Dot Autonomous Power Platform: The Future Of Farming
(7 pages of text)
The Dot autonomous agricultural platform, manufactured by SeedMaster Manufacturing, an innovative farm equipment manufacturer in White City, Saskatchewan, was a driver-less vehicle designed to replace the farm tractor. This vehicle allowed large-scale farmers to spend more time focusing on the farm business while the Dot platform planted, sprayed, or conducted other farm-field activities. In late 2019, the reliability and safety of the disruptive Dot technology when left unattended was not yet fully tested. Issues of sales, training, and servicing were yet to be determined. The company had identified three potential commercialization paths for consideration: Should it focus on retailing Dot and Dot-ready implements through a network of farm dealerships in a traditional manner? Should it create a Dot showroom and sales-and-service team, selling primarily online in a virtual showroom, like Tesla? Or should it create a “pop-up” custom seeding and spraying business to further revise the technology while promoting it?
The case is suitable for senior undergraduate and graduate classes in strategy, strategic marketing, entrepreneurship, and not-for-profit courses. Positioning this case mid-way through a course helps students develop the necessary skills for working with the business model canvas, particularly assessing critical factors in effective commercialization. This case is also ideal for comprehensively testing skills late in the semester or as a take-home final exam. Students should be familiar with classic environmental scanning in order to understand competitive realities at societal, industrial, and organizational levels. By the end of the class discussion, students should be proficient in applying the business model canvas to accomplish the following:
- Define a composite stakeholder value proposition, seen through the lens of a specific go-to-market option.
- Define the key resources and key activities a disruptive innovator will need to undertake in bringing its product to market.
- Identify key partners, the resources they bring, and the activities they perform, given a specific go-to-market option.
- Identify the most favourable customer segments and relationship requirements, given a specific go-to-market option.
- Explain capital investment requirements, margins, and volume, given a specific go-to-market option.
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
Canada, Small, 2019
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