As the business of farming becomes more specialized and dependent on a variety of skills and technologies, it is becoming more difficult to find the “Swiss Army knife” person who can meet all the needs of each customer. That is why over the past several years GreenStone has evolved the delivery of our products and services into a team-based approach.
While we still prioritize one-on-one meetings with customers, when the employee returns to the office there is a team of people ready to help meet the customers’ needs. This approach allows us to hire specialists in all areas from credit and lending, to crop insurance and tax and accounting, and beyond. By building a team around our customers, we air to align the right resources with the right project, tailoring the team to each individual customer’s needs. Ultimately, our goal is to meet and exceed all of our customers’ expectations.
Lending: Having a team surround customers also assures that not one person makes critical decisions impacting a customer’s business. In the area of credit, for example, one loan application may be reviewed by a financial services officer, credit analyst, a credit leader and ultimately the Credit Committee before a decision is reached. This process creates accountability throughout the team, ensuring we maintain fair and ballanced lending practeces providing the best solution for the customer.
Insurance: Taking this team approach to our crop insurance teams allows us to leverage individual strengths and knowledge in a particular commodity across our entire territory. We recently united our crop insurance specialists working with fruit and specialty crop growers into one collective unit to serve all fruit and specialty crop growers. This gives us the latitude to pull expertise from any geography into one area where it best serves our customers. The team working together with the customer also provides continuity for our customers should any member of the team transition into another position.
Financial Management: Early last year, we shared details behind our enhanced financial services offerings provided through a reorganized tax and accounting team and new technology solutions. Through those accounting, payroll, tax planning and preparation offerings, our customers continue to have access to a team of agricultural focused accountants helping to manage their farm accounting, taxes and payroll. Much like our crop insurance fruit team and lending teams, this group works together, pulling on the cumulative 300 years of department experience to provide customers with expert support and stability. When we harness the collective energy, vision and experience of our staff, we are able to provide consistent, exceptional service to all customers.
Online Service: Recently, individuals across several departments have worked together to revitalize our online offerings, including the forthcoming launch of an online loan request for our farm customers, and improvements to our My Access platform. These services provide safe, secure and convenient access for the customer to their account information and communication with their local branch team.
The use of more online and digital services provides customers the ability to work with our team members in the manner they prefer – from the seat of their tractor, in their home ‘office’ or at one of our local branches. As we continue to evolve our online and digital platforms, our goals are focused on meeting our customers’ needs by strengthening our ability to provide convenient ways to do business with our customers.
Tools: Additionally, we often receive suggestions from our customers on tools they use in their business to be more productive and we, in turn, make those tools available to others. Thanks to the curiosity of GreenStone customer Julie Taylor, GreenStone has made available resources offered by Iowa State University to help farmers prepare their financial information.
Located in both the Resource Library on our website and linked with our My Access customer portal, customers can click through to the tool on the university’s website. The template provides a format to calculate your net worth as well as to build a financial statement and balance sheet. This information gives you important insight into the financial standing of your business. The tool also aligns with the financial information GreenStone requests of members when reviewing your account and evaluating future financial plans. Using File Exchange in My Access, you can securely send these completed documents directly to your financial services officer. Information on how to access the template, complete the worksheet, and send the information to your GreenStone team is available in My Access: www.mygreenstoneaccess.com.
We invite you to call on your local GreenStone team anytime we can provide you with the products and services you need to better manage your business. Additionally, we learn from you as well and welcome your ideas and input on how our team can better serve you.
To view the article in the online 2019 Fall Partners Magazine, click here.