Working off the understanding that precision products, farm machinery and agronomic decision-making are intertwined, Western Sales, a 6-store John Deere dealership in Saskatchewan, hired its first full-time agronomist in 2010.
The dealership also developed its patented FieldSmart platform, which provides a suite of precision ag services for its customers including field scouting, seeding and fertilizer prescriptions and agronomic data analysis.
Learning from early experience selling and supporting the recurring revenue program, Devin Dubois, vice president of Integrated Solutions with Western Sales, recently helped expand the dealership’s precision platform to include independent precision software support for 6 other dealer groups in the region.
Dubois acknowledges that it’s a unique approach to expanding precision business because there is overlapping service areas among the dealer groups that Western Sales is serving.
However, he adds that there was a need to create a business model which allows for growth beyond selling precision widgets and be an agronomic service authority not only to farmers, but other precision retailers.
“I think one thing that we've kind of landed on is that if you were going past some very sort of objective things like data collection and accumulation as a service into actually providing some level of advice, then you need to look at it as a different business. It is more like having independent agronomy in your dealership, but I think the reason you have it there is not to have an independent agronomy business. Because independent agronomy business don't make a ton of money.”
You can learn more about how Western Sales is expanding its agronomic service from Dubois who will be speaking on the topic at the 2019 Precision Farming Dealer Summit this January in Indianapolis.