Do your research and make the right decision when buying agtech. Here is our suggestion on key questions you should ask.
Ranchers are now faced with a huge field of agtech providers offering many solutions to choose from.
To find the solution that’s right for your needs, ranchers should approach buying agtech in the same way as buying any piece of equipment or infrastructure, or livestock and undertake due diligence.
When choosing an agtech provider, make sure to ask these key questions:
- How many customers do they have, and do they have any monitors operating in your region?
- Ask to talk to a customer who is already using the technology you’re considering.
- When considering the actual agtech, check with the provider to see if it is a complete solution, or just a piece of hardware that will require other elements to actually work and fulfil its purpose.
- Can the device work as soon as it’s connected – known in the tech industry as ‘plug and play’ – or is a technician required to visit your ranch to install? If a technician is required, this can involve additional hidden set up costs
- Is there a set-up fee involved, and will there be ongoing costs and maintenance?
- Is after-sales support available if needed and where are they located?
- Further to these questions, check if the agtech is fit for purpose. For example, is a device robust enough to withstand being installed out in the elements in a field with livestock? Or if you’re wanting to capture data in real-time, does the technology have the ability to fulfil this requirement?
This leads to another critical consideration – the reliability of connectivity. As many ranchers are acutely aware, connectivity can be a challenge in remote areas where it is unreliable, slow or unavailable.
If you want a device to constantly be collecting data, then reliable, connection is obviously vital – ask the provider whether satellite options are available. If the product has been produced with remote connectivity restraints in mind, they will offer satellite which works all across North America.
By asking some key questions, your investment in agtech will enable your business to innovate and become more productive, sustainable and ultimately, profitable.
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