Portfolio | Boosting on-farm performance

Boosting on-farm performance

Software for farm management

All over New Zealand, advanced technology is enabling farmers to operate more effectively and efficiently than ever before. Tech firm Farm Focus (with support from Abletech) is by their side, every step of the way.

Based in Wairarapa and formerly called CRS Software, Farm Focus has spent the past 40-plus years developing award-winning software for farmers and their advisers.

Its purpose? To help farmers monitor their farms’ performance, plan for and implement improvements and ultimately maximise their profitability. The company’s secret to success? The software is built specifically for New Zealand farmers by farmers – people who understand the everyday demands of working on the land – and it meets their needs in a way that mass market products can’t.

Keeping up with the pace

A couple of years ago Farm Focus approached Abletech for help in speeding up the development and delivery of an innovative new cloud-based system.

The new system would deliver a step up by reducing the time and energy farmers needed to spend on managing, planning, monitoring and reporting on farm finances. Rather than spending their time gathering data, farmers would be working with the outputs of that data, really bringing to life the company’s vision of informed farmers making confident planning decisions.

Sally Rutherford, Farm Focus’s Product Delivery Manager, says it was vital that they approach the right people for this important development project.

“We weren’t prepared to bring just anybody in,” she says. “We wanted a good fit, as the dynamics are really important when you’re working together. We were impressed with Abletech’s attitude, approach and credentials – and their enthusiasm in getting on with the job.”

The Farm Focus application has a Ruby on Rails back end, with a React front end written in a combination of JavaScript and TypeScript. Abletech’s extensive experience with these technologies meant the team could make valuable changes quickly.

Building a partnership

Sally comments that right from the start the Abletech team understood the need to balance the urgency of the project with the requirement to deliver an outstanding user experience. It showed in the way the team worked.

“They did their homework. They showed up at meetings prepared and well researched. They learned what they could before they started the work, which we really appreciated.”

As a result of this performance, Farm Focus has continued to engage Abletech when its skills are needed.

“They’re just really easy to get along with,” says Sally, “and they’ve built a great rapport with our team. They’re also good at communicating, which is really important for us, so we’re delighted to have them on board.”

The Abletech way

  • Gaining a good understanding of the application and business domain before starting work.
  • Understand the business goals and team culture to fit into the existing team quickly and effectively.
  • Providing expert opinion when evaluating potential options for solutions and having regular, clear communication from planning through to building and releasing and supporting changes to the application

Technologies used in the solution

  • Ruby on Rails
  • React
  • JavaScript
  • TypeScript

Other source: https://www.farmfocus.co.nz/

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