Flowfinity software allowed us to customize our own mobile apps and forms to manage all of our daily service activities. By replacing the paper forms that were previously being used with Flowfinity apps on mobile devices, we've eliminated delays, lost forms, and data re-entry.
Veldale Farms Streamlines Agriculture Services Management
Company Size: SMB
Sector: Farming & Agriculture
Function: Work orders, mobile forms, delivery tracking
Veldale Farms Ltd. is a busy farm services business that manages dairy, cash crop, custom farm work, and seed sales. The business requires the remote management of employees, service activities, equipment, deliveries and sales. Previously, Veldale Farms had a number of paper forms in use by employees to report information such as their activities, equipment used, environmental conditions, and billable hours.
Veldale Farms wanted an efficient mobile system for managing daily operations that would replace paper forms, reduce delays and inefficiencies, and improve the accuracy and speed of collecting data in the field.
With Flowfinity, the business has successfully implemented a variety of apps for capturing and accessing critical information on iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry devices. Veldale Farms has achieved:
- Faster billing cycles
- Time savings in the field
- Better customer service
- Reduction of administrative overhead
- More accurate and efficient job reporting
- Streamlined work order management and record keeping
Evert Veldhuizen, Owner and Partner at Veldale Farms, explains the challenges the business was facing and how Flowfinity software has helped them increase revenue and productivity.
What challenges were you facing before Flowfinity?
Our teams are in the field every day delivering a wide range of farming services, and they had to keep track of quite a few different paper forms to record their activities. At times the paperwork would get lost or things wouldn't be written down. If a work order form was left in a tractor, sometimes we wouldn't see it until a couple of weeks later.
Interpreting what was written on the paper forms was also an issue. As our business grew and we hired more employees and started completing more jobs, we realized we needed an easier, more efficient way to manage our daily activities.
What was the impact of those challenges on your business?
It took quite a bit of time to organize and transcribe the paperwork, and sometimes customers wouldn't get their bills until a few months later. If a work order report were misplaced, we would have to underestimate the time spent on the job and charge the customer less. With multiple pieces of equipment and products being used, our hourly charge-out rate can be substantial, and these incidents were costly to our business.
What are you using Flowfinity for now?
We provide a variety of products and farm services, such as spraying and tillage work, for growing crops or feeding livestock. Flowfinity software allowed us to customize our own mobile apps and forms to manage all of our daily service activities. By replacing the paper forms that were previously being used with Flowfinity apps on mobile devices, we've eliminated delays, lost forms, and data re-entry.
We use Flowfinity apps to track a number of aspects of farming operations such as the product used, employee, field conditions, wind speed, weather conditions, billable hours, etc. We also sell product like feed corn, and track all of our deliveries through Flowfinity.
Our employees use their smartphones to report on jobs or deliveries as soon as they're complete. We've customized drop-down menus and added mandatory fields to make sure the data we need is collected and accurate.
We receive the information we need at the office right away, where it is automatically stored in a database that we can search by customer, date, job, or any filter we specify. We can even pull up records on our mobile devices if we are away from the office. We're saving time in the field and getting better information.
Why did you choose Flowfinity?
We wanted a solution that was customizable. Every farm service we provide is different, and Flowfinity allows us to create mobile apps and forms tailored specifically to each service.
Before, we had over ten different paper forms in each tractor depending on which operation we were using. For example, for some operations we bill out for acres; for others we bill out for hours. With Flowfinity, we were able to create mobile versions of those forms and make them easily accessible to our employees on their mobile devices. This is much easier to use in the field than paper.
Within each form we can display information that is only relevant to that job. For example we can customize the pieces of equipment available on a job in a drop-down menu, so that staff can quickly input that information without having to search through the entire equipment list.
Because Flowfinity apps are so customizable, we’ve been able to improve on our forms based on feedback from our staff, which helps us to review and improve our processes.
Reliability was also important to us. We didn't want to deal with the system being down or our staff not being able to fill in their forms if they were out of the network coverage area.
What are some examples of apps you've created?
We've created a number of apps and forms with Flowfinity, including:
- General Work Order
- Pickups and Deliveries
Each app is customized for that specific operation. Spraying, for example, is a fairly high-risk procedure, because we have to deal with chemicals, wind, public safety and other factors. We input all of the information such as wind speed and other readings in Flowfinity, so that we have an accurate record of the weather conditions and chemicals used.
For our product sales, we use Flowfinity workflow features to track the product and different steps in the order and delivery process. For example if we receive an order to fill a packing slip, we use a packing slip form. Once we press the "ship" button the app loads the ship order form.
What are the benefits of the new system to your staff?
The staff is more productive now, and it's easier for them to complete their work order reports. I find that with the drop-down boxes they know what they have to fill in, and if they don’t fill it in, the app won’t let them submit the information.
Flowfinity also performs on-device calculations, so the staff can review prices or other calculations on the spot. For example when we are delivering straw, the Flowfinity app will calculate the total automatically, and we can tell right away if the amount looks right or not.
What are the benefits of Flowfinity in the office?
One of the biggest problems we solved with Flowfinity was to organize all of our work orders in a searchable, electronic format. Business information is submitted automatically and readily available, which allows me to find what I need quickly. We no longer have to spend time trying to interpret handwriting or locate missing forms.
Has there been a change in the level of customer service you can provide?
In general we can offer better customer service. The billing cycle is much faster now, and customers appreciate that. We use Flowfinity to trigger automatic emails when employees submit work orders and forms, which speeds up the approval process.
What I really like about Flowfinity is being able to track billable time to the minute. When an employee enters the time they start and finish a job on their smartphone, it's very accurate. We can even capture their GPS location with Flowfinity. Now if a customer asks about a certain job, they can be confident that we have an accurate record of the work performed.
Do you have plans to expand your use of Flowfinity?
We plan to gain even more benefits from Flowfinity by expanding our use of the software to include crop rotation and soil testing in the near future.