Farmers are increasingly creating most of their planting/harvesting strategy with data-driven decisions that rely on sophisticated business platforms that collect data to analyze and make educated and informed decisions. These decisions encompass performance, equipment maintenance and optimization of every acre they farm to reduce downtime and improve overall efficiency. With the pace of change we’re faced with, top-performing dealerships are having to invest in large precision ag teams that consist of certified dealer instructors to keep both the employees and customers trained, trained and retrained.
There’s also been a significant rise of the internet and digital platforms that allow us to reach a broader audience through online marketing and e-commerce, but this also means additional marketing and eCommerce employees are needed, along with online sales reps. And more and more, the expectation is to offer, as a value-add, the ability to provide a holistic approach to supporting our customer base. This requires staffing not only account managers, but also agronomists, agricultural consultants (technical communicators) and precision ag specialists. Having a robust staff allows for strong collaboration and integration.
There’s a multitude of items that could be described as defining moments, but the easy target at the top is precision ag, or technological advancements. The development and adoption of advanced technologies in agriculture equipment, such as GPS guidance systems, ExactApply, ExactEmerge and Combine Advisor technologies have transformed the industry. These innovations have all significantly improved efficiency, productivity, and accuracy in farming operations.
Another game-changer has been the large number of mergers and acquisitions in the dealership world. This trend has led to the formation of large multi-state organizations with extensive product portfolios and enough scale to generate the needed ROS to invest in rapidly growing precision ag teams. It has transformed the competitive landscape and affected market dynamics.
Digitalization and connectivity continue to be the buzzwords for now, as the advent of digital technologies and connectivity has revolutionized the ag equipment sector. The number of sensors, telematics systems and data analytics capabilities available today are allowing farmers to monitor and optimize machine performance, reduce downtime, and make data-driven decisions.
There’s also been a noticeable shift toward sustainable practices driven mostly by growing environmental concerns and the need for sustainable agriculture. As a result, there’s more of a demand for machinery that supports practices like conservation tillage, precision application of inputs, and renewable energy integration.
About Farm Equipment On its 55th Year. It’s worth noting there are 3 things I start every morning with before diving into emails, reports, etc., that encompasses my daily checklist.
- Some sort of exercise routine
- Coffee (or should I say ‘coffees’)
- The latest updates and trends from the Farm Equipment E-WATCH Daily e-newsletter
With that said, there are multiple ways Farm Equipment magazine positively affects our business and staff. Some of the high level, no-brainers include the valuable industry insights, equipment trends, and market analysis that all play a part in helping us stay in tune with the OEM and short-line market(s) across the U.S.
There have also been endless opportunities to pick up additional product knowledge, as the FE team puts out a tremendous number of articles, reviews, and updates on the latest farm equipment. Though the Hutson Team is in-tune with the latest and greatest that’s being launched by our core OEM, understanding what new technologies, features and innovations that are being promoted/launched by other OEMs is a good heat check on where our team should be investing some of our time – to see what additional technologies we should be aware of that could be considered a threat.
Outside of those business attributes, my personal favorite way the magazine has made an impact is driven by the sense of community among dealerships that’s been created by highlighting success stories, publishing interviews with leaders across all OEMs, and sharing profiles of industry leaders. Those, along with the Dealership Minds Summit that’s been going strong for nearly a decade now, go a long way in creating alliances and strong business relationships that last forever. Those key relationships also extend to the team at FE, as both Kim Schmidt and Mike Lessiter have been a key part of supporting Hutson as we grow and evolve the Hutson brand.
On the Dealership of the Year Honor. Being awarded the Dealership of the Year honor in July of 2023 has been a source of pride and validation for our team’s hard work and dedication. It’s also increased our brand recognition/visibility and gave us a platform to promote our culture and differentiate ourselves from our competitors while also enhancing our reputation and credibility within the ag community. Our team already wears our name with pride, but we are grateful for the recognition Farm Equipment magazine has supported us with that reaffirms our team’s exceptional teamwork, professionalism, and customer-centric approach.