In any industry, streamlining your investment in equipment without short-changing your workers is one of the keys to managing cash flow and cultivating a virtuous circle of profit and growth. The hard part is making sure you’ve got those bases covered, and in agricultural industries, that’s even more important. Much of the equipment used in farming and ranching operations can be put to multiple purposes, so instead of investing in a dedicated machine for each purchase, a lot of things are done with modular tools like tractor attachments. This creates a bit of a double bind, though, because it can result in an over-investment in peripherals at the cost of having as many tractor units as you need to operate smoothly. Walking that line is essential to running a smooth operation.
Worker Resources and Machine Availability
If you’re trying to decide between another tractor supply hay spear and a new tractor unit, remember that it isn’t a decision you need to make as an either/or. You might need both, and the way to tell is to evaluate the queue time for your tractor and the number of change-overs needed in a day. If you’re seeing a queue pile-up due to multiple change-overs as your tractor is set up for different jobs, then it’s a good idea to figure out which jobs are most common and either dedicate a machine to that one operation or invest in a machine that can handle extra work to alleviate the pressure on your queue. It might also mean investing in another tractor driver.
Minimizing Equipment Change
Every time a tractor goes down for a change-over, you’re losing work time and setting other projects behind. That means you need to do more than have a tractor always available when one is down, it means you also need to efficiently manage your workflow so each unit spends as much time on one layout as possible. That means planning in advance for operations like hay movement and delivery, but it’s worth it to have a more profitable business.