A week into the new year, one of the carryover lessons learned by precision dealers in 2020 was that they either need to learn how to disrupt the way they do business, or risk being disrupted.

Wrapped around this concept is the question of how dealers will help their customers be more profitable with where and when they invest in ag technology products and services.

According to Arlin Sorensen, founder of HTS Ag, it’s going to come down to a strategic business strategy focused on data-driven decision making. While not a new philosophy, Sorensen says ag dealers have historical context to draw from, especially from the IT industry.

The lifecycle of precision services mirrors that of the IT industry with Sorensen suggesting ag is about a decade behind, but trending in the same direction in terms of how delivery, charging and validation of service will be measured.

For many years, certainly in the IT space, we've been getting paid to just make things work. And that runs out of gas after a while. You can't just charge people money to make something they've bought continue to work. They just kind of expect it to work. And I think we've got some of that same thing going on in the ag space. We're going to have to get to the place where we can really show ROI for the investment that's being made. And we do that by focusing on business outcomes. The kind of people we're going to need on our teams are going to be different. They're going to have to have the ability to talk about business. Farms are growing. The size of operations are continuing to scale. And as that happens, they become much more business focused. They're going to have people on their farm team that are going to be CFOs or CIOs. They're going to focus on a specific area of the business that we're going to have to be able to talk with.”

Sorensen says there could be as many as 200 different decision points growers will need to manage as farms get larger and more complex. This will breed opportunity for those dealership who are willing to be the disrupters, rather than the disrupted.

You can hear more from Arlin on the evolution of precision partnerships at the 2021 Precision Farming Dealer Summit, Jan. 11-12. Visit PrecisionFarmingDealer.com for more information and to register.