A History of Innovation in Agriculture
Fletcher International Exports (FIE) was founded in 1967 and over the last 50 years earned a global reputation for innovation and leadership in the agriculture industry.From being the first abattoir in Australia to do carcas inverting, to leading the movement to pay employees electronically, to the decision to build an inter-modal freight depot serviced by a FIE-owned freight train with direct service to an export container terminal in Sydney, FIE has always been on the forefront of the industry.
As CFO Kent Dickens explains, “Chairman Roger Fletcher is a true innovator who is always happy to try new ways of doing business, especially when it can help the industry or find new ways to deliver value.”
The Decision to Use AgriDigital
FIE decided to use AgriDigital’s commodity management solution for the 2016-17harvest after struggling to manage and account for grain ownership with their current system. Simultaneously, FIE was planning to roll out a new site plan to more efficiently manage deliveries during harvest, and were looking at implementing a commodity management IT system to support the new process and solve the ownership issues.
According to Corporate Accountant Elizabeth Mitchell, FIE chose AgriDigital because of the team’s mix of technical and industry expertise.
“When [founders] Bob, Ben, and Emma approached us, we were confident in their agriculture and grains knowledge, and knew that they had the right experience to deliver a solution for us.”
After becoming a customer, the FIE team was impressed with the seamless process of getting started with AgriDigital.
“The software is flexible, simple and very easy to use. The setup was straight-forward, as there was very little training and we did not have to make a massive investment in onboarding,” said Mitchell.
FIE used AgriDigital’s commodity management solution to handle contracts, deliveries, invoices, cash prices, and payments throughout the grains harvest. FIE also used AgriDigital as a customer-facing platform to manage communications with farmers, includingSMS notifications to alert farmers of deliveries.
“The intuitive way thatAgriDigital has been helping us to deliver information to our farmers has been great for us, and for farmers. SMS notifications remove a lot of pain for us - our farmers don’t need to ring up anymore, because they just know what’s going on,” said Elizabeth Mitchell.
According to Kent Dickens, improving the flow of communications with farmers,“fostered better relationships with our farmers, and gave them confidence that [FIE] will be here for them in the future and are prepared to invest in technologies that make the industry better.”
Jake Young, Office Manager for FIE, was involved in the decision togo with AgriDigital instead of a custom IT solution. Young explains, “ultimately AgriDigital was cheaper, faster, easier to use, and provided more functionality.”
AgriDigital is building out new features for the commodity management solution to support customers like FIE, as well as working with FIE and other industry leaders to build out a supply chain finance solution that will give real-time awareness of assets, and save time and money by making title transfer and finance processes more efficient and transparent.
This year, AgriDigital is also expanding internationally into the Canadian grains industry, as well as adding cross-commodity capabilities.