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Unused Business Assets of SME Agro Shops

Agro shops (aka agro vets or agro dealers) have massive assets. But they are not used well.

While discussing business with a supplier, the country manager uttered his indignation about the sales margins taken by agro shops with little perceived value-add for promoting their products. ‘They take this percentage just for the shelf space!’. Later, when speaking with agro shop owners, we felt now indignation on their side about unreliable supplier support, be it in order processing, delivery, or even swift communication. Somehow the business partners haven’t yet made the best out of their cooperation. And this may be for good reasons. Still, the shop owner daily work to keep her shop profitable have not only value for herself. They bear also great value for suppliers.

Why the cooperation between suppliers and agro shops has been often bumpy?

There are certainly many reasons. One of them can be not applying consistent, good business practices in the agro shops. Some farmers step up to become an agro dealer without much training. They acquire the needed business skills by themselves. Activities like marketing may then get neglected. Others hire shop assistants with basic education. It is also unclear, who is responsible to promote the products, i.e. who should carry promotion costs – suppliers or agro shops. Some suppliers do provide promotion material like banners. But the physical space around the shop is limited and not enough for hundreds of supplier brands.

On the other hand, assets of agro shops are massive: direct contact with farmers, product consulting, a large customer base, and feedback from farmer customers. They know about sales and current stock levels. They are also among the first to hear of new challenges from farmers, due to local pest and disease outbreaks or climate changes. Many shops have a thousand or more customer contacts. Cumulatively, they have direct personal contact to millions of farmers.

mFarming allows agro shops and suppliers to leverages their assets mutually while each retains uncompromised ownership. The underlying technology creates win-wins that each stakeholder can use easily with a few clicks. mFarming makes AgriBusiness easy.

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