A brief introduction of Alabama Farmers Cooperative and what the organization does, founding date, etc.
Alabama Farmers Cooperative is a regional federated supply and marketing agriculture cooperative, providing farmers in the state of Alabama a full range of agriculture supplies and services. Farmers rely on AFC year-round, purchasing various products including feed, fertilizer, seed, grain storage and hardware.
AFC was founded in 1936 and operates for the benefit of its 37 member associations, which include approximately 63 retail locations. AFC has grown to include more than 2,300 employees through a series of joint ventures and is now one of the largest farmer-owned agriculture related businesses in the Southeastern United States.
AFC is a cooperative in the truest sense of the word. All facilities operated by AFC are governed by local, farmer-owned cooperatives. Additionally, each member co-op shares in the financial proceeds from AFC operations and benefits from the research and marketing services provided by the co-op system. An unselfish dedication to the mutual objective of growth and success for its member farmers is the hallmark of AFC.
Why did AFC begin seeking out digital signage and what would the goals be for this technology investment?
Technology is advancing every day and while print ads are still important, we wanted a way to reach our customers in a way that ‘kept up’ with the times. Even though the young farmers are using technology to enhance their operations, the average age of a farmer is still 60 years old. We wanted to close the gap by offering our customers, young and old, a variety of ways to receive information about sale items, new products and upcoming events.
We chose digital signage as a way to provide up to date information quickly and efficiently to our member stores and their customers without them having to lift a finger. This investment has allowed us to provide our farmers of all ages and operations with information while still keeping our values in place and serving them to best fit their needs.
Allowing us to be involved with the process and not handing it over completely was huge for us. Being able to update the signage on a per store basis is important for us since our stores vary depending on location and customer needs.
When seeking a provider, what were the requirements AFC was seeking?
When we started with the idea of offering digital signage in our member stores, we looked for a provider that understood our goal as a company, someone that would help us reach our customers on a new level, without taking away from our values of a locally owned and operated business.
We serve a variety of customers from large scale farmers to single pet owners and lawn care professionals to backyard gardeners, so we wanted a provider that would be versatile enough to allow us to promote our products in a way that appealed to all of them.
We also looked for competitively priced providers since we are providing all 63 member co-op store locations with digital signage technology.
Widgets were also a big factor for us. Agriculture depends a lot on the weather and being able to provide our customers and farmers with that outlook is important.
Understanding the requirements and desires of any company is the primary focus when putting together a digital signage system that will work for them. At Coffman Media, we understand there is much more to the "how" than simply sending a message.
Our team is focused on one goal and that is: Helping you realize the power of digital signage to meaningfully connect with customers and clients while simulatneously promoting the goals of your business or organization.
Coffman Media was able to meet the needs for AFC by providing a competitively priced, versatile, scalable system. Twenty one Samsung Smart Digital Displays were installed across 21 member co-op store locations so far. The remaining locations will be completed throughout the course of 2017.
What is the anticipated growth of site locations in 2017?
While our number of our retail facilities is likely to stay the same, we hope to grow by promoting products in ways that reach a variety of customers. Coffman Media will install an additional 42 displays across the remaining 42 member co-op store locations throughout the first quarter of 2017.
A quote from AFC from a corporate level and if they could provide a testimonial from how it is enhancing communication to site levels.
"Digital Signage has bridged the gap between store managers and our distribution center to combine into one team with the same mission: to provide quality products at a competitive price for market share in our agriculture world. Future technology will build these bridges larger with innovative ways of communication through all levels of Alabama Farmers Cooperative and agriculture.”
Coffman Media's white glove service and digital signage solutions can be tailored to meet your organization's needs. Click on the link below to initiate a free consultation and to learn more about digital signage for you.