LECTRICAL DISTRIBUTORS SERVE FARMERS,
seed producers, extraction plants, process man- ufacturers, feed mills, grain elevators, integra- tors, and the OEMs that make the planting, harvesting, processing, stor- age, packaging, safety, and transportation equipment that big agri- culture needs. As an agricultural economist in the College of Agriculture at Purdue University, Associate Professor Mike Gunderson frames the world in terms of supply and demand. He sees three pri- mary drivers of agricultural demand— population growth, increasing wealth, and the nonfood uses of agricultural products—and two main supply drivers: genetics and mechanization.
• Population growth:
“According to the World Trade Organization, by 2050, we will need to feed 10 billion peo- ple,” Gunderson said.
• Higher incomes:
As people become wealthier, their diets shift from grains to animals, which also need to be fed. “We’ll need to grow 70% more food with the same resources we have now,” Gunderson said.
• Nonfood uses:
Since 2010, ethanol production con- sumes more corn than cattle, Gunder- son reported. On the supply side, genetics and mechanization have pushed yields from 30 bushels an acre in 1960 to 175 on average and 300 in some midwest- ern states, Gunderson explained, add- ing, “We have seen the same improve- ments with livestock.”
Hybridization arrived in the 1930s, genetic modification in the 1990s, and CRISPR for gene edit- ing in 2015. “Until now, genetic modification has been crude. We literally shoot genes into a plant. With CRISPR technology, we can actually re-order the letters that are part of the gene,” Gunderson said.
Distributors reap rewards from automation. For example, in 1960, Gunderson’s grandfa-
ELEC TRICAL DISTRIBUTOR
• Sep. 17
The way customers
make decisions about what to buy is changing. No longer purely relying on existing business relation- ships, they are leveraging online tools to make pur- chases. Presenting the most complete and accurate data available will mean the dif- ference between customers just browsing and actually going through the checkout line—whether it’s in the store or online. More than ever, custom- ers are researching before they buy. According to a 2017 Synchrony Financial study on major consumer purchases, 79% of custom- ers say technology empow- ers them with more infor- mation and the knowledge they are getting the best deal. This might explain why 85% of consumers are “window shopping” online first, even if they end up buying the product in store later. Distributors with com- plete and accurate prod- uct information can cre- ate a tailored marketing approach—both online and in person—to convert win- dow shoppers into repeat customers. When cus- tomers are given access to data they’re looking for, they can distinguish be- tween products and make the best choice for their project and business. As a result, setbacks such as costly returns, wasted labor, and delayed project timelines are all avoided. With each new purchas- ing experience, customers can re-evaluate the strength of a sales relationship. Dis- tributors with superior product information em- power their customers and gain a competitive edge in the industry. In a digital world, customer ser- vice backed by valuable information will result in a higher conversion rate, while also reinforcing established relationships. Learn more about the benefits of product data services at idea4industry. com.
IN A DIGITAL AGE
© P I N KY P I L L S /I S T O C K
in this issue
back issues 2012-2013
Click to subscribe to this magazine
article text for page
< previous story
next story >
Share this page with a friend
Save to “My Stuff”
Subscribe to this magazine