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>> DEALER DIFFERENTIATION

MICHAEL IRVIN

Achieving Dealer Differentiation in a Crowded Field

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n a commodity market, how does a heavy equipment dealer The unit would need to have a modem in order to facilitate data differentiate itself from its competition? Margins are far too transfers and cellular connectivity, while having Bluetooth functiontight to rely solely on price concessions. Massive inventory levels take ality to further extend its connectivity and eliminate the reliance on a huge bite out of operating capital. For a dealership with a footprint cumbersome cables. The addition of WiFi connectivity would allow covering Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas, flexibility the operator to access the internet and serve as a wireless hotspot for and compassion go a long way toward distinguishing 4 Rivers authorized users. Without exception, access to network RTK correcEquipment in the eyes of their customer base. tions was a must to enable the operators to achieve the precision The success of 4 Rivers Equipment, in large part, has relied on they demand. With all of this to consider, peace of mind remained a having the flexibility to go above and beyond to meet a customer’s key attribute, meaning that ease of use and simplicity in design was needs. It boils down to the desire to provide “peace of mind” for their essential. A daunting combination for any one device to deliver on. customers. Their search led them to a modem manufacturer headquartered This is especially true in the technical realm of precision guidance in Boulder, Colorado, named Intuicom Inc. While there was an and machine control. Being able to satisfy the expectations of the assortment of manufacturers with competing products, Intuicom customer might require the flexibility was the only one that had incorporated a to support the guidance system they are radio into their modem. The product was most comfortable with, versus the one that known as the RTK Bridge®-C. In this competitive comes with your main line of equipment. “When we were first introduced to market, saving your “Our customers have enough challenges Intuicom and their RTK Bridge-C, it was without having to deal with another customers both time and unique in the fact that it combined cellular learning curve,” explains Mike Byrd, connectivity with radio connectivity,” money while delivering technology specialist for 4 Rivers Equiprecalls Byrd. “Now we could leverage ment. “They come to us comfortable with one modem and one subscription to the on or exceeding their their equipment and their software. Being reference network. We did not have to buy expectations are key supported in their specific environment is multiple modems for each piece of equipa big thing for our customers. It’s a huge ment. The RTK Bridge-C could serve as a to long-term, mutually selling point for us as well.” total station while spitting out radio data at beneficial relationships Fourteen locations strong, 4 Rivers the same time. That was great! Nobody else Equipment is both a John Deere Agriculhad that capability.” – something that Mike tural dealer and a John Deere ConstrucSubsequently, Intuicom released the Byrd and 4 Rivers tion and Forestry dealer. With such divernewest, most advanced member of the RTK sity comes an equally diverse customer Bridge® family, the RTK Bridge®-X. Now, Equipment have base, and therein lie the challenges. in addition to its industry-leading cellular demonstrated their “One of our larger customers is a and radio connectivity, the device is able to contractor that specializes in roller address all the characteristics that 4 Rivers ability to achieve, time compacted dams,” says Byrd. “Right now Equipment initially sought. While continuafter time. they have 22 projects underway on three ing to deliver robust RTK corrections, the continents. With so many employees on RTK Bridge-X provides both WiFi connecso many different sites, it gets confusing tivity and internet access. Along with when they have Leica on one site, Trimble on another, and Topcon remote accessibility and the greatest compatibility available from any on yet another. In the past, they have addressed this issue by manufacturer, the RTK Bridge-X soon took 4 Rivers Equipment’s purchasing multiple base stations, but that is a very costly approach, productivity in the field to a new level. no matter how you look at it.” “We actually installed the RTK Bridge-X in a job site trailer in As Byrd further explained, this contractor’s fleet is comprised remote Wyoming,” explains Byrd. “We had a Trimble radio, as of multiple brands of equipment. When GPS machine control is well as a Topcon radio, connected to the back of the RTK Bridge-X, required, the challenge is supporting multiple systems operating which had a UHF radio built in to support the surveyors on site. We concurrently. The objective of 4 Rivers Equipment has been to unify then leveraged the Bridge’s Bluetooth functionality to transmit the their efforts, where a single device or base station can talk with base corrections to the Bridge and send out RTK corrections to all everything they have on the job site—from their spread spectrum the various machines and products on that job site – this included radios to the UHF gear their surveyors use – a task not for the faint equipment with Topcon guidance systems and other equipment of heart. with Trimble guidance systems. Having a single device capable of In order to achieve the unifying objective that 4 Rivers Equipment providing that level of compatibility with competing technologies is envisioned, they were looking for a device that could broadcast at unheard of – that is, until the RTK Bridge-X.” both 900 MHz, for machine control precision guidance systems, and Yet it wasn’t the ability of the RTK Bridge-X to integrate all these UHF, to accommodate survey crews and related reference stations. disparate systems under a single source of corrections that made an

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July 2016: Attachment Buyers Guide  
July 2016: Attachment Buyers Guide