In the final part of our five-part series on The agrē Solution, Blair’s Family of Companies looks back on their experience with The agrē Solution.
With the arrival of fall, harvest is just around the corner. As they prepare for the upcoming season, many retailers are evaluating the tools they need to get the job done – like The agrē Solution from Tronia Systems Ltd.
The Digital Advantage
Anita Marghella, business development coordinator at Tronia Systems says the portability and benefits of its digital format makes The agrē Solution advantageous for agri-retailers to use in their operations throughout every season – including harvest.
“Agrē allows retailers to share information between employees and users more easily, which is very important. The cloud-based system also enhances the portability of information, so retailers can access their agrē database from anywhere with an Internet connection,” she says. “Their location doesn’t matter anymore. Once they’re connected, they can access the information that’s stored within agrē as if they were in the office.”
We do generate an awful lot of data, so it’s reassuring that in the event of a fire or some kind of tragedy, we know that our data will be protected and we’re not back at square one.
Blake Bergen, director of corporate services at Blair’s Family of Companies, says the portability and connectivity of The agrē Solution is one of the largest benefits for their facilities.
“It’s always a good idea to have digital data and information. If somebody’s got it in a notebook, and if you have some staff turnover, or there’s a fire or anything like that, it’s always nice to have an archive that’s stored offsite, so you know your information is always going to be safe,” he says. “We do generate an awful lot of data, so it’s reassuring that in the event of a fire or some kind of tragedy, we know that our data will be protected and we’re not back at square one.”
As agri-retailers spend much of their time interacting with their customers in the field or other locations out of the office, portability and easy access to extensive information are key concerns. Transporting files can be awkward, clunky and can create unnecessary hiccups.
“I don’t care how good your filing system is – when there’s that much paperwork involved, it’s so much easier to log onto a laptop when you’re doing those kitchen-table talks with farmers,” he says. “If the customer needs to know what they did on a certain field two years ago, you have all that data with you. There’s no such as thing as not having that particular notebook or binder with you – it’s with you all the time.”
I encourage any retailer looking at growing their business to embrace (agre) as the way to go.
Blair’s only began using agrē’s agronomy module last fall, and as with any new technology, there was a brief learning period as the staff considered how to best integrate it into their operation. Now that they’ve had nearly 10 months to use it, Bergen says it will be a significant help when they start planning for the 2018 crop year.
“By the time we adopted the module and brought it in last year, some tasks had already been done and the planning had already started,” he says. “Now, this year, we’ll be using the module right from the very first conversations we have about the 2018 crop year. Going forward, everything should be in there right from the get-go. The agronomy module is about record-keeping and crop planning, so, as the years go by and more information gets stacked into the module, it will become an even more powerful tool.”
Before incorporating the agronomy module into their business, Blair’s had also used various iterations of Tronia System’s software since 1995. Over the years, Bergen says Tronia has become more than just a software-provider to the Blair’s team.
“Tronia and The agrē Solution are both deep-seated partners in our business and are something that we heavily rely on. That continues to be the case today,” he says.
Bergen adds that their satisfaction with Tronia can be attributed in part to their willingness to evolve and upgrade their products.
Tronia consistently updates their software based on customer feedback, providing them with more and more value over the years. Marghella says the team at Tronia releases three major software updates each year; one in spring, mid-summer and fall.
“We’re always adding new features to agrē and many of those features are driven by what customers ask for. We’re very engaged with our retailers to try and ensure that their needs are met. A lot of the time, we’re just trying to see what’s going on in the industry, to be a little bit proactive and have some foresight,” she says. “We want to get new features and enhancements in the system that we predict will be useful ahead of time, so when a retailer does need to use those features, they’re already there and are ready to go.”
By providing easily accessible and portable information, extensive record-keeping and frequent updates to meet customer needs, The agrē Solution is a multi-faceted tool that can make a positive difference in a retail’s management
decisions, customer service and much more.
“Digital is the way of the world we live in today; it’s the way of the future,” says Marghella. “Gone are the days of doing things manually. I encourage any retailer looking at growing their business to embrace this as the way to go.
Visit tronia.com to learn how you can bring The agrē Solution to your operation.