Precision Ag Products for CIS

April 30, 2012

We are talking about products for big farms. As usual they will consist of software and hardware. Here are my recommendations:
First of all in real life at least three people will work with your software package: agronomist, engineer and accountant. General Manager would like to monitor operations on his territory in his office. Think about your product as an integrated operation management package.
Scenario: agronomist created his/her recommendations for technology, then engineer will assign available tractor and implement and based on accountant calculations provide/plan all necessary logistics (logistics can be an additional person). Finally when tractor operator receives an order to work with a planter of certain width (possibility to have different tractors and implements) on a given field, the guidance and applications programs should be adjusted and so on down to logistics.
Add visualization feature: map of operating units. Different field colors can show a work progress. Pointing on a unit should give a summary like
• Operator’s name
• Tractor and implement
• Name of operation (rates, etc.)
• Current productivity/performance
• Time to refill (fuel, inputs)
You can add logistics soft or on the first stage link the deliveries of inputs and outputs via dispatcher.
Automate data “communication” between unit and corporate software
Programs of applications adjustment (combination of tractors and implements)
Add (features suitable for US market) also
• Mission planning
• Group driving (see photo from Brazil)
• Guidance to the field
• Mechatronics
• Performance management (speed control, gear shifting, fuel monitoring)
o Applications for tractor, sprayer, harvesters
I would recommend cooperating with seeders/planters and sprayers’ manufacturers to develop “quality” sensor (can be accelerometers) to support max speed during operation (or I can help with these developments).
Think about inclusion of others navigation systems (JD, Trimble, TopCon) in your management solutions soft.
Maintain a clear vision of how much better off your clients will be with your products because of the support that comes with it.
Create consulting service to optimize performance (SaaS). Right now there are no services to develop programs of applications. It will give you the most valuable feedback for continuous improvement and new product development. This service will be in charge of organizing yearly demonstrations (marketing programs) on farms of best performers. During demonstrations it would be good to share how these results were achieved. In Russia such service can be staffed with Russians and have one interpreter or Manager speaking English.
Think about Partners opportunities. Many European OEM (Amazone, Horsh, etc.) have heavy presence in Russia. You can investigate this opportunity to attach your navigation to increase their performance. It will be good the whole European market.
You can form JV with Russian soft developers. They already have relevant to you corporate clients data base. It can be stand-alone enterprise a good service base for you.
You can form JV with European non-competitors companies like Dacom or Fieldlook present in Russia. They are looking for navigation devices to increase performance of their services.
All mentioned above is applicable for Americas markets as well.
Another potential partner Chinese manufacturer Foton. They increase their presence in Russia, in developing countries and are trying to establish assembly facility in USA.
I can arrange meetings with Manufacturers in CIS (Rostselmash, Buhler, Terrion, Agromash, Belarus).
Overall thoughts/conclusion
• Interest and demand for PA in Russia are growing
• Market potential 1000+ units per year plus software
• You need
• New comprehensive products
• New partners
• New marketing campaign
What I can do for you
We should look at successful producers to
• Develop concepts and technical requirements for the new package/products
• Develop Strategy plan
• Identify potential customers
• Find a partners in Russia, Europe and USA (soft)
• Implement first stage of Marketing campaign in Russia
• Look at western tractors imports to determine tractors and implements portfolio suitable for your solutions
Product Line Action Plan
• Define customer segments and requirements so that we can meet current and future requirements
• Filling gaps in your current portfolio in Russia – You are not offering whole line right now.
• Spreading Your Solution approach via educational institutions, periodicals, dealers, PR.
• Product offer should be overwhelming in terms of benefits
• Customer benefits should far better of potential risks.
• Service offer should be considerably better that JD or Trimble

Posted by Andrey Skotnikov at 5:00pm

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