CoffeeTalk 2021 kicked off with SureTrack Senior Product Manager, Shane Rollins who shared the ins and outs of transitioning roles and communicating with farmers during a global pandemic.
Shane shares his involvement with the fields team and working with the development team to bring everyone up-to-speed on the connected ag platform.
“Getting to know the team and getting engrossed in what they are doing is what I am working on, today,” Rollins shares in regard to his transition into the role and day-to-day. “Things look a lot different than they would have; I’m spending a lot of time on connectivity software meeting with the rest of the team.”
Becoming involved in agriculture happenstance, Rollins transitioned into the agriculture industry when as a company he worked for was going out of business.
In the early 2000s, I was working in the home install area and the company I was with had some financial troubles and were going out of business. One of my customers at the time was an independent ag consultant who had just gone out on his own. He came in on the day we were going out of business and was like, ‘What is going on here’,” Rollins says. “When I told him that we were going out of business, he asked me how much I knew about agriculture—not a lot—but he didn’t know a lot about computers, so we made it work.”
Fast forward nearly two decades and Rollins found himself learning the fertilizer and manufacturing business from AGI as Territory Sales Manager.
“I got into the equipment side of things and that allowed me to connect relationships that I had and build new connections,” he says. “It allowed me to learn so much about the AGI line of products and the manufacturing process, and that allowed me to be able to tell the whole story when I was working with customers.”
Transitioning from AGI Fertilizer to the SureTrack team, Rollins says that staying connected has been the most important aspect of learning and staying connected with both the team and customers during COVID-19, sharing that with the pandemic limiting travel, he has only visited the Lenexa, KS headquarters one time.
The adoption of multiple platforms and the ability to meet customers where they are to serve their needs is a component that he says hasn’t been lost through the transition to operating remotely.
Instead of getting voice messages from customers, Rollins says that he’s now getting emails suggesting different platforms, noting that customers really like the in-person feel of the video.
“I’m working less on the phone and more on the machine, and I think that’s great to see how people are tuned in and what they are feeling. It’s good to know that we have all of these options available to us; our customers have been really receptive of it and our team works really well remotely,” says Rollins says, adding that he would challenge anyone to find a farmer who doesn’t use a smartphone, no matter their age.
Knowing that we can all operate remotely is good for employee and employer, alike, Rollins says of the new-found acceptance of remote officing.
“I have exposure to folks that I normally wouldn’t have,” he says, “when you’re in an office, you tend to stay in your own little bubble. I think that when we go back to normal, whatever normal is, that benefit in communication is going to stay, I think.”
To wrap, Rollins shares 2021 developments from SureTrack and what customers can expect from the SureTrack team in delivering the solutions they need to make better management decisions.
To hear more of this conversation, as well as previous CoffeeTalks, visit the SureTrack Community page.