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
Matt Hopkins15 Best New Agriculture Apps Worth Downloading In 2014
December 16, 2013
These latest agriculture apps are sure to help ag professionals do their jobs more efficiently in 2014 and beyond. Read More

Trending Articles

ManagementExpert To Discuss Farmland Value, Rent At Farm Science Review
August 18, 2014
While cropland values in Ohio increased in the past two years, they have remained flat in 2014, declining in some cases, according to an Ohio State University agricultural economist. Read More
EquipmentAdvance Your Technology IQ At MAGIE
August 13, 2014
The Midwest AG Industries Exposition (August 20-21) is the place you need to be to see, study and evaluate how new advances in the equipment, operations, crop protection and fertility sectors can help your business prosper. Read More
HerbicidesScouting Key To Next Season’s Soybean Herbicide Program
August 12, 2014
When growing soybeans, growers need to think ahead to stay one step ahead of weeds. That means examining weed threats and evaluating which herbicides work best. Read More
StewardshipMichigan Agriculture Leaders On Toledo Water Ban: We Want To Be Part Of The Conversation
August 8, 2014
Leaders of Michigan agricultural organizations said Thursday that the government should not have a “knee-jerk reaction” based on last weekend’s water ban in Toledo due to fertilizer run-off in Lake Erie. Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Acquires Lemon Ag Services
August 4, 2014
The acquisition of Lemon Ag fits BRANDT’s aggressive corporate strategy of providing superior agronomic advice and services for customers in central Illinois. Read More
Eric SfiligojThe Resurgence Of Crop Protection
August 4, 2014
Plenty of new offerings over the next few years should see a rebirth for the crop protection products category in terms of market share. Read More

Latest News

Crop InputsBASF Is Betting On A Bright Agricultural Future
September 1, 2014
The crop protection products giant is gearing up for a busy time in agriculture by investing in both product production and development over the next couple of years. Read More
Eric SfiligojAn Erie Feeling For Ag
September 1, 2014
Plenty of water issues have been in the news lately, including the continuing drought in California. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Acquires California-Based Retailer
August 29, 2014
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings will acquire Kerman Ag Resources, Inc., which will operate under Pinnacle's Performance Agriculture brand. Read More
Allied Cooperative Grain Plant
ManagementArcadia Co-op To Merge With Allied Cooperative
August 28, 2014
Allied Cooperative has announced that members of Arcadia Co-op voted in favor of a merger with Allied Cooperative, paving the way for the consolidation which will be effective on December 1, 2014. Read More
InsecticidesBioinsecticide VENERATE Now Registered In California
August 27, 2014
Marrone Bio Innovations' VENERATE is a new tool to help California growers control crop-damaging insect pests, fight the development of insect resistance and reduce pesticide residues on fruits and vegetables. Read More
CropLife 100Two Iowa-Based Ag Co-ops To Merge
August 27, 2014
The Board of Directors and management of United Western Coop, Missouri Valley, IA has completed a merger with Heartland Co-op, West Des Moines, IA, effective September 1, 2014. Read More
FertilizerKoch Expands AGROTAIN Nitrogen Stabilizer Portfolio
August 26, 2014
Koch Agronomic Services, LLC has added two new innovative nitrogen stabilizers to the AGROTAIN product family – AGROTAIN ADVANCED and AGROTAIN DRI-­MAXX. Read More
Seed/BiotechDuPont To Build Two Seed Treatment Centers
August 26, 2014
DuPont has announced construction on two state-of-the-art centers dedicated to developing and testing seed treatment formulations, applications and seed handling techniques in an important step toward bringing new solutions to growers. Read More
Seed/BiotechLoveland Products Acquires A Controlling Interest In Ag…
August 26, 2014
Loveland Products, a subsidiary of Agrium , has announced the company has acquired a controlling interest in Agricen, a Dallas-area agricultural biotechnology company delivering biochemical-based products for efficient and sustainable plant nutrition. Read More
StewardshipUp Close Look At The 2014 Environmental Respect Award W…
August 25, 2014
The 2014 Environmental Respect Award winners were honored recently at the 24th annual event in Wilmington, DE. Read More
Eric SfiligojAg Science Rejection Carries Consequences
August 25, 2014
As innuendo and fear dog the regulatory process, agriculture can’t get the new tools it needs to combat world hunger. Read More
LegislationFarmers Dismayed As New Farm Bill Dumps Direct Payments
August 25, 2014
The threatened end of cash subsidies to the nation’s row crop farmers dates back through at least the last two iterations of national agriculture policy legislation. Read More
MAGIE 2014 ShowStopper
EquipmentJohn Deere Again Wins MAGIE ShowStopper Award
August 25, 2014
For the second consecutive year, John Deere was honored at the Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) for its new R4045 sprayer. Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK CEO To Retire
August 22, 2014
GROWMARK chief executive officer Jeff Solberg has announced his retirement effective September 15, 2014. Read More
InsecticidesDuPont’s Prevathon Approved For Dry Beans
August 22, 2014
DuPont Prevathon insect control powered by Rynaxypyr has received EPA registration for foliar use on dry bean crops, including dried shelled peas and beans. Read More
ManagementNCGA DuPont New Leaders Program Enters Sophmore Season
August 20, 2014
The National Corn Growers Association and DuPont are pleased to announce the second year of the NCGA DuPont New Leaders Program. Read More
FungicidesVerdesian Links Up With Mitsui, Hokusan
August 20, 2014
Mitsui Chemicals Agro, Inc., and Hokusan Co., announced the signing of an exclusive licensing agreement allowing Verdesian Life Sciences global access to its patented technology for suppressing mycotoxin contamination in wheat and barley. Read More
SprayersUniversity Of Illinois Introduces New Spray App
August 18, 2014
University of Illinois Extension has released a new smartphone app for making sprayer-related calculations. Pesticide Spray Calculator, or Spray Calc, Read More