During dealership visits, it’s always educational to get a guided tour of the business and learn about recent enhancements, whether it’s a new product line, building updates or staff additions.
Many dealers I’ve talked with are actively expanding their precision farming departments — in some cases doubling or tripling staff over a short time — to keep up with customer demand.
It’s been interesting to see, especially at recently renovated farm equipment dealerships or those that have built new stores, how companies are planning for precision farming growth.
One more than one occasion, dealers have noted the importance of allotting space for precision farming technicians to test new technology. This goes beyond having a demo display on the showroom floor or a segment of the service area dedicated to precision products.
“Having a space at the dealership where I can play with stuff, put it together and take it apart is a nice asset,” a precision dealer in Iowa told me. “It’s kind of a sanctuary.”
Stocked with manuals and products in various states of assembly, it’s like a precision farming dealer’s man cave.
With technology rapidly evolving, it’s not easy to keep pace with updates and having a secluded area to tinker with the latest innovations allows dealers to problem-solve in private, before heading to a customer’s farm.
During a recent tour of an multi-store Nebraska dealership’s new facility, one of the features highlighted by the owner was a work room for the precision farming consultant.
“It’s kind of his area with all the stuff we’ve got in stock that he can work on,” the owner says. “In a short time, we’ve doubled our precision farming personnel so we’ve got virtually one person at each of our eight stores, and with the new building, we wanted to plan for the future.”
Of course this time of year, precision technicians have little time to spend testing products and more often than not, their in-store offices are dark. But having an area off the showroom floor to work through challenges they may have faced during planting undoubtedly helps avoid repeat problems.
Safe to say, not every dealership has the resources, space or need to up a precision-only workroom yet. But the evolution of precision technology isn’t slowing down, and those who have set aside space for their precision technicians to tinker seem to be taking a proactive approach toward planning for the future.