Rural Management Strategies (RMS), used a legacy system but were looking to improve efficiencies and change to a system where they could share data more rapidly and where their clients could see and update the plan to actuals in real-time, so that the RMS advisor could follow exactly what was happening in the field.
In early 2017, RMS changed systems and adopted Agworld. They reached out to the agricultural resellers in the area that service mutual clients and who were already using Agworld so they could collaborate. RMS collaborated with the growers as well as their agricultural retailers to ensure that everyone works on the exact same set of data and that data gets shared seamlessly between the grower, RMS advisor and reseller agronomist.
Sharing data with other advisors, plus the grower, has increased efficiency for all involved. The process of sending recommendations, performing the job and keeping the record have been simplified for growers as well as their advisor or agronomist and everyone involved in a farming operation now knows exactly which jobs have been completed when, and which haven’t yet.
Rural Management Strategies, with offices in Cootamundra and Wagga Wagga, NSW, is an agricultural consultancy firm with experienced consultants providing production planning and business management advice to farm businesses throughout southern New South Wales. When they evaluated the technology they had adopted in 2016, they realised that it wasn’t delivering what they required. “We were looking to improve our efficiencies and have a system where we could share data more rapidly, and where the client could see and update the plan to actuals in real-time, so that we could follow that” says Chris Minehan, one of the directors at RMS. “Efficient data management, especially from plans to actuals, was a major reason for changing to Agworld.”
Chris continues: “When we adopted Agworld, we spoke to all our growers, so they knew what we were working on. Some had already been asking us for a quick way to turn recommendations into actual records, so that was pretty convenient for them – they just signed up to Agworld as well and connected to us to get all the benefits of working on the same platform. Third generation farmer Vinnie Gooden, Boree Creek, NSW, is one such client that uses Agworld together with RMS: “We run quite a diverse business with 2,400ha of which we crop 75% and run sheep on the other 25%. We crop a mix of lupins, barley, canola, wheat, lucerne, and clover, so it’s safe to say there’s always something happening here and we’re therefore always looking for technology that can help us work more efficiently.”
“When RMS started to use Agworld, Chris showed me how it worked and what the benefits for us would be. I already knew a little bit about Agworld as our reseller, AGnVET Boree Creek, uses Agworld, so I was already used to receiving Agworld recommendation PDF’s from them. When I realised that two of my most important farming partners, RMS and AGnVET, both use the same software, I knew it would be good for me to join them. I really like the simplicity of Agworld and that everyone can see what happens at all times. I can do a job that has been recommended by AGnVET and, as soon as I’ve marked it as done, Chris at RMS will know exactly what happened too; to me, that’s really important.”
Quite often, growers, as well as service providers, can be apprehensive to share ag data with other parties. RMS, AGnVET and their mutual clients, however, have found that there are enough reasons for everyone involved to make data sharing work and, with the Agworld Platform, they have found it easy to do so. Vinnie: “Sometimes when Chris is away for example, I might get AGnVET to check our paddocks for a few weeks. Before Will, the AGnVET agronomist gets here, he can already see in Agworld what is happening in each paddock, what I’ve done so far and what Chris has recommended already, so everybody is in a big loop and always up to date. I feel that, because of this, I get excellent service from both RMS and AGnVET.”
Will Lane, agronomist with AGnVET in Boree Creek, NSW, agrees with Vinnie: “It’s a big advantage that I can see exactly what happens on each farm and what other consultants like RMS are recommending. I can drive into a paddock and see on Agworld what’s going on, I don’t have to ring anyone to find out. Another advantage for us is that we can see the plan that RMS has created for growers like Vinnie at the beginning of the season. Some growers we plan for ourselves and others get their plan done by RMS or a different organisation, but everyone uses Agworld and they have all given us access to their data. All we have to do is run an input summary report for all our clients and we know exactly how much of each product we need to order to ensure we can service all our clients optimally throughout the season. Agworld enables us to easily provide a high level of service to our clients, which is very important in a competitive landscape such as agricultural retail.”
This type of collaboration on data is made possible by the permission options in Agworld which can be customised to reflect the different ways that growers and their advisors are working together and the level of detail that each company wants to share with other stakeholders. So, agronomists from different organisations can’t see each other’s recommendations, even if they share a mutual client in Agworld, unless they are both setup, by the grower, as ‘trusted advisor’ and they both consent to this level of visibility. In the case of RMS and AGnVET, both parties decided that this was the best way to move forward.
Where using two providers can sometimes create confusion, Vinnie says the opposite is true for him: “I really like having two different advisors with different ideas who can bounce ideas off each other and discuss what works best. This can get messy quite easily, but because everyone is on the same platform, it is really simple for us now. The same goes for having a plan on my phone: I just open Agworld and know exactly what we’re going to do next. Having this kind of visibility helps me plan better and ensure I do exactly what I need to do, when I need to do it.”
Chris Minehan concludes with: “Agworld has enabled us to collaborate more effectively with other service providers, which achieves the best outcomes for our mutual clients. Agworld saves our clients from double handling information and has made their record keeping a lot more efficient. When growers work with us and a reseller both, Agworld is what allows them to be sure at all times that everyone has the latest information at their disposal and does exactly what needs to be done at that time. And, because we already enter all that information for our clients in Agworld, we encourage our clients to sign up as well, to save them having to enter that data from scratch.”
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.
Pinion’s AgKnowledge team aims to improve their service offerings to their grower clients by moving towards a more dynamic way of communication. By improving their way of communicating they want to be able to easily create improved metrics on a more detailed level for their growers to empower them to make more profitable decisions.
How financial visibility creates a clear pathway to the future
Nathan Soulsby needed to provide integrated agronomy service to BettaCrop clients, which includes their planning, budgeting, scouting and record keeping. Rolf Malmo was new to cropping and needed visibility into his financial performance that he could also take to his bank and other service providers.