What’s your price?
It seems that is the only concern when it comes to drip tape these days. The value of the products has gone by the wayside for the chance to seal a big deal, but who is to blame? The grower or end user? The manufacturer? The dealer? The answer – All of the above. As an industry, we have not only devalued one of the essential products for growers, but we have participated in this endless race to the bottom.
I attended an Irrigation Show Industry Insight session in Las Vegas titled “ROI of Improving Drip Irrigation System Distribution Uniformity.” Fortunately, the reality is there is more to drip tape than price.
But what can we do?
- They must set higher standards for dealers. The ease of entry to become an ag irrigation dealer is unbelievable. Unfortunately, some dealers need storefronts, qualified designers, and experience. Fortunately, this standard was already written for us by the Irrigation Training and Resource Center – The Irrigation Bill of Rights. Look it up.
- Promote the benefits and features of the products. For example, some crops would benefit from certain types of drip versus others.
- Educate your salespeople.
- Build genuine partnerships with Manufacturers. Set goals, forecasts, and targets, and move away from the industry trend of buying and selling from every manufacturer possible. This requires more discipline than can be imagined, but it can be done.
- Demand more from your irrigation dealer and manufacturer. More information, more education, more support.
- Learn the value of water and the products that deliver water to the crops. Overhead costs are rising across the board, but where does sacrificing the quality of the product for price translate to loss of crop and profit?
- Stop making the drip tape purchase a transactional deal. Instead, work with the dealer to forecast when, what, and how to buy.
The price can’t be the talking point and the only objection. As an industry, we are responsible for bringing value back to our work. Start with the drip.