throughout the year.

“We need to be able to expect that employees can fill multiple roles because obviously as our organizations and precision departments evolve, we’ve got to have flexibility,” Pfitzer says. “We can’t have silos between departments or within the department where someone says ‘I’m not going to do this, this is not my job.’ That phrase shouldn’t exist.”

Read full coverage of the Precision Farming Dealer Summit presentations, from how to recruit and retain precision employees, to developing a standalone precision business, to managing customers’ data, in the March 2016 issue of Farm Equipment.

Roundtable Discussion Topics

1. Keeping Precision Employees Productive Year Round (currently viewing)
2. Troubleshooting Technology: Conquering Compatibility Problems
3. Putting on a Successful Precision Ag Field Day
4. How to Structure Your Precision Internships
5. Strategies for Selling Used Precision Equipment
6. Making the Most of Online Sales Opportunities
7. Spreading Precision Workflow Across Departments
8. UAVs: Practical Precision Tools or Toys?
9. Tech Support: Where Can Manufacturers Improve?
10. Marketing: Where Will I Get the Most Bang for My Buck?