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3 Principles to help your agribusiness ACTUALLY go digital

Are we just building faster horses?

3 Principles to help your agribusiness ACTUALLY go digital

Are we just building faster horses?

Every year, more and more agribusinesses are replacing their paper based processes with digital alternatives. Sadly, few are reaping the benefits of making the switch. Cluttered in-trays have been replaced by busy email inboxes, bulky filing cabinets replaced with messy file systems and buzzing on-premise server rooms, carbon copy triplicates replaced by digital forms, printouts and PDF’s.

Have we simply replicated our analogue way of working with slightly better digital versions? Is this what we actually needed?

In the words of Henry Ford, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

At Agworld, we’re passionate about building a better future for agriculture. A future that capitalizes on the technology at our finger tips. A future that leads to a more connected, collaborative and profitable industry. Here are three principles we follow to foster innovation and avoid building faster horses.

1. Work Collaboratively

Forget about the paper trail, focus on your workflow.

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Good management starts by getting the right people around your agribusiness who can help you make good decisions and get the job done right.

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Advisors, farm managers, contractors, accountants and field staff all have a role to play in improving whole farm profitability, but how do you keep everyone on the same page?

Whilst many have concentrated on just one or two items like yield by field, and nutrition, this does not mean the farmer will be profitable. It takes collaboration to do this under pinned by well structured data.

2. Data structure matters

Let your data do the talking.

Every day, our people ask both simple and not so simple questions as part of getting their job done. Unfortunately, when your data lacks structure and is spread across many systems and spreadsheets, even the simplest of questions can be tough to answer. To answer some of the most simple questions more than two pieces of data are often required to answer the what and when to establish the why? Even if you do find the data it may not be right due to formatting or user error re-typing it in.

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In a recent Harvard Business Review article the data quality is in worse shape than most managers realize. In a study of 75 executives, only 3% found their departments fell within the minimum acceptable range of 97 or more correct data records out of 100. 

The cost to business is massive, but slides under the radar as a normal business practice because structured data and application of the right disciplines using technology is missing.

3. K.I.S.S - Keep it simple, stupid!

Seriously.

Whatever we're doing, we should drive toward keeping it simple. Most of us set out to do this but not all of us achieve it. Agriculture is a bit more challenging than we think.

The variability in people, materials and processes, accompanied by those key limiting factors (when growing crops like weather and water) makes the task more challenging.

Technology is here to give us the help we need, but we have to be selective in the apps that we introduce to our business. We need to look for tech that's easy to use, and that matches within our daily workflow. This is the determining factor in the successful adoption of technology.

Too many times, companies decide to bring in new software without re-defining the business process or at least reviewing it. Which is a major cause of failure.

The go-to response is to blame the software or the user. The hard facts are that in order to scale a business you need to make sure your people can deliver. To make sure they deliver, they need to be supported by simple processes (not built on just-in-case scenarios) and there must be metrics to measure the success - the success for your business and the value to your clients. If you can’t measure it, then setting a goal for improvement is almost impossible!

At Agworld we provide consulting services to ensure we bring these 3 principles into being at your business because we are genuinely interested in your business continuing its success as the 4th wave, digital technology reshapes much of what we do today for our businesses and clients!

Don't take our word for it, get it from the source directly. Take a look below at how Luckey Farmers keeps it simple by using Agworld.

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Paty Ventura | U.S. Marketing Manager