Creating an easier and more accurate billing process
David Boersma used to spend a lot of time at the end of every month sorting out the jobs that needed to be billed out to his clients for that month. He had to look through eight hand-written books to find out which jobs everyone had performed and worried that jobs would still get missed.
After trying a different digital solution first, he heard about Agworld and decided to implement Agworld in his operation. Now David, his son and his field manager all use Agworld on a daily basis to collect their operational data.
Through using the Agworld platform, David now always has an up-to-date overview of the jobs that have been performed. At the end of the month, he can run standardized reports and use these to base his billing on. David now has peace of mind that his billing is correct without having to waste a lot of time double-checking manual records.
David Boersma runs a custom farming operation in Manteca, California, specializing in almonds and walnuts. Together with his son Darren Boersma and field manager Cornel Weststeyn, David custom farms around 900 acres of nut tree orchards. David elaborates: “I have been farming all my life, first with my dad and now with my son. We perform any kind of field work for our clients in their orchards and charge them per hour or per acre, whichever may be applicable for that particular operation.”
“I have seen lots of changes in the way we manage our orchards in the years that I have been farming, especially when it comes to utilizing technology. I learned way more than my dad ever did and in the exact same way my son will have to learn a lot more about technology than I know. Although I could have just not worried about digital technology at all and just slid my way out of this, I do want to learn to use technology that genuinely makes my life easier and helps me do jobs quicker and easier. This is why I decided to start using Agworld a few years back; I realized that by using a program like Agworld I can make my billing process a lot quicker and more accurate.”
David continues: “A couple of years ago I tried a different software solution but that ended up not working out for me. Through someone else in the industry, I heard about Agworld and decided to give them a call. I liked the idea of having a solid in-field app that I could get my men to use to enter data, whether they have cellular signal or not. In order to get the guys to enter accurate data, I feel that we have to make it as easy as possible for them – Agworld makes it as easy as it gets compared to any farm management software I’ve seen.”
Perfecting the monthly billing process
As is the case with all custom farming operations, David has to bill his clients on a regular basis. David: “We bill our clients at the end of every month for every job that we have done for them. Up until a few years ago I would hand out calendar books at the beginning of the year and ask my staff to write down everything they did every day and where they did it. This meant that I got up to 8 books back at the end of every month that I had to decipher and base my invoices on. If you can picture someone hastily writing down his activities at the end of the day while driving down a bumpy road, you can probably also picture the fun I was having trying to work out what I should bill to whom at the end of the month!”
“Now that we use Agworld, this has changed a lot. The data that gets entered in the field automatically syncs through to my computer and I’ve got it right there for me to create whichever report I need. My billing process has become a lot quicker and easier since using Agworld; I also don’t have to worry about missing anything anymore. I know that the guys have entered all the data on their end, and everything automatically gets picked up in the reports I create, so the whole process has become a lot more accurate. As these bills go out to my clients, it is very important to me that they are correct every time – Agworld helps me achieve that.”
Aside from improving the billing process, David and his team also use Agworld for other parts of their operation. David: “Spray recipes, for example, is something that I often look up in Agworld. If I want to know exactly which tank mixes we used last year or the year before, that information is right there for me in Agworld – it’s a lot easier to find there than trying to dig through last year’s calendar book!”
“I don’t think we’re using many of Agworld’s capabilities yet, but that is only because we haven’t focused on doing so yet. There are many things that I’d like to start using, tracking the Re-Entry Intervals for example or creating a nutritional break-down per field are things that I know Agworld can do, we just haven’t gotten to it yet. This is where I see my son playing a big role: he is the next generation that will lead the operation and will have to fully immerse himself in technology – he will be the one driving the adoption of technology like Agworld in our operation.”
David concludes with: “I have achieved with Agworld what I was looking for: we have simplified the in-field data entry process and made billing our clients a lot quicker and more accurate. And although we only use a very small part of Agworld I think, it makes a huge difference to me. Everything else we can get out of Agworld is just going to be a bonus.”
Emerald Farms partner and general manager Leon Etchepare was struggling to keep track of all the information and tasks that were being performed on his farm in Maxwell, CA. As he was trying to achieve more vertical integration of his farming operation, he knew that he needed a centralized platform that would deliver him the information he needed, when he needed it.
Up until 2016, Lance Funk Farms was using multiple legacy software systems for precision functionality, but none of these systems offered any record keeping ability. In order to organize the farming operation with up to 250 employees in peak season, management had to rely on spreadsheets.
Managing a large fruit orchard operation in the Pacific Northwest
Allan Brothers manage a large number of orchards as part of their fruit growing, packing and shipping operation. With their Yakima Valley Orchards comprising over 700 individual blocks of apples, cherries and grapes, they realized a sophisticated digital solution was needed to track their inputs and operations.
Vann Brothers has seen rapid growth of their almond orchard as part of their vertically integrated operation. A growing team, new legislation and an increased demand for transparency from the end-consumers of their product meant that old record keeping methods were no longer viable.