Five things to know when buying farm software.
When it comes to buying farming software not all products are made equal. This might seem like an obvious thing to say, but many of us would not have the faintest idea how to tell one from the other. Your core knowledge and skill set may be in other areas such as farming and livestock, not technology. Read on to read our top tips to consider when buying farm software.
There is a plethora of farm software brands out there. Some look good with fancy branding and glossy advertising, but might be limited in what they can do for you long term. Others look average and are even more clunky to use.
We are using all kinds of software more in our lives today, and we expect it to work intuitively. From Google to Dropbox, software is a part of our day to day and it must provide real value in our lives, and show a return on the investment we make in terms of time and money.
Beware the buyer who subscribes to farming software that is not right for them. Here are just some of things to look for when buying farm software:
- Select the right application for your business
When assessing the many farm management program options out there, make sure you can see real life examples of the software working for your operation. Whether that be livestock, grain or other enterprises, it needs to offer appropriate and deeply intuitive tasks required to suit that stream.
For example if you have livestock, do you manage livestock as mobs or individuals, do you have a system that can do both? How easily can you skip between tasks on the software? Can you map your paddocks and see a complete history of records all. Try and have one platform that you can use for most of your day to day tasks.
- Look beyond today
Globally the Australian agricultural industry is renowned for being innovative and creating and adopting practices that will ensure business sustainability. At a local level, your business should be utilising and recording the information on farm today, to justify the decisions tomorrow. By using digital data management, you can use real time information and reduce double handling, increasing accuracy of data within your business. Ensure that the program you decide to purchase will still be beneficial to your business as it grows.
- Go mobile
Whether you use a smartphone or not, hand-held devices are here to stay. Over 92% of farmers in Australia own a smartphone. If your farm management software is not mobile optimised you are missing out on the real-time benefits on the farm and the insights it brings such as:
- Creating eNVDs
- Scanning animals with RFID wands and seeing the data on your phone instantly
- Recording livestock movements in the paddock
- Recording treatments and making that data visible to multiple users from the yard
- Assuming all Farm Management apps are made equal
Just because a farm management app might come up on your Google search regularly, doesn’t mean it’s the best one. Don’t be seduced by the fancy websites. Do your homework. Talk to your consultant, friends and peers in the industry to understand the key strengths and weaknesses of each. List out the key goals of your business and see if they align with what the farm management software has to offer. Better yet, call a sales consultant and set up a demo and a meeting where you can directly ask these questions.
- Falling for the ‘Fake’ free trial
How many times have you signed up to a free trial of some software and then realised that you never used it and it’s stuck on your computer. You are bombarded with emails every day convincing you to use it, until you are so put off you don’t ever want to hear from the company again! Don’t fall for the fake free trial. It’s a con to make you feel that you are getting value, but it puts a time limit on your usage, and is geared to the software company rather than you.
If you want to trial a product before paying a subscription, ask for a promotion code from the sales team or find a farm management software that offers a free version all the time.
Aglive IntegriPro has a free product that you can use to trial the software to see if it is suitable for your business. There is no limit to how long you use it for, and the data is yours forever.
That’s it. These are the main things to avoid when looking at Farm Management software for your business.
- Do your homework
- Tailor the fit to your business
- Get value for money
Are you looking for suitable farm management software for your livestock business currently? Contact us to set up an obligation free demo of Aglive’s IntegriPro today.