Software aims to solve farm productivity puzzle
The need to improve compliance, optimise staff management and streamline farming costs has prompted a new technology start-up to address productivity issues that cost the primary sector in excess of $500 million per year. Photo: Nigel Taylor Job Done is a new cloud-based farm management software that is being developed to help farmers save time […]
The need to improve compliance, optimise staff management and streamline farming costs has prompted a new technology start-up to address productivity issues that cost the primary sector in excess of $500 million per year.
Photo: Nigel Taylor
Job Done is a new cloud-based farm management software that is being developed to help farmers save time and money, and that could have major cost-saving implications across the agriculture industry. It was founded by Nigel Taylor, a fourth-generation farmer from Rongotea in Manawatu.
Job Done was born out of Taylor’s first-hand experience with the difficulty of running a successful farming business. With 17 years’ experience as a dairy farmer, Taylor operates multiple farms with 1,000 cows and six full-time and two part-time staff. His biggest cost is his wage bill, while staying on top of compliance is what keeps him up at night.
“In speaking to others in the industry, it was reassuring to know that I was not the only farm operator feeling the pressure, but it also inspired me to think about a practical solution that could help us all with productivity and compliance,” he says.
“Like many farmers I work long days on the farm and nights managing the business. Without the time or tools to track and manage staff and tasks, I have relied on whiteboarding sessions with my team. The trouble is that this only works for task allocation – I don’t know if my staff have encountered problems, when a task is completed, or where they are or what they’re working on at any given time. Having a real-time view of all farm operations will save me hours out of my day, and give me peace of mind that my farm is compliant.”
From inception, Taylor has sought and established partnerships with industry leaders to ensure that the infrastructure behind Job Done offers a premium and reliable solution for the industry. Business software innovator JAVLN has been working intensively with Taylor for the past 12 months, and JAVLN CEO Dale Smith is so confident of the software’s success that he has joined Job Done’s board. Leading New Zealand businessman and managing director of Tui Products (and uncle of Taylor) Don Forgie has taken on the role of Chairman of Job Done.
The new technology has arrived at a time when many farmers, particularly those in the dairy sector, are feeling the pinch. Globally, the prices of dairy products have been falling in 2016. And, in the March 2016 quarter, dairy cattle farming prices received (outputs) fell six percent, as measured by the business price index .
“Though demand, which dictates our market, is out of our control, we can control how we run our farming businesses,” Taylor says. “We identified a largely untapped opportunity to implement smart solutions on the farm to save time and money and improve compliance with WorkSafe NZ’s regulation of the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) 2015. This is where Job Done comes in.”
Taylor presented the Job Done concept at Fonterra Activate in 2015, and won the pitch. He has since worked to develop the software and prepare a trial version for release on 31 August. Job Done is cloud-based software accessible via smartphone and tablet. It is a complete farm productivity solution that is designed to improve profitability and WorkSafe NZ compliance through timesheet and task management, and record management and reporting.
Farmers can sign up for a free three-month trial of Job Done at http://www.jobdone.nz/