Ag Tech Sunday - Investing in Digital solutions for Ag
- By: "Prime" Ag News
- Ag Tech News
- Mar 14, 2021
- 140 views
By Gwen Scheresky - Bushel
In today’s business environment, digital solutions are becoming more important to facilitate business with customers wherever they need.
We sat down with Adam Jackson, a merchandiser from TriOak Foods, a feed manufacturer, pork producer, and grain marketer serving Iowa, Illinois, Colorado, and Oklahoma. Jackson explained that having technology for customers, like growers, is seen as par for the course in the industry, but that TriOak didn’t want to simply check the box and complete the task.
The TriOak team felt that keeping up with the competition meant finding the best possible solution to their producers’ digital needs.
With TriOak understanding the importance of technology’s benefits to streamline business operations, the agribusiness was not late to adopting a tech offering for their business with growers. The kicker was discovering what TriOak valued most as a business that would be translated into their digital solutions. With previous digital solutions, TriOak experienced shortfalls that just did not align with their business’ needs. Those shortfalls included hard-to-use user experience in the grower-facing app and a tech stack that just didn’t fit the bill for their business. TriOak feared at the time the risk of paying for a tool that their customers would hardly use.
TriOak’s next digital solution? Bushel. From the first demo it was made clear that Bushel’s offerings would have the capabilities that TriOak as a business needed, as well as the digital tools their customers would want to use everyday. Jackson and the TriOak team were ultimately ready to make a change.
The most popular feature among TriOak’s growers is the cash bids access. Over the holidays the TriOak team could see, through the app analytics tool, pings from Florida, South Carolina, Texas, and more states because growers were viewing the cash bids without having to call in during the holidays.
TriOak cut down on other paid subscriptions with consolidated capabilities from Bushel.
TriOak uses the push notifications capability to target different facets of the customer base. They send push notifications about cash bids or receiving hours out to their grain customers. For their crop insurance customers, they previously had to use a separate service to send out text messages, but now TriOak has been able to cancel that subscription and loop those customers into their new Bushel app. Even though those customers don’t deliver grain to TriOak, they can receive only the push notifications that pertain to crop insurance. TriOak is saving by cutting down on paid subscriptions, and they are giving their non-grain customers the opportunity to see TriOak’s cash bids if they were interested in selling grain.
The eSign feature is saving TriOak time and alleviating stress. Jackson explained the state of Iowa’s strict deadlines for credit sale contracts and how eSign is allowing TriOak and their growers to complete contracts in that narrow window of time, without having to worry about mail delays. TriOak and their growers are saving real dollars by never missing a deadline to complete a contract.
While TriOak found the app capabilities they and their growers were in search of, they are also benefiting from Bushel’s customer success team. Jackson described the process of integration and onboarding saying, “We have been so impressed with the onboarding process for both us and for onboarding our customers.” TriOak’s clients are signing up as they sit in the pickup with TriOak’s crop insurance representative, no fancy footwork needed.
“The whole process is just unbelievably streamlined . . . [Bushel] has put a huge focus into making it as easy as possible. And it was like that every step of the way” – Adam JACKSON, Grain Merchandiser, TriOak
Now TriOak is saving money by cutting down on subscription fees and never missing contract deadlines all while servicing their growers’ many needs. TriOak’s leadership took the steps necessary to ensure that they are competitive and future-focused by investing in the best digital app to be a differentiator in the market. As a result, TriOak’s Bushel app is hosting substantially more growers than their previous app.
When asked what he’d say to someone on the fence about switching to Bushel, Jackson said he too was on the fence, but “when you get down to it, it is an easy, quick move. To anybody on the fence out there, I would say that it’s an easy transition, it’s a great product.”
For agribusinesses, it’s no question if a digital solution is needed for your operation. The real question to be answered is how can a digital solution best serve your business and customers without making sacrifices and losing dollars. For TriOak, their solution was Bushel.