How iPads Are Transforming Customer Service At Dow AgroSciences

Tiffany Galloway, Dow AgroSciences
Tiffany Galloway, Dow AgroSciences

Mobile technology is changing behavior throughout agriculture. That’s why most ag professionals can’t start their day unless they have their smartphone or tablet with them. It’s become part of their DNA.

And this mobile transformation is happening throughout the food supply chain, from production and processing to distribution and consumption. Consider nearly 80% of ag retailers are now using tablets for work and/or plan to use one soon, according to a recent CropLife Media Group survey. Everyone is relying — some might argue too heavily — on this technology for on-the-go information, communication and functionality.

One shining example of this is occurring at Dow AgroSciences (DAS), where mobile technology has changed the way the company’s sales force interacts with customers. I recently caught up with Tiffany Galloway, DAS Implementation Leader — METT, who shared some insight into how the iPad and mobile apps have enhanced customer service with retailers and growers.

Q. Tell me about your role as Implementation Leader – METT.
A. METT stands for Marketing Excellence Through Technology. My role makes up not only the training/implementation of iPad materials to the commercial sales force, but it also acts as the liaison between the different businesses and the App Development Team. As part of this, I serve as the focal point in regards to mobile strategy with our marketers, creative agencies and sales team. I also help collaborate with our channel partners to help educate their sales force on how to best utilize iPads/tablets to support and provide additional value to their respective customers and businesses. Over the past year, we have received hundreds of requests to provide in-person consulting for best practices, using third-party apps and effective selling with the iPad.

Q. When did DAS begin using iPads for their sales team? Were they phased in over time or implemented all at once?
A. The project itself was a vision of our North American Vice President, Stan Howell, and his leadership team. In 2012, we successfully launched more than 700 iPads to our commercial organization over a 6-month period. The launch of the devices, custom apps and training materials were structured around our national sales meetings, and was very well received. We were the first business within DAS to release a tablet technology platform and have since paved the way in mobile optimization for other groups within our parent company, Dow Chemical.

Q. What can you tell us about the strategy behind making mobile a priority for the sales team?
A. Over the past few years we have seen a tremendous adoption of mobile technology in all aspects of our lives. A number of our innovative sales representatives were incorporating their own personal iPads in the way that they interacted with their customers and were experiencing tremendous success. This challenged us to think about how we could incorporate new technologies into our sales process. We feel that mobile technology for the sales force has been the greatest game changer in many years. Tablets allow our sales representatives to have access to resources during sales calls, provide quicker response time and improve time management.

As an additional benefit, our customers have mentioned that the use of these devices enhances the professionalism of our sales team. With exciting new technologies coming out of our R&D labs and being introduced into the marketplace, it is important that we educate our customers about these products. We have found that using iPads and mobile technology as training modules for our customers is another one of our innovative solutions that provide value to our customers’ business.

Q. How important has it been to establish a mobile culture among your sales team?
A. Culture is what we pride ourselves on, and DAS has always been known by our customers for its collaborative culture and ease of doing business. We have found that mobile technology further enhances this culture and ethos both internally and with our customers. Technology progresses rapidly, which has provided us with a window to demonstrate technology leadership.

Q. How has the iPad changed the way your sales team interacts with customers?
A. The sleek and easy design of the iPads along with the ability to access information no matter where you are gives our employees the advantage in comparison to the competition and gives them an added professional look. The iPad technology also allows our sales representatives to spend more time selling, provides them quick turnaround/responsiveness and allows for impactful, data-driven conversations. The ability of the iPad to provide collaborative information from across different businesses within DAS, has given our sales representatives the tools needed to discuss whole farm solutions with our customers.

Q. Initially, was there any push back from the team on using this technology? What was the biggest challenge on the iPad implementation?
A. Change always has its own challenges, but our sales team has been used to different adoptions in technology. From the bag phone and pager, to the Blackberry and now the iPhone/iPad, our sales force has been using technology to successfully convey the message of DAS superior products. Agriculture is one of the leaders in technology innovations, and our reps understand in order to have a leg up in the field, they need to be willing to adapt to changes in technology as well. The biggest challenge we saw was for those who never had experience with the Apple interface, and just helping them understand how to navigate their devices.

Q. Why iPads? Were there any other mobile devices considered for the implementation?
A. When we launched in 2012, Apple was the clear leader in the marketplace with Android being highly fragmented. Apple has a very strong following and with good reason. They provide the best user experience and have the most mature app ecosystem, providing our reps access to information in the field. As the tablet platform continues to advance, we will continue to evaluate what device provides our sales representatives and our customers with the greatest value.

Q. Tell me about the mobile apps your sales team are using in the field.
A. “There is an app for that” is a phrase that is so widely used in today’s world because it is true. There is an app for almost anything you can think of out there. As implementation leaders, we try to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to other third-party apps that are out there that we can leverage within our sales organization without having to “create the wheel” on our own. There are many extension/university apps for weed, pest and disease identification that are great tools for our sales reps to use, along with note taking and annotation apps that we can use for advancing data-driven conversations with our customers. Collaborations with other vendors such as AgData has helped us become the first trait provider to work with them on the AgCelerate Stewardship app, which allows our customers to stay ahead of their trait compliance.

DAS has also developed several internal apps for our sales force. Bulk Site Checklist allows reps to survey bulk tanks as they are changing chemistries and conduct in-person, electronic sign offs. Mycogen Value Calculator allows direct crop planning and order intentions with the sales rep and/or retailer. Mycogen Portfolio Select enables retailers, agronomists and Mycogen sales reps to create interactive slide decks to have one-on-one or group meetings with customers. The First to Farm app helps plan for early-season orders based on the previous year’s purchases.

Q. Was there a learning curve for the sales team regarding app use?
A. With any other new launch there is a bell curve featuring early adopters, those who will take time to experiment with the technology, and those who need some more hands-on training. Our group tries to provide as much training resources as possible via Webinars and in-person sessions so our sales force can focus on closing additional business, rather than being bogged down by technological hardships.

Q. How do you think the retailer relationship has changed as a result of using mobile technology?
A. I believe it has strengthened our relationships with our retailers. They view DAS as a strategic partner that is providing additional value to their business. Furthermore, I believe they see us as the leaders in the mobile landscape, innovators and supporters of their businesses. With greater response time, hands-on training and the ability to have real-time information at their fingertips, we make it easier for our retailers to position our products to their customers.

Q. What’s next for DAS on the mobile technology front? Any new apps being developed?
A. With technology being so dynamic, we are constantly analyzing our app platform and assessing the needs of our sales force and customers. We look forward to continuing to innovate and contributing to agriculture’s adoption of mobile technologies.

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

One comment on “How iPads Are Transforming Customer Service At Dow AgroSciences

Matt Hopkins Stories
Matt Hopkins5 Misguided Reasons Why Ag Retailers Are Not Using Social Media
June 2, 2014
These most commonly cited reasons for not embracing social media need to be re-examined. Read More
Matt HopkinsHow iPads Are Transforming Customer Service At Dow AgroSciences
March 12, 2014
Dow AgroSciences' Tiffany Galloway discusses how iPads and mobile apps have completely changed the way the company's sales force interacts with customers. Read More
Matt HopkinsPrecision Agriculture: 6 Mobile Use Trends To Watch
March 3, 2014
The convergence of precision agriculture and mobile technology is highlighted by several key trends. Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100The Andersons Starts Venture Capital Subsidiary
January 26, 2015
The Andersons has established Maumee Ventures, a venture capital subsidiary designed to foster promising innovations that strategically align with the company’s core businesses. Read More
CropLife 100CHS Partners With Northern Partners Coop On Fertilizer Warehouse
January 21, 2015
In addition, the two companies will form a joint venture to build and operate a grain barge loading facility that will handle corn, soybeans and wheat for export through the CHS terminal at Myrtle Grove, LA. Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Move To Colorado Complete
January 20, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co. announces the opening of its new Agribusiness Division location in the Denver, CO, Metro Area. The new facility will host key personnel as the company shifts the base of its Agribusiness operations from California to Colorado. Read More
CropLife 100United Suppliers, McGregor Co., Five Others To Form Aligned Ag Distributors
January 20, 2015
These companies will continue to operate as independently owned and operated businesses, however, their crop protection divisions will now be formally aligned under the umbrella of Aligned Ag Distributors. Read More
CropLife 100Bozeman Named SEEDWAY Chief Operating Officer
January 16, 2015
He succeeds Donald Wertman, who will retire at the end of August 2015 after 40 years with the GROWMARK subsidiary. Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis’ Craig Bair Honored For Safety Contributions To Ag Aviation
January 14, 2015
The William O. Marsh Safety Award recognizes significant achievements in safety, safety education or an outstanding operational safety program. Read More
Latest News
Seed/BiotechDow Details Enlist Trait Stacking Standards
January 30, 2015
Dow says it will allow the Enlist trait to be stacked with advanced glyphosate traits only, and will not allow stacking with the first generation of the Roundup Ready trait. Read More
ManagementCropLife Retail Week: IFCA’s Jean Payne on Illinois wat…
January 30, 2015
Editor Eric Sfiligoj shares insight from the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association conference including a chat with IFCA President Jean Read More
ManagementOABA Conference Set To Highlight Trends, Technology And…
January 29, 2015
The third annual Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) Industry Conference is set to take place February 4-5. Read More
FertilizerThe Fertilizer Institute President Jahn Testifies Befor…
January 28, 2015
The committee hearing, "Freight Rail Transportation: Enhancing Safety, Efficiency, and Commerce," looked at challenges facing our nation's freight rail network created by higher demand, rules and regulations and infrastructure needs. Read More
HerbicidesPurdue University Acquires Technology For Herbicide Mol…
January 28, 2015
Protea's LAESI DP-1000 Instrument System will be used in Purdue's College of Agriculture, the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, for the molecular imaging of herbicide active ingredients and other related compounds to optimize herbicide applications and improve weed management.  Read More
FertilizerH.J. Baker Hires New Crop Peformance Marketing Manager
January 27, 2015
As Marketing Manager for the Crop Performance division, Usman Khalid will work out of H.J. Baker’s global headquarters in Westport, CT, and will drive new initiatives for the division. Read More
CropLife 100The Andersons Starts Venture Capital Subsidiary
January 26, 2015
The Andersons has established Maumee Ventures, a venture capital subsidiary designed to foster promising innovations that strategically align with the company’s core businesses. Read More
Exclusive state-of-the art Stueve Construction designed “Vista View” Elevated Control Room.
Eric Sfiligoj2015 Agricultural Market Read: Mixed
January 26, 2015
The agricultural market could look radically different this year, profit-wise, depending upon which segment you do business in. Read More
Edward Chell Biosafe
Crop InputsBioSafe Systems Names Ed Chell California Territory Man…
January 26, 2015
BioSafe Systems has announced the recent addition of Ed Chell as California Territory Manager for the agrichemical division, supporting the crop protection, water treatment and food safety business segments. Read More
InsecticidesBayer CropScience Introduces Sivanto Insecticide
January 26, 2015
Sivanto precisely targets key damaging pests at multiple insect life stages to prevent damage to plants and help minimize the spread of diseases from insect carriers. Read More
ManagementRetail Collaboration, Communicating Agriculture’s Good …
January 23, 2015
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss the recent creation of Aligned Ag Distributors, and the US Farmers and Ranchers Read More
FertilizerOSU Expert: Toledo Water Crisis A Turning Point For Ohi…
January 23, 2015
The August 2014 water crisis in Toledo, OH, impacted Ohioans’ views of Lake Erie algae problems by increasing the attribution of blame of algae growth on agriculture. Read More
FertilizerH.J. Baker Launching TIGER XP
January 22, 2015
Tiger-Sul introduces this next generation sulphur-bentonite product with a proprietary activator – ensuring farmers have a well-balanced nutrient replacement program. Read More
Crop InputsH.J. Baker Expands China Sales Force
January 21, 2015
Global Agricultural firm H.J. Baker announced that sales veteran Shi Dongshen has joined their Shanghai office in China. This newest hire follows the recent opening of their Lianyungang Sulphur Bentonite Plant. Read More
CropLife 100CHS Partners With Northern Partners Coop On Fertilizer …
January 21, 2015
In addition, the two companies will form a joint venture to build and operate a grain barge loading facility that will handle corn, soybeans and wheat for export through the CHS terminal at Myrtle Grove, LA. Read More
Matt Hopkins5 Bold Predictions For Ag Retail In 2015
January 21, 2015
This past year was filled with ups and downs for the nation’s top ag retailers, but what will 2015 have in store? Read More
SoftwareDeere Launches App Center
January 20, 2015
The John Deere App Center provides users the ability to search and find apps most useful to their business or operations. Read More
Crop InputsNew Syngenta Herbicide Approved In Soybeans, Sunflowers
January 20, 2015
Syngenta will sell BroadAxe XC herbicide in 2015 for use on soybeans, sunflowers and dry peas Read More