3 Elements of a Winning Data Strategy


The ability to harness and interpret data from myriad sources has become a game-changer for companies, transforming the way they strategize and operate in today’s competitive equipment market. The organizations that understand how to leverage data well stand to gain the advantage.

In a webinar hosted by Tractor Zoom and Farm-Equipment.com, Kevin Vandervort of Hoober, Inc. and Austin Boyd of Boyd and Sons, discuss how they have implemented a data strategy in their dealerships, what information is valuable to them, and how organizations of any size or sophistication can adopt or improve their data strategy.

Check out these three key elements that could help inform your own approach.

Invest in the Right Technology

“It’s a data-driven world and it’s going to become more like that. The quicker you can switch to reliable, data-driven systems, the better,” says Austin Boyd, Dealer Principal at Bobcat of Daviess County in Indiana.

Quality providers and easy-to-use technology will help you set up your teams for success while you implement a data strategy.

“I want to make the right decisions for Hoober to ensure we’re buying our used equipment at the right values for a profit without making many mistakes. I want good data so I’m not throwing a dart at a dart board out and making a guess,” explains Kevin Vandervort, the Used Equipment Manager with Hoober Inc, a 12-store Case IH, Kubota, and JCB dealer.

At Hoober, Vandervort relies upon the dealership’s historic data and business systems, Iron Comps from Tractor Zoom, and several other sources to retrieve data that he uses to more confidently refine the retail value of equipment on the lot.

When you have confidence in the data, you can make decisions faster.

“Ultimately, you can’t be afraid to make a decision,” Vandervort says. “Get as many data points as you can and make a decision. If you invest in an app or a subscription service, it will offset the cost of mistakes.”

At Boyd and Sons, primarily a Bobcat dealer, the team works every day toward making their data more efficient with a long-term goal of developing their own internal database that is easy to use. “It’s about finding the data I’m confident in {Bobcat} but also having the data on Case IH, Kubota, John Deere, and others that I’m less familiar with. The more information, the better and more efficient decision we’re going to make.”

Use Quality Data for Faster Decision-Making

As the number of providers and volume of data have increased significantly over the past ten years, it’s more important than ever to cut through the clutter and narrow in on the information that’s meaningful to you, quickly.

Since 2013, Vandervort has worked to add data points and refine Hoober’s business management system so the data they use is accurate and up-to-date.

“When I’m managing or filtering live data, my decision-making process is immediate,” Vandervort says. “I want ease of use so that I can manage that data the way that I want – not that I’m trying to generate the answer – instead, I can massage the data to help me get to the answers that I’m looking for.”

Boyd says that while data has never been more at your fingertips than it is today, the biggest consideration to make is how to understand and analyze the data.

“Matching the market trends with the analytical data has been the most challenging,” Boyd says.

While working through a data strategy, it’s critical to keep the context of market changes, timeline, and other historical data in mind. Tools like Iron Comps Inventory and Market Trends do this by pairing current and historic auction sale values alongside retail list prices. Additionally, dealers’ first-party sold history can be ingested to achieve a comprehensive view of where the dealership sits with their supply and values compared to the market in real time. When a holistic picture of live and true data with market trends comes together, you can more accurately analyze equipment values and build in precision to your pricing strategy.

Connect with Experienced Partners

As the industry continues to change, make it part of your strategy to collaborate with others leading the way in data and technology.

Andy Campbell, Industry Analyst for Iron Comps, recommends asking your solution provider to help solve the problems you face. “That’s how better solutions are developed,” he says. “Have a conversation with them, research other industries and apply best practices to your process, and educate others; there is no better way to learn than by teaching.”

“The best way to stay on top of changing technology is to have a good relationship with the people who represent the tools,” Boyd says. “The easiest and quickest way to use new technology is to have them show you. Let them help you.”

For more information about implementing a data strategy, watch the Mastering the Data Game Webinar, a part of Tractor Zoom’s Dealer Leadership Series.

Article Written by Tractor Zoom



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