There is much misinformation in the marketplace about SeedMaster. Some confuse us with Seed Hawk (Norbert and Dolores’ first partnership implement venture), others struggle to find us as we are not a very visible presence on the lots of our dealers. As the market wonders, we continue innovating and driving forward in agriculture, maybe not making some of the noise that we should.
There are logical reasons for these misconceptions. Our shared history and similar ground engaging portions will forever link us to Seed Hawk but, more importantly, that you don’t often see our product on dealer lots is a silence that should speak volumes. There is strategic and farmer focused intent in the fact that we do not encourage our dealers to put significant stock on their yards.
SeedMaster is a family owned company and the family comes from the farm. We understand that an investment in one of our units, new or used, is a significant capital output for our customers. We want to ensure that we do our part to provide the most appropriate configuration for your operation and that we are not doing anything that can adversely affect the value of your investment.
By encouraging a “made to order” process, we are able to provide you with a factory built unit to your specifications as opposed to what is on the lot. If you have ever wondered why the dealer sales rep is pushing one brand over another, you should look first at their inventory before you look at the features and benefits of the machine. Some of our competitors create false demand via ordering programs that can start up to a year before the next crop goes in the ground. The machines are not all sold to farmers but the dealers are forced to speak for them or risk being out of luck when their customers start looking. The dealer orders product on spec and hopes to sell it, and your risk is that this is driving the sales pitch as much or more than the product fit.
The other affect of our approach is that we do not overproduce, meaning that there isn’t a risk to you that we will dump excess inventory either at a low price or through auction. We believe that these actions significantly weaken the value of the product and in turn your investment in that product and the ability of our dealers to be profitable representing SeedMaster. As farmers, we see this degradation of value as a violation of your trust in us as a manufacturer.
You might look at our offering sometimes and see that we have stock units. These are generally from a display unit at trade shows, demo units or units that were backed out of at the last minute due to finance or other barriers. These are a small fraction of our annual production and have little effect on market forces. Furthermore, we do have demo programs that dealers have the option of participating in which would put a unit on their lot. But as our partners, this is an investment in market development and is intended to sell by the end of the seeding season.
We could engage in some of the tactics that the rest of the market does. They are legitimate approaches to the challenge of meeting demand, and in a good year would significantly increase our top and bottom lines. But the risk to the stability of our company and to the implicit value that we are asking you to buy into are more important than simply winning the annual market share game. Our commitment to you is that we will be responsible with your trust in our long-term value to your farm’s success.
When you are making a purchase of this magnitude, you want to be able to choose the best possible seeding equipment option for your farm. We believe that true demand, not a false demand created by speculation is what should drive our business, and we are willing to walk the talk.
Executive Vice President