A new smartphone application called AgriSync can help connect you with service providers.
Imagine this. You’re spraying a burndown herbicide and suddenly an alarm in your machine sounds. It’s probably a simple fix, but you’re baffled. An in-field service call is costly and time consuming. Plus, you need to get the field finished up as soon as possible. Or perhaps you’re walking a soybean field and see lodged plants in the middle of a perfectly healthy stand. You suspect soybean stem borer, but you just aren’t sure.
A new smartphone application called AgriSync can help on both accounts.
AgriSync is a mobile-based support tool that connects you with service advisers remotely via smartphone. It serves as a single point of access to all your advisers, whether agronomic- or machinery-related. You and advisers communicate in real-time video, providing a more robust service experience than a phone call. A service experience with AgriSync is timelier and less expensive than an in-person service call.
“The goal is to reduce downtime and to maximize return on investment,” says Casey Niemann, one of the founders of the Des Moines, Iowa-based AgriSync. Niemann grew up on a farm in northeast Kansas that his father and uncle still operate.
“On our family farm, there is a lot of access to technology. It is overwhelming,” he says. “Farmers often see the possibilities that come with technology, but they get frustrated trying to make it all work together.”
AgriSync is an intermediary between you and your adviser. Free through iTunes or Google Play, it is a simple application focused solely on remote support. You may request help from any participating service adviser; the advisers pay a subscription fee to belong to AgriSync.
How it Works
You can request help through the app from one of your advisers. That launches a ticket, and the adviser can call immediately or send a text to set up an appointment. Through the AgriSync app, you and your adviser begin a video dialogue. Because the adviser can see exactly what you see, issues are resolved quickly.
When the problem is solved, you rate the quality of the call, providing feedback to the adviser. Advisers can track all the tickets and feedback from a mobile app or team portal, which enables collaboration with peer advisers from the dealership or ag retailer.
“Every time service providers go to a farm, it costs them money, but the problem may not even be a toolbox issue,” Niemann says. Oftentimes they might just reset a monitor or adjust a few settings. An in-person service call costs time, money, and is frustrating. AgriSync seeks to cut costs and time for both you and your adviser.
Saves Time, Saves Money
You can use Facetime on an iPhone or the Android equivalent, but that requires ensuring both parties use a similar device. Plus, there is no ticketing platform to ensure a solution is found. In one app, AgriSync allows you to have one-touch access to multiple advisers, even if they are from different companies.
“AgriSync is a great tool to help us help our clients,” says Mark Johnson, field agronomist at Iowa State University. “When someone covers eight to 10 counties like we do, this could be a substantial savings of time and expense.”
After several months of testing, AgriSync launched production last December. The list of companies signing on to provide support is growing and includes several ag retailers, equipment dealers, and precision ag specialists. You can invite your local advisers to a free trial of the service through the app.
AgriSync was a finalist in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge in January. By making the final four of the competition, AgriSync earned $15,000 in startup funds.
Source: Succesful farming