A Precision Farming Dealer Staff Report
Planning a precision legacy, overcoming the limitations of today’s equipment compatibility and stretching marketing dollars for maximum return were building blocks of the second Precision Farming Dealer Summit.
Featuring a speaker lineup that included 13 leading dealer groups representing more than $750 million in annual revenue, the event held at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark Hotel, on Jan. 9-10, drew a sold out crowd of 196 precision farming professionals from 92 different dealerships across 27 states, as well as Canada and Australia.
Emphasizing the theme Proven Business Blueprints, Precision Farming Dealer managing editor Jack Zemlicka noted during opening remarks that many dealers have the same questions when it comes to strengthening the foundation of their precision business:
- How do we create, price and promote money-making service packages?
- What are the secrets to conquering compatibility challenges?
- How can we better measure and improve employee performance?
While no dealership has perfected the design of a precision farming business, the 16 speakers, 2 sets of roundtable discussions and intense networking opportunities at the 2 day conference sought to candidly deliver managerial cornerstones for turning promise into profit.
Takeaways ranged from the sensible (utilizing customers as “unpaid salespeople” to increase business) to the philosophical (what is a dealer’s HABU — highest and best use — to help define their transitional objectives), and attendees extended their network of precision allies before heading home.
From the single-location independent retailer to the multi-store farm equipment dealer, the veteran precision ag manager to the newly hired specialist, the passion for precision farming was prevalent during each structured learning session and hallway conversations.
The pages that follow offer a snapshot of the 2017 Summit’s unique, knowledge-sharing environment. Stay tuned for extended coverage of the Summit in the March 2017 issue of Farm Equipment magazine and online at www.Farm-Equipment.com and www.PrecisionFarmingDealer.com.
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What Farmers Want from You
One of the more unique panel presentations at the 2017 Precision Farming Dealer Summit featured two farmers with experience as precision farming specialists.
Sharing candid perspectives from both sides of the precision coin, Jeremy Wilson, of Wilson Farms in Olney, Ill., and Rich Schlipf of Schlipf Farms in Milford, Ind., broke down the challenges, frustrations and victories they’ve experienced adopting technology on their farms.
“You only get one chance to collect data accurately,” notes Wilson, who in addition to operating his family’s 1,200 acre no-till grain farm, works as a technology specialist with Crop IMS, an independent precision dealership.
Schlipf, who formed Schlipf Precision Ag in 2003, manages a 700 acre farm with his wife, Kathy, and has 8 guidelines for dealers to abide by to ensure customer satisfaction and retention.
“It’s starts with a simple rule, treat us like you would want to be treated,” he says.
Stay tuned for detailed coverage of this panel discussion in the Summer print edition of Precision Farming Dealer.