Technology has expanded into every nook, cranny, and corner of our lives more than ever before. The farm equipment industry is no different. Older methods that may have worked for dealers to keep track of and manage different departments are becoming outdated and costly. Farm equipment dealers are adapting to trends in the agriculture industry and the needs of their customers by implementing new technologies, such as farm equipment dealership software.
In this article, we highlight the different ways that real farm equipment dealers have been leveraging technology, and more specifically software, at their dealerships. From service efficiency to sales, farm equipment dealers are using technology to enhance all areas of their business operations. Find out how below.
Table of Contents
- How do farm equipment dealers use software to improve service efficiency?
- How do farm equipment dealers use software for better customer service?
- How do farm equipment dealers use software to streamline parts management?
- How do farm equipment dealers use software to increase sales?
How do farm equipment dealers use software to improve service efficiency?
While technology has made farming more efficient, ag equipment has also become more specialized and technical requiring technicians on staff with the know-how of servicing highly technical OEM machinery. Dealers are assigning technicians to their OEM specializations, scheduling new work orders, and speeding up the service write-up process by using software to manage their technicians’ schedules. Check out some of the ways that dealers have been utilizing software to improve service and technician efficiency.
“It’s very useful for the technicians to be able to access work orders with a click of a button, instead of actually typing in a work order through their computer. If the technician has, let’s say, 10 work orders assigned to him throughout the day, he can swiftly clock in and out of work orders with the push of a button. And it does save time.”
“If you have a shop that’s lagging or not hitting the numbers, you don’t have to go visit that shop and drill down. In Service Logistics, you can look at their schedules and say, ‘Okay, I can see we’re working on the same job for a week and a half now. We’ve got to move this equipment out, what’s going on?’ I can see it helping to catch problems maybe before they happen, to help keep equipment moving through the shops.”
Prioritize the right work
“My technicians use the tablet all the way through the rest of the job to punch in and out, write their story, fill out their checklist and take pictures. Anything that they normally do during a job is now done with the tablet. When they are done, they sign off and we go to bill the customer. It is a particularly good tool for my shop technicians.”
Matthew Marrazzo, Townline Equipment
“Our company has been very service-focused for the past several years, so DIS rolling the Service WIP (Work in Progress) into Management 360 has been key. It is such an easy graphical interface to look at, and I can very quickly narrow in to see our ‘problem work orders’; we look at that daily.”
Jason Collins, Lansdowne-Moody Co.
Read Next: 5 Best Practices to Improve Service Productivity and Efficiency
How do farm equipment dealers use software for better customer service?
When it comes to customer service, ag dealers know all too well the importance of making things as easy and clear as possible for their customers. This is another area where having the right software and technology can help ag equipment dealerships provide better support to their customers. Here are some ways that dealers have used software to build and nurture strong relationships with their customers.
“The biggest part of DIS that helps with customers is Customer 360, which we are excited to start using soon. It puts everything into a bird’s-eye view; it shows the areas that we need to focus on and places where we could get more business.”
Jessica White, Buttars Tractor-Tremonton Inc.
“I love having customer information at our fingertips – being able to get a snapshot of what kind of equipment a customer owns when they walk in the door is great. Then there’s the picture function, which allows us to recognize our customers by their face when they come in.”
“The emergepay system makes things easier. We’re able to get customers in and out faster. In our busy season, it makes it much faster. Plus, I don’t have to handle their cards. So many of them are just the wave cards today. It probably takes half the time for the card to get approved than the old system. It just moves much, much faster.”
Jeremy Brooks, Brooks Sales Inc.
Read Next: Dealer Technology Solutions That Are Shaping the Industry
How do farm equipment dealers use technology to streamline parts management?
Recent supply chain shortages have highlighted the importance of having good inventory management practices in place at your dealership. In fact, one of the key benefits of ag equipment dealers using an industry-specific dealership management software is its ability to effectively keep tabs on inventory. Here are some ways that ag equipment dealers use software to manage their inventory and streamline parts management.
Manage multiple locations
“DIS helps us manage the complexity of accounts that there are in any dealership. For us, that need is even greater due to the variety of businesses that we have. Being able to keep all information compartmentalized and accurately updated – thanks to the ACGO, ARI, and Partsmart interfaces in particular – is really helpful. I can’t imagine doing any of that manually.”
Rauel LaBreche, McFarlane Manufacturing Company
“Thanks to DIS, we amalgamated all the stores within our dealership. We see each other’s operations, and we can talk about it. We can view parts from other stores, and you can order parts for the entire group. The stores can all use one good system to get the job done.”
André Homier, Centre Agricole Nicolet-Yamaska
Access data faster
“You can just take your phone, scan the code, boom. Information pops up immediately. I mean, you can see everything. All the pertinent information you need pops right up. Even if I went to another dealership, one of our other locations, I could easily just walk up to a machine, scan the QR code and all my information’s there.”
“We have a lot of power outages here; we have lots of things that make the system go down. Our service to the customer was beginning to become a problem. When the system goes down, it can take 45 minutes to get it back up before you can get a ticket to the customer. That was very frustrating. When DIS offered the security of hosting the hardware, we were satisfied that it was being very well protected. We love it.”
Read Next: 5 Benefits of Adopting Cloud Computing at Your Dealership
How do farm equipment dealers use technology to increase sales?
In addition to improved service efficiency, enhanced customer service, and better control over parts and inventory, technology can also help ag equipment dealers improve sales. For example, a software tool with financial and sales management capabilities lets dealerships track their entire sales team’s performance, automate all areas of accounting, and keep track of all finances through detailed reports. Here are some of the ways that dealers have used software to increase sales.
Get a birds-eye view of your dealership’s performance
“DIS allows me to look at all my departments to see how they are performing in the month versus budget. It helps answer questions like, ‘Do we have enough potential sales to make sure we’re at least hitting our budget and exceeding it?’ I can then ask my departments, ‘Where are you at on this deal or that deal that we’ve been talking about?’ DIS allows you to do more business with the same number of personnel.”
Jason Collins, Lansdowne-Moody Co.
“DIS helps me keep tabs on all five stores – where they’re at for their monthly sales, where they’re at for their open documents and so on. It’s nice that I can have access to all five locations in one spot very easily.”
Improve Sales and Service
“The overall impact of DIS on our dealership is quite huge because it affects every area. For the Service, Parts and Sales departments, everything that we do is there. All aspects of the dealer business are integrated and work together. It’s the core of our business as far as how we have visibility into everything and how it all works.”
“What I use most is Management 360 and our sales guys use Sales 360 a lot. They’ve been great tools for us. I also use Sales Logistics—that’s a neat feature that dealers need to look at for their sales team. You can be out on your equipment lot and have pricing and inventory right at your fingertips while trying to talk to people.”
Dylan Coleman, Western Implement
Read Next: 8 Agriculture Equipment Dealer Statistics [2022 Trends]
Taking it to the Next Level
It’s clear that technology has changed the game for ag equipment dealers and, more broadly, the agriculture industry. Agriculture equipment dealerships have had to change with the industry to better meet the demands and expectations of their customers. Technology and software developments, like industry-specific dealership management systems, have made it easier for farm equipment dealers to keep track of, and improve, all aspects of their business.
Want to learn more about what dealers can expect in the future?
Check out our 2022 Agriculture Equipment Industry Trends Report.