While all of the dealers Farm Equipment spoke with for the 2012 Dealer Business Outlook & Trends saw sales of precision farming components increase as a result of dedicating staff to the sales and support of precision ag products, overall revenue increases did not always come exclusively from that department.
David Reeves of Bane Equipment, says that the dealership covers its expenses with precision farming sales, but by offering a total solution to customers, “iron sales and profits have increased because of the one-stop-shop support we give farmers” by having precision ag components and machinery under one roof.
The strength of the agricultural market has also helped Jacobi Sales, says Rick Hoeing, who works at the dealership’s Seymour, Ind. Location.. Because they can afford it, “one area that our customers are really focusing on is technology and the benefits it can bring to their operations. I’m confident in saying that our dealership has seen a tremendous amount of return on the investment of specializing in precision ag.”
At the same time, unsold stock can bring down the bottom line. This is especially true when it comes to precision ag technology. When it comes to keeping stock in inventory, keeping up with the latest products can be difficult, says Reeves, of Bane Equipment in Ladoga, Ind.
“What I started with 3 years ago as a new product is still usable equipment, but it’s already been replaced by new technology. These products have a very short lifespan, so it can be difficult to make sure you keep the product in stock so you can sell it, but that you don’t keep too much of it. You don’t want to have product sitting on the shelf for months.”
Bane Equipment has operated a department dedicated to precision farming since 2008, and David Reeves was its first employee to focus on the products full-time. The department, which primarily sells Trimble and Case IH products, has six trained precision farming specialists on staff.
Excerpted from “Selling Precision Ag Demands Focus” in the April 2011 issue of Farm Equipment.