A Precision Farming Dealer Staff Report

The phrase ‘accuracy is addicting’ is one many precision dealers use to describe the success they’ve had selling RTK subscriptions to farm customers.

According to the 2016 Precision Farming Dealer Benchmark study, more than 80% of responding dealers offer GPS signal subscriptions as a service to farm customers.

But as dealers can attest, not all signal sources are created equal, and choosing the most reliable, repeatable and economical option to provide customers can be a challenge.

There are pros and cons for both land-based and cellular networks. “Land-based, you get better margin, but there is the need to service or maintain base stations,” says Michael Hadley, precision ag consultant with Ramsey Bros., a 6-store dealer group in Australia. “Cellular costs customers less down time, but there can be a third party involved, which can cause issues as well.”

Another challenge with consistently generating recurring revenue from RTK subscriptions is market saturation. Dealers point to the crowded landscape of providers, whether ag-specific companies or cellular network developers.

One of the more successful trends dealers are embracing to connect customers with RTK is including a subscription with new machinery purchases.

“Whether it be a tractor, planter or sprayer, including RTK on that piece of equipment is one of the easiest ways to get customers into a subscription,” Hadley says. “When you’re starting your own network, it’s a lot to do with planning, doing demos and actively targeting customers. And you need to have a solid plan to bring more customers onto your network and to make it a viable part of the business.”

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.



Roundtable Discussion Topics

1. Precision Peer Groups: Your External Support Network
2. Tips, Tricks & Tactics for Selling Data Management Service
3. Does My Precision Ag Business Need to Have a CRM?
4. Putting on a Successful Precision Ag Field Day
5. Market Corrections: Lessons Learned During the Downturn
6. UAVs: Ready for Takeoff? Or a Grounded Technology?
7. Aftermarket Opportunities: What am I Missing?
8. Where Can I Find My Next Precision Hire?
9. Bundling Service: What to Include & How to Price
10. Better Advice for Selling RTK Subscriptions (currently viewing)
11. Probing the Moisture Sensor & Water Management Market
12. 7 Considerations for Succession Planning for a Precision Farming Business
13. Autonomy in Ag: What Role Will I Play?
14. Bridging the Hardware Gap: Adding Agronomic Services