As a farm manager, you’ve invested in high-tech field equipment like GPS tractor systems, efficient irrigation systems and automated milking parlors to make your life easier. But what about your farm office?
In the ag industry, the back office is largely overlooked. But the farm office has huge opportunities and is key to staying competitive. The industry is seeing massive office related shifts in areas like accounts payable and receivable, inventory management, the connection of operation and financial data, and the use of “real time” financial reporting.
“We’ve been doing things the same way for an awfully long time,” says Peter Martin, Pinion finance and growth consultant. “Now we finally have the technology – both the ag tech and the financial tech – coming together to modernize the back-office and operate at the level of other industries.”
Farms that invest in their back-office operations have advantages today, including the ability to:
- Identify discrepancies.
- Reduce the supply chain squeeze.
- Access information on every acre.
- Validate their practices.
- Save time and energy on office operations.
- Use farm data to identify true costs.
Relevant Read: 5 Ways Farm Office Tech Creates ROI
So where do you start? Pinion ag advisors have outlined four steps to modernize your farm office:
4 ways to turn your office into a competitive advantage
1. Ensure your basic IT needs are addressed. This includes hardware, software, cybersecurity, updates, and system backups to ensure your operation is secure and protected from cyber threats.
2. Evaluate the skill sets of your back-office team. Are there skill gaps you need to fill? Address these gaps internally or through outsourcing, which frees you up and allows you to manage the rest of your operation.
3. Standardize your farm’s data and processes. Establish consistency with the way things are named and adopt repeatable data and entry processes. This allows you to easily identify and reconcile any billing or accounting errors in your system.
4. Adopt scalable systems across your entire farm. Tying together processes with cloud-based, interoperable systems allows you to gather timely data to make calculated decisions.