A Precision Farming Dealer Staff Report

Precision farming specialists tend to work with a certain independence and freedom — troubleshooting technology problems on a fluid timeline few others can solve.

But inevitably, situations arise where another perspective or recommendation is welcome, though not always available. Having an internal network of precision knowledge within a dealership is an asset, but often a luxury.

Specialists can be spread thin during peak seasons, especially dealerships with only one- or two-person precision departments, and calling on competitors for advice isn’t necessarily the preferred problem-solving method.

Joining or even forming a precision peer group of non-competitive dealers is an option to network with other specialists and trade tips, challenges and success stories.

“There’s a lot that we can learn from each other and also a power of a group of dealers can get the vendors attention,” says Terry Johnson, marketing manager with HTS Ag in Harlan, Iowa. “As individuals, we may not have a lot of say, but we  have 12 or 14 individuals in a room that may have multiple locations you can get the attention of vendors and get some help with training or product support.”

Meeting face-to-face once or twice per year provides an opportunity for dealers with diverse business models to share everything from financial progress and goals to sales experience with the latest technology and troubleshooting tips.

Peer groups also can validate the path a precision business is on or help redirect it by forcing owners or managers to take a closer look at personal and professional development.

“There is an element of accountability with peer groups because members will hold each other to deadlines and goals set meeting to meeting,” Johnston says. “We’ve been involved in them for years and they are a valuable resource not only from a business standpoint, but to measure your growth as an individual.”

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 2017 issue of Farm Equipment.