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How Do You Deal With Supplier Consolidations?

Do you see supplier consolidation as a way to get more support, more specialty products from a bigger and more efficient supplier?  Or do you fear lack of competition, higher prices, being under the thumb of the big company as railroads used to run roughshod over farmers 100 years ago?


I have to confess, I'm in the camp that likes lots of competition for my business.  I think that keeps prices low, ensures I get good, personal dealer support and I have options in the event something goes wrong in dealing with one company.


A big dealer might have that rare herbicide in stock while the little guy has to order it or can't even get it.  The big guy probably has better inventory i fyou have a last minute need for something.  He may have more specialists on his staff wtih better training and more schooling.  Maybe they know more about rare crop diseases, specialty markets, or crop scouting techniques.


What's your opinion?


And finally, is there anythign we can do about it, anyway?  If we can't, then how do we adjust, or do we?


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Re: How Do You Deal With Supplier Consolidations?

Mergers are certainly a concern in my area. Supply Coops are expanding their reach exponentially. Our local cooperative is well run and doing well.  It has been courted by a larger one, but their culture is not compatible.  They aggressively seek large farm accounts, neglecting even their own smaller farmers while prioritizing operations serving big acreages. If you are a member and smaller than your neighbor, his fields are done while yours is not, delayed often by weeks, not days. That can threaten the survival of that farm business, which I doubt is not unintentional. 


We are being surrounded by recent mergers, however, and that is not a good thing, either. 


Equipment dealerships are are a concern as well. How do you confront a dealer that owns all outlets and has no fear of competition, when a mechanic screws up while working on your combine or tractor?