Sometimes customers need to see how a particular piece of equipment or precision agriculture technology will impact their specific operation before they make the switch to something new. 

AgTech company Verge Ag developed a sales enablement tool to help dealers do just that. 

Verge Ag develops software that enables farmers to plan, simulate and validate the movement of equipment in the field and execute field operations efficiently. Its Launch Pad product enables agriculture equipment dealerships to match the size and functionality of equipment to the scope and complexity of a particular farming operation.

“We're looking to reduce the time taken to complete field operations, complexity of multi-mission synchronizing, barriers of unfamiliar fields and complex boundaries, and then human and operator error and fatigue,” says Chad Matthies, Verge Ag’s VP of enterprise operations.

Matthies and Nick Morrow, SVP of product at Verge Ag, demonstrated 2 dealer-focused features of Launch Pad during a recent Precision Farming Dealer Digital Demo. 

Showing Value with Equipment Explorer

Launch Pad’s Equipment Explorer matches the size and functionality of equipment to the scope and complexity of a farming operation. Matthies describes it as an interactive sales aid tool with the ability to increase machine implement sales. 

Equipment Explorer takes the width of the machine or implement and spatially correlates it to the customer’s unique field. The interactive software illustrates how changing widths of equipment, speeds, precision guidance technology and other variables impact the operation.

Once fields are mapped, Equipment Explorer will calculate how many tracks it will take to execute the operation. Using the “compare” feature, a dealer can show a customer how much tracks would decrease when upgrading from a 35-foot header to a 40-foot header, for example. By changing the accuracy of the path, a dealer could also illustrate how upgrading to RTK would result in savings of time, labor and more — specific to the customer’s operation.

“It’s a nice way to articulate value to the customer,” Matthies says. “It might cost you a little bit more to upgrade to RTK, but you’re saving time and fuel, and you quickly see that the cost to upgrade is overtaken by efficiency.”

Dealers can use Equipment Explore to make field-level comparisons, assess equipment fit and analyze customers’ precision guidance. Launch Pad is developing additional features for Equipment Explorer, such as a consolidated farm view and assessments of overlaps, point rows and crop trampling areas.

Increase Efficiency with Equipment Enhancer

Matthies says Equipment Enhancer, Launch Pad’s path planning tool, is the foundation of their business and where most of its paying customers are today. Verge Ag’s current customers have upward of 650,000 paid acres combined, all of which are in manned equipment operations. 

Equipment Enhancer shows farmers the most optimal route to take in a field, depending on a customer’s specific goals — whether that’s reducing time out in the field, minimizing soil loss or maximizing efficiency at harvest. Farmers can identify the best path and plan routes weeks or months in advance. 

For example, an operator often will pick the longest straight edge of the field as their heading, Matthies says, but that’s not always the most efficient route. Equipment Enhancer calculates every heading scenario and graphs the results. The graph shows what angles cause the most and least number of turns. The software also shows the approximate total time and distance, and compares those results across every angle. 

“We believe this is one missing piece to help farmers take that next step to increased efficiency,” Matthies says. “Equipment Enhancer simplifies farm operations planning to reduce in-field decision-making and maximizes productivity of every machine across all operations.” 

Dealers can put Equipment Enhancer to work to understand a customer’s operation and what equipment will help them achieve their goals. 

 “This is a great way to facilitate conversations between a grower and an equipment advisor,” Morrow says. “A lot of times there’s the objection ‘That doesn’t work on my fields.’ Well, let’s do a comparison. Instead of making general statements, you can do site-specific analysis.”

Dealers and customers can also compare equipment and its costs, fuel efficiency and labor needs within Equipment Enhancer. Reports are shareable via a link, and planned paths can be exported. Launch Pad accounts connected to the John Deere Operations Center can send AB guidance lines directly to the operation center. The other file type options are CNH CN1, ISO XML and Trimble. 

Matthies says Launch Pad provides dealerships with cross-functional value and contributes to dealers’ hierarchy of revenue by increasing engaged acres. 

“You’ll enable the full value of that guidance and control technology investment your customers made,” Matthies says.

 Verge Ag is currently seeking new dealership partners in every geography. Watch the webinar recording for more information about dealership pricing and demonstrations of Equipment Enhancer and Equipment Explorer.