Advancements in agricultural technology have proven to be incredibly important in today’s industry. Results in the farming business are heavily influenced by attention to detail, and technology can be the deciding factor between a mediocre season and a highly profitable one. Farm management software companies like AgCode collect and amplify data in order to bring out the most in an agricultural operation.
With increases in operational costs every year, it can often be a struggle to maximize profits, especially in tough economic times. By tracking data recorded in the field, AgCode helps growers increase their profits and productivity. This can be done in many ways, as AgCode provides solutions for all aspects of a business. Over time with extended use, these solutions have an even more powerful effect on an operation.
Better Labor Management
With the utilization of both a mobile app and desktop website, AgCode helps managers record information accurately and effectively. They can clearly see what is being done, and where it is being done to stay on top of current jobs while planning for tasks in the future. As Jeff Baccus of Joseph Phelps Vineyards states, “We can see on the fly where we are on a daily basis, next to our budget. AgCode has been a huge help in organizing and managing our workflow.”
Recording employee time details on the AgCode mobile app eliminates the need for paper time cards, and ensures that the information entered is correct. This helps businesses cut out unnecessary time spent in the office copying time data over to an accounting system, along with any additional back and forth communication. That eliminated office time spent editing and copying time cards saves AgCode users money in often overlooked areas.
In addition to better labor allocation, farm management software allows users to see how productive their work force really is. When piece rate is used, managers can see how many pieces each individual employee was responsible for on a given day. This offers even better oversight in the labor department, and helps managers make critical decisions in order to keep their operation as productive as possible.
This data is also leveraged in future seasons, allowing managers to look back on what worked and what didn’t work with teams and crews and applying more efficient practices moving forward.
Accurate Field Inspection Data
Field inspection is a task that has traditionally been done manually by a scout, jotting notes down on a paper pad in the field. As the day goes on, these paper notes can easily be lost- or become illegible. This poses a major issue as the scout either has to take the time to revisit the field that they originally made the notes on, or rely on memory, which can leave room for error. On top of this, the field scout will then need to re-enter the information in a computerized system to keep proper record, adding an additional step and another point of possible error.
AgCode records all field scouting notes on the mobile app, which then sends that information over for the admin to review. This process allows scouts to record data precisely on their iPhone in the field. The field inspection module has been very successful at targeting pests and other diseases, allowing managers to create an immediate plan of attack thanks to near real time data. The increased visibility that this tool provides helps users proactively manage their operation and make business decisions much faster.
Jeff Baccus has also found success with the field inspection module, saying, “Another feature that I really liked is a central place to record our scouting data. Anyone in the field can do that, so most of our vineyard crew has an iPhone with the AgCode app installed, and they can just go ahead and plug in the data. I get that data, and I can see that change daily. So that’s been a huge benefit.”
Better Budgeting and Increased Profits
Improvements in agricultural technology have been effective in increasing profits and productivity for many businesses worldwide. Farm management software companies like AgCode not only allow better management of labor, equipment and pesticides, but increase the accuracy of budgets as well.
Due to the increased amount of quality data being recorded on a daily basis, administrators can pull labor reports in a timely manner and see exactly how much money they are spending, when they are spending it. Incredibly detailed labor reports can be pulled based off of the data that has been entered in the field, showing how much time and overhead was spent on each particular job code, down to the block level. With access to this information, users can pinpoint which jobs, or blocks, are most time and cost consuming and plan accordingly to remain on budget.
These budgeting features continue to add more and more value as an organization uses AgCode. With multiple years of historical data, users are able to rely on that information to create more accurate forecasts and have an even clearer view of what is likely ahead.
David Michul of Beckstoffer Vineyards has utilized budgeting in AgCode and stated, “In the past, our budget process was almost a week to two weeks late. You wouldn’t really know where you stood until the project was completed. AgCode allows you to track it on a constant instantaneous platform so you know where you stand, if you need to make corrective decisions, corrective actions, or change course. That’s huge.”
Embracing a Shift in Culture
With agricultural technology continuously advancing and being adopted by entities both large and small, the question of culture change arises. Embracing technology and farm management software is certainly a shift for a business but is a move in the right direction.
AgCode utilizes a mobile application designed for IOS products to combat carrying around cumbersome equipment. Not only is the app conveniently available on iPhones and iPads, but it is also available in Spanish. This helps drastically ease the technology change, as there are no translation needs out in the field and most crew members are used to the iPhone and iPad user experience.
As Jason Donaho of Pina Vineyard Management puts it, “The technology is really simple, anybody can use it.”
In addition to the ease of use and convenience, farm management software fosters a positive change in accountability. With the increased visibility AgCode provides, companies can better track usage of large investments like tractors and harvesters. By implementing things like mandatory pre-operational checklists, managers can ensure that their employees are taking care of their investments. Reports can be generated that also show a list of machines with upcoming service intervals, and equipment that is currently being worked on. This helps to allocate equipment in the right areas, and to prevent damage and downtime.
The cultural change that farm management software creates is incredibly positive and leads to better management across the board.
As time goes on, AgCode users are able to extract even more powerful business intelligence thanks to historical data, refined processes and a culture of embracing innovation. Budgets and projections become more accurate and a detailed big picture comes into focus over years of use, while team members simultaneously grow more comfortable with technology.
With the visibility and traceability that farm management software provides, ag businesses can establish better accountability across their entire labor force. AgCode’s system does not try to reinvent the wheel, but rather uses technology to help growers instill better business practices.
Growers notice not only higher profit margins due to these practices, but also see higher productivity over time as well.