Getting Started with Agworld
Wilco, a cooperative serving Oregon and Washington, has used Agworld since 2013 for its record-keeping services and as a collaborative platform between retailers and farmers. “Agworld makes it easy for the grower and the agronomist to use the same system,” says Jeff Freeman, marketing and supply manager, Wilco. “It also clearly documents the value of what a retailer is doing in the field.”
Here are some factors cooperatives should consider prior to making a software purchasing decision.
1. Make sure the system is flexible, accessible and mobile. “You need to have a system that is easy to use and mobile, with a web-based interface you can pull up not only on a desktop computer, but on a tablet as well,” Freeman says. “This allows the agronomist to access all the functionality in the field. Coming back to the office to do redundant paperwork doesn’t help an agronomist. It’s having more time with the grower and the crop that does.”
2. First support the system internally, then branch out. Wilco started with Agworld by doing beta testing with its agronomists on the system. Using Agworld ultimately turned into a company directive. “We invested resources in the system, trained our agronomists on how to use it and have a support person for it,” says Freeman. “We didn’t just purchase the software, hand our retail agronomists a tablet and say, ‘You’re on your own.’ Agworld works in a supportive, collaborative way with the retailer.”
3. Collaborate with growers in a centralized system. Zach Sheely, Agworld president, says the business should invite farmers into the process once a cooperative has invested in the tool. This helps increase efficiency and lets you know which farmers have granted permission to place their information — and how much of it — into Agworld. “With WinField, having this information in one place helps us link everything up with the R7® Tool,” says Sheely.
4. Create templates to build an information base. “Agworld helps to leverage and organize the collective knowledge of a business through its cloud-based tools and features,” says Sheely. “Our account managers are meeting with WinField MAAs and RDMs who work with cooperatives that are implementing Agworld. We work with them to build templates they can use, leveraging our existing tools. This helps the cooperatives save money and adapt the templates specifically for their businesses, as well as create their own templates according to their growers’ specific needs.”
For more information about Agworld, visit the App page on Answer Tech™ and see how you can work with WinField to implement it for your retail business.