As a precision farming dealer, what are your top three needs to improve technology service and support capabilities at your dealership heading into 2013?

How do you intend to fill those needs?


“In my opinion, our top three needs would be:

"1. Proof of Product. We need better 'internal' product testing before it goes to the field. We have seen too many new products get released and then in a short period of time, we are chasing them with new firmware upgrades to fix 'glitches' or 'bugs' that were uncovered by end users in the field.

“2. Better Remote Diagnostics. If a technician had the ability to not only view, but also make changes to all display settings for the customer, this would be a huge help for them. There are certain companies today that have remote diagnostics, but they have limited capabilities. With the proper training and security, this would be a great feature and benefit for both the tech and the end user.

“3. Qualified Bodies. This is probably on everyone’s list, but the need to find qualified individuals to fit our mold. You can’t just take anyone and throw them into this position. They have to really understand all sides of it and want to learn from the school of ‘hard knocks."'

— Andy Briggs,
Crop IMS, Bristol, Wis.

“We need to have more then two guys trained and able to install, diagnose and help the customer. By help the customer, I mean they should be able to show, train, explain and answer questions the customer may have. Just about every farmer out there has some type of precision farming equipment and a lot of these customers don't understand their system, no matter how many times you explain it to them. The shop has 10 guys to cover our total customer base. We precision farming specialists have to cover all these customers as well with only two guys and we are also selling on top of it.

“How we intend to meet this need is by either sending more guys to training on precision farming equipment, or by having in house training put on by the precision farming specialist.

“With telematics coming, we need to get the service department trained on how they can use this to log into customers tractors to receive information to diagnose problems, and not rely on the precision farming specialist to get them the information. Train the service department or designate one service tech to get this information. Then send messages to the customers when they get to service intervals or warn customers that they have a problem with their unit.

“The biggest thing is to be able to show the customer how the precision farming products work, not just tell them. This means having to demo equipment. The best way would be to have a new tractor or unit set up and have our customers demo the whole thing out.”

— Jerod Murra,
Titan Machinery, Grundy Center, Iowa