summitWriting this column at the midway point of our second Precision Farming Dealer Summit in St. Louis, onboarding millennial specialists, implementing a reliable customer relations management system and building automatic renewals into precision service plans were a few early highlights.

But the overarching message from attendees and speakers was action. Arlin Sorensen, founder of HTS Ag in Harlan, Iowa, set the tone at the start of the Summit by challenging dealers to think about not only why they do what they do today, but how long they want to continue doing it and what happens when it’s time to transition out of their precision business. 

One of the concepts Sorensen encouraged attendees to embrace is to find their HABU — highest and best use — which include culture, talent, relationships and business value. 

This isn’t something that can be accomplished with a wait and see approach. Being proactive in business planning and personnel development are key contributors to a lasting legacy Sorensen says. 

Talking with other dealers at the Summit, it was clear that Sorensen’s message is a call to action for some and an affirmation of being on the right path for others. “It’s exactly what I needed to hear,” said one owner of an Iowa-based equipment dealership. “This industry is in a constant transition and having the ability to adapt our business is essential if I want this dealership to be here in another 20, 10 or even 5 years.”

Look for coverage from our 2017 Precision Farming Dealer Summit in our Winter print edition, online and in our sister publication Farm Equipment this spring.