Over the last several years, precision technology has moved from being largely an aftermarket business to most equipment coming equipped with the technology from the factory. As that shift happened, dealers needed to shift how they monetized the precision side of their business.
With autonomous equipment available today and more advancements in the technology coming every day, we’re entering precision farming sales and service version 2.0. “The market is getting full of autonomous tractors and autonomous tractor concepts,” says Scott Shearer, professor and chair, Ohio State University, Food, Agriculture & Biological Engineering. “There are some other things happening today that tell me this is something that’s here to stay. This isn’t a flash in the pan, this isn’t a passing fad.”
Shearer says the major OEMs believe the days of just selling iron are behind them. He adds that a lot of these equipment manufacturers are transitioning from being iron or hardware companies into technology companies. The landscape is changing and a term Shearer says dealers need to get used to is “farming as a service.”
“You’ve probably heard of software as a service. We’re transitioning from all the software being on a personal computer to where it’s all now in the cloud. Is this the future of the agricultural equipment industry, farming as a service? Does ownership change of the equipment?” he says.
During 2 information-packed days in early January, dealers shared their best practices on selling and servicing precision equipment, managing the precision department and what it is going to take to sell and service autonomous equipment today and in the future during the Precision Farming Dealer Summit in Louisville, Ky. What follows are some of the top tips and strategies dealers from across North America have implemented to take their precision business to version 2.0.