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New approach tested for mixed-fleet equipment support

Courtesy of AGCO A farmer holds a tablet with Precision Ag Line tool
MANAGING THE FLEET: Agco is testing a new approach to provide a service to farmers with a mixed fleet of equipment. The service is called the Precision Ag Line, or PAL.
Agco is piloting its Precision Ag Line program to help customers using company tools in mixed-fleet operations.

While major brands would prefer that farmers only bought one color, the truth is many farms have a mixed fleet of machines — a kind of rainbow of equipment. With high-tech machines needing to talk to each other, supporting mixed fleets these days is getting more complicated.

Agco is taking on the challenge by piloting a new program called Precision Ag Line. The aim of PAL is to streamline support services for farmers with mixed-fleet operations.

“We’re making Agco precision farming experts directly available to farmers for technology support,” says Cody Light, senior manager of precision farming sales in the Americas, and involved with the go-to-market approach for Fuse technology. “We’ll support John Deere, Trimble, Topcon, Raven, Precision Planting technologies on our equipment.”

Light explains that over time many farmers have acquired different tools to manage precision agriculture on their machines. Often, customers reach out to their dealer for support, but a local dealer won’t always have the answer for all tech questions. PAL is designed to tackle that by providing dealers with a backup.

“The dealer is centrally involved and handling the support requests for their customers,” Light explains. “PAL can streamline customer engagement with an expert, whether at the dealership or with Agco precision agriculture.”

Quick access to answers

The PAL program essentially offers back-office tech support to enhance the services farmers get from their local dealer. This makes sure that tech questions get answered efficiently and provides the farmer the help needed, even though it may not always be the dealer who answers the phone.

Light says Agco works with AgriSync, a customer service platform that provides a virtual network, powering communication to customers jointly with their local dealer. The system is an enhancement to local dealer support, under the name of the dealer the farmer works with.

For example, if you have a problem and you text the help number provided by your dealer, the expert answering may not be directly from your dealer, but could be an Agco expert. This extends the service a dealer can offer customers.

“If you call in, you may get one of the experts from Agco who can answer the call and help,” Light says. “With this system, the expert can even initiate a video call with the customer so they can see the problem firsthand.”

Deploying high-level technology to support customers, while maintaining dealer engagement in the process, aims to create a win-win for the Agco customer. The local dealer can answer most questions, but when it gets really busy, having the PAL support to keep customers running can be key.

“We’re very customer-focused with our experts in partnership with the dealer,” Light says. “We want to provide the support for the mixed-fleet world, so the farmer can use all the tech they have to allow them to run their best on the farm.”

Dealer as consultant

The changing nature of farm equipment is that the sale isn’t as simple as in the past. It’s become a consultative process, where the dealer works with the farmer to match machines to the job, work through logistics, and get the tech up and running. Support for that process and knowledge of different brands becomes more important. Agco PAL can help with that.

Light shares an example: “We can consult with the grower and show them through the system how to take the data collected and use it where needed,” he says. “We can take harvest data from an Ideal combine and move that into the customer’s [John Deere] Operations Center seamlessly.”

Of course, that help could pay off down the road as the added support shows the value of the Agco relationship, but that falls to the local dealer to make that happen. Agco PAL offers a look at how one company is ramping up, along with the ag tech that farmers are buying.

TAGS: Business
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