Fieldays performance gets a boost with digitised processes

Published on the 24/07/2015 | Written by Intergen

beef and lamb

AT A GLANCE

INDUSTRY

  • Agriculture

BUSINESS OBJECTIVE

  • Digitise and automate field information gathering; eliminate ‘rekeying’, boost information accuracy

SOLUTION

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM
  • Apple iPad
  • HTML5

BUSINESS BENEFITS

  • Better customer service
  • Greater business efficiency
  • More targeted messaging to members
  • Greater data integrity

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Intergen
W: www.intergen.co.nz
E: enquiry@intergen.co.nz
T: +64 9 966 3070 or +64 4 472 2021

Intergen delivers paperless answer to clipboard problem…

With the rush of Fieldays demanding efficiency to optimise interactions, Beef + Lamb New Zealand sought a better way of engaging with farmers visiting its stand and looked to Intergen to deliver a digital solution to replace pen and paper. Thanks to the technology provider’s capabilities across Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the Apple iPad and HTML5, a solution was delivered which expedites information gathering while providing an engaging experience for Beef + Lamb’s target audience.

Beef + Lamb is a farmer owned organisation working for a confident and profitable sheep and beef industry. It helps farmers make informed business decisions and promotes their collective interests, with business priorities including: investing in agricultural research and development; developing farm and farmer capability; delivering knowledge that drives farm performance; attracting and retaining talent for the sector; supporting the sector’s market opportunities and building the sector’s confidence and profile.

Situation
Fieldays form a significant part of Beef + Lamb’s regular industry activities. These events are attended by hundreds of farmers, presenting an ideal opportunity for the organisation to engage with potential new members as well as existing ones. The popularity of Fieldays requires Beef + Lamb to make the most of its interactions with farmers, depending on a fast, accurate system for EMs to gather and record valuable contact information.

Traditionally, however, this was done with nothing more sophisticated than a pen and clipboard, wielded by Beef + Lamb’s extension managers (EMs). “The manual effort required to fill out these forms meant that errors could easily be made as EMs repeated the task dozens of times each day. Another staff member was then required to manually re-enter the information into the Beef + Lamb New Zealand database, opening further opportunity for error in information transfer,” explains Beef + Lamb CRM manager and business analyst Matt McPadden.

It was a process crying out for digitisation, which would not only improve information accuracy, but improve interactions with visitors. After all, paperwork was never intended as the primary attraction of Fieldays.

Solution
Intergen, which already hosts Beef + Lamb’s website, developed a bespoke HTML5 software suite that combines with iPads to gather attendee data in the field. The data collection app is designed to be used with or without an internet connection, allowing for total mobility and remote access.

McPadden says that typically, EMs attend a Fieldays event with two iPads. These are passed around among attendees, who enter their own details. If the details match pre-loaded information (that of existing members), an autocomplete function populates the remaining fields. For new members, the ‘i-form’ notifies any missed fields, prompting the individual to complete all required information, cutting waiting times and increasing accuracy.

After each event, the iPads are taken back to the office, where the collected data is uploaded to Beef + Lamb’s Microsoft Dynamics CRM system.

Results
The new system streamlines processes between the field and the office, capturing accurate information more quickly and automatically updating databases to match. It is now much easier to send relevant, targeted information to specific farmers.

The intelligent software on the CRM system can retrieve and sort data collected in the field as needed, with categories pertaining to finance, region and farm size among others.

Record verification can also be achieved by avoiding duplication between contacts with minor name variations.

“By reducing the administration time of this task, the technology gives the EMs more freedom for personal interaction, enabling Beef + Lamb to offer more services and more perceived value to farmers,” says McPadden.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given that it removes the necessity for tiresome manual pen-pushing, feedback from staff and farmers has been uniformly positive. “Intergen had the ability to interpret what we were after, even when it was less simple than it appeared,” he adds.

Thanks to the solution, there is more time for the organisation’s members to engage with their target audience, improving Beef + Lamb’s ability to derive optimal value from every Fieldays event.

Source: This article was originally sourced from Intergen

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