Agriculture: Vendor Relations & Purchasing
Today's growers don't mind leaving the field from time to time to do a little bargain hunting on the Internet. In an industry where so many rely on their hands to tackle the daily workload, a few taps of a keyboard seems almost minuscule in comparison - a well-deserved break so to speak.
Still, a growing number of agriculturalists depend on their computers to keep relations strong between them and their vendors. In turn, suppliers continue to experience firsthand the usefulness of a website when it comes to harvesting a new cash crop of customers.
Value Added Perks Boost Customer Relations
The days of walking into the local hardware shop, purchasing a few bags of feed and chatting with the fellow behind the counter are all but over. In so many cases, the purchasing process now boils down to a simple formula: quick and easy plus efficient equals better sales.
In order to meet customer expectations for quality and expediency, many vendors currently offer websites that provide shopping cart features. This function allows farmers to register for an account and place orders on the fly. The customer's credit information and purchasing history is stored in the vendor's database, making transactions as easy as clicking a few buttons. Usually, the more a client buys online, the more the vendor rewards them with discounts and digital coupons.
Since most farmers order in bulk and must figure out exactly how much to buy based on acreage, animal size, weight, etc., some vendors do their best to make web purchasing as pain free as possible by taking math out of the process.
For instance, tools such as feed and supply calculators are a popular facet of the online shopping scene. Animal weight charts/formulas add a whole different level of convenience to buying products. This feature lets farmers determine the appropriate weight/size of livestock based on age. As a result, agriculturalists can gauge whether they're over purchasing food supplies and cut back on waste.
In other cases, suppliers provide tools for anticipating how much raw materials to order. A good example of this trend is online fencing calculators. These tools let agriculturalists determine how many rolls of fence and the number of posts to buy based on the land's dimensions.
Aside from calculation services, many vendors also offer other free, online functions designed to help farmers. Tools such as animal medication guides, advice on cattle health, horse nutrition guides, deworming tips, livestock injection strategies and guidelines for monitoring animal vitals represent only a few of the beneficial resources sprouting up on certain vendor's webpages.
Vendor Dependability is a Must
The pulse of any farm beats to its machinery capabilities. If one piece of equipment breaks, the entire operation can suffer major setbacks. In other words, broken-down tools often deliver a damaging blow to the financial heart of agricultural businesses.
When seeking a vendor to buy equipment, farmers should ensure the supplier offers an extensive warranty package. In addition, clients should research the vendor's procedure for handling non-operating equipment. Does the vendor offer on-site repair? Will the equipment need to be shipped?
In response to minor cases, large-scale suppliers usually designate sections of their websites for copies of equipment manuals. Sometimes, it simply takes a bit of written advice to resolve equipment failure.
However, if the customer's problem requires the company's assistance to fix, certain vendors allow clients to schedule appointments online through their websites. Popular among vendors with a number of locations, this feature actually works in favor of the farmer. By scheduling online, there is no need to waste time on the phone dealing with customer support. Moreover, it reduces the chance for errors in the date, time and location of the appointment.
If purchasing a product from a nationwide dealer over the Internet, the buyer should always check to see if the business has locations nearby. This could prove vital if a key piece of machinery breaks during the height of harvest season. Turn-around time is everything, and keeping vendors close to home is just a smart practice.