Grain Traders Profit from Tech via Software and Financing for Efficient Grain Management, Growth and Profitability

27 Feb

Grain traders, brokers and producers are increasingly adopting world-class technologies to ensure a more connected, profitable, efficient and sustainable food supply system.

Local industry leader AgriDigital has been part of this agritech scene in Australia for many years and adoption of the company's grain management and logistics software and bolstered fast and flexible grain finance product continues to grow.

Melaluka Trading, based in Geelong, Victoria, has been using AgriDigital software and AgriDigital Finance as an integral part of its specialist grain trading operations for the past five years.

It has more than 1500 grain producers linked to the system.

Company principals Michael Fitzgerald and Simon Pritchard said AgriDigital software was increasing efficiencies along the grain supply chain.

Mr Pritchard said it enabled generation of contracts, electronic invoices and inventory management from farmer to trader to end buyer.

"It suits us because it is all online, backed-up in the cloud and it 'talks' to other grain buyers' systems," he said.

"It connects with grower systems and provides a live view of contracts, deliveries, inventory, orders, prices and payments."

Simon Pritchard says AgriDigital software is increasing efficiencies along the grain supply chain.

Mr Fitzgerald said the software was a one-stop-shop and the only platform Melaluka Trading used.

He said another advantage was it could be linked to the Xero accounting system that they used.

"Using AgriDigital, when we get an inquiry from a grower to purchase grain - from an external site or on-farm - the National Grower Registration (NGR) number is downloaded and recorded in the system, which has all of the grower's trading information," he said.

Mr Fitzgerald said when a contract was entered into, the grower received the contract and transferred the grain to Melaluka Trading.

He said this was automatically recorded on to the AgriDigital system if the site where the grain was being held was also using AgriDigital.

"If the site is not using AgriDigital, we get a notification from the grower and enter it in the system, which then generates a tax invoice," he said.

"The software avoids double handling and everyone down the chain of supply is talking to each other online."

Michael Fitzgerald says AgriDigital Finance could be used for purchases of wheat, barley, oats, canola, sorghum, cotton, cottonseed, chickpeas, faba beans, fertiliser and wool.

Mr Fitzgerald said the AgriDigital Finance product was another major advantage of using the system.

"It is competitive and user-friendly," he said.

Mr Pritchard said AgriDigital Finance allowed for ease of managing stock and getting paid for it quickly.

Traders can buy grain from producers, transfer ownership to AgriDigital and get 80 per cent of the value in cash.

Mr Pritchard said the main benefits of this were the ability to expand their books, access alternative lines of finance, take advantage of market opportunities without the burden of bank processes, get finance within a week and boost cashflow.

He said the product could be used for purchases of wheat, barley, oats, canola, sorghum, cotton, cottonseed, chickpeas, faba beans, fertiliser and wool.

"How it works is the farmer has a parcel of grain to sell and agrees to sell it to us at a price," he said.

"We alert AgriDigital of the upcoming purchase and the company enters a purchasing contract with us.

"The grower transfers the stock to us and we transfer it to AgriDigital as security.

"The system generates an invoice from us to them, we transfer the stock to AgriDigital and they pay us within five days.

"They then have a sale contract to us for the same price - with any accruing interest and storage charges - and when we want the grain back we alert them and get the grain back again.

"They transfer to us and we pay them.

"We pay the grower when we get the money for the grain."

Mr Pritchard said the producer did not see anything different to a typical grain trade.

He said using AgriDigital Finance, Melaluka Trading could secure grain year-round and it was very competitive to other providers.

"It is the ease of the system integration that is the key benefit," he said.

"There are other options available, but this is so easy to use.

"It is clear to everyone involved and it adjusts the inventory automatically on the system as trading is carried out."

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