If the goal is experiencing fewer headaches and getting great service, many farmers opt to keep it in the family. They find a great company they trust, and stick to it for the majority of their hardware and software purchases. This way, the systems are guaranteed to be compatible and if trouble comes up, they have only one service department to deal with.
“It can certainly minimize stress,” says Purdue’s Dennis Buckmaster, noting it is a question that comes up in both machinery and seed purchases. “But your farm uses machinery-related files, seed-related files, images, weather files, any custom work…so even though you might use one single brand, there are still going to be geo-referenced files from different systems. Not all data is machinery data.”
In the end, he says there is definitely value in brand loyalty. The risk? “If the competition comes out with something better.”
Get the Service Advantage
According to Jordan Wallace, the greatest advantage to using a single provider for ag software and hardware is service. “There’s definitely some software packages that offer compatibility and can talk to each other, but at the end of the day it brings value to stay within the same provider. You’re guaranteed to have the service and support you need.”
GPS Ontario offers Trimble hardware and software, and has recently partnered up with a recent Trimble acquisition, Agri-Trend, a network of agronomy consultants. Now, he says, his clients can access hardware, software and agronomy services from one provider.