Mike Lessiter

Mike Lessiter

A second-generation ag journalist, Mike Lessiter has been Editor/Publisher of Farm Equipment since 2004. He has covered business-to-business operations, manufacturing and marketing topics since 1992. He has also served in several capacities with the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Assn., Assn. of Equipment Manufacturers and is a frequent industry speaker. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, he was named president of Lessiter Publications Inc. in 2007.

Contact: mlessiter@lessitermedia.com

ARTICLES

PFD Summit: Precision Success Only as Good as Your Internal Training

Richins & Finley, the managers heading up the precision farming efforts at Stotz Equipment (John Deere) and Mazergroup (New Holland), share the components of their internal training systems to equip staff for success.
Staff training was part of nearly every discussion at the 2018 Precision Farming Dealer Summit in Louisville. Precision is where things are moving fastest, and the expectations of farmers and the dealership itself (both equally unrealistic at times) and the firefighting at planting and harvest require highly structured processes and duties.
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Smith Implement ‘Blows Up’ the Precision Ag Department

The precision manager of this 5-store dealership fired himself, reassigned the specialists to other departments and took away the safety net.
In an engaging session of the Summit, Matt Eldridge, director of aftermarket sales, Smith Implements, Greenfield, Ind., shared how their 5-store dealer group turned course and loaded up all its “precision chips” into traditional departments.
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Maximizing Performance & Accountability at H&R, Van Wall

Two managers from large-store complexes share their advice for getting the most out of precision specialists, including the need to ‘go to bat’ for them.
Dealers who’ve been doing precision for any period of time have seen how expectation problems, miscommunication and burnout can erode morale of what needs to be a highly performing team.
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Internal Management Challenges Still to Solve for Sustainable Precision Farming Service Plans

Jason Pennycook, precision specialist at Johnson Tractor (4 stores in Wisconsin and Illinois), says Johnson is still working on the internal management issues, including how service plans are billed, who is responsible and how to get all locations on the same page, as many farmers will use one or more stores. “We’re working on ways to make sure every service manager at every store knows when a farmer is on a service plan so he doesn’t get billed incorrectly.”
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Johnson Tractor’s Advice on Precision Service Plans

Jason Pennycook, precision specialist, Johnson Tractor, Janesville, Wis., has had 3 years of precision service plan experience. Johnson Tractor offers a basic (phone support and training class) and a premium (also including onsite visit). Other individual packages include precision training on-farm, spring planter checkups and yield monitor checkups.
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Creating Precision Service Plans: Makes & Misses

With less equipment being rolled, precision service plan sales could see a shot in the arm. These dealers share their advice for getting them in place.
After years of “giving unapplied service labor away for free when it came to precision technologies” the dealer panel presentation on capturing revenue in service plans for precision was of keen interest for Summit attendees.
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