When you start thinking about the possibilities the future holds, it all starts with connectivity. Connecting a display to a brand’s ecosystem is where the user’s journey is going to begin in the next 5 or 10 years.
With the introduction of future technologies and artificial intelligence, as we move into the realm of equipment efficiencies, we’ll gain further predictability on machine breakdowns and things like that long before they happen. To do that, your customers need to compile bits of information about their particular farm in general, and as that information comes flowing in it builds a repository. Now you can enable the potential for future technologies to enhance their farm operation.
So much happens behind the machine. Everybody points to autosteer when they think about precision technologies, but innovation has evolved so far beyond that. While autosteer is a component of the process, it’s just one piece of technology.
As you start to integrate new technologies and connect devices to the displays, it’s going to be aftermarket companies that can build the systems and platforms that allow those technologies to integrate into a piece of machinery. While the technology that comes on the equipment from the OEMs will continue to evolve, companies like Trimble can stay out in front while we develop new technologies that enable operational workflows.
As we start to think about technology such as unmanned vehicles and things like that, our perception of precision technology providers and what they do will continue to change. In many ways, we’re in the conceptual phases of that. It’s really yet to be determined how differentiated particular channels will be in the future. But as long as we stay on the forefront of innovation and technology, aftermarket companies will be able to deliver those technologies much faster than what you’d experience with a major equipment manufacturer.
There will always be a level of differentiation among offerings out there on the market. At the end of the day, whether you’re an equipment dealer or an independent precision ag technology provider, you should always be thinking about what’s best for the customer. I think to really do that, a level of collaboration has to be established. If we keep the customer at the center of everything we do, then we’ll continue to evolve as an industry.