Beef + Lamb New Zealand

Beef + Lamb New Zealand
Beef + Lamb New Zealand

Having a field day in the digital age...

The situation

Beef + Lamb New Zealand is the farmer owned organisation working for a confident and profitable sheep and beef industry. It does this by helping farmers make informed business decisions and promotes their collective interests.

Its business priorities are investing in research and development that meets the needs of farmers and the sector; developing farm and farmer capability; delivering knowledge that drives farm performance, attracting and retaining talent for the sector; supporting the sector’s market opportunities, advocating for farmers’ ability to operate and build the sector’s confidence and profile within communities.

"Intergen had the ability to interpret what we were after, even when it was less simple than it first appeared. All goals have been met."

Matt McPadden
CRM Manager & Business Analyst - Beef + Lamb New Zealand

Fieldays, coordinated by  Beef + Lamb New Zealand extension managers (EMs), form a significant part of  Beef + Lamb’s regular industry activities. These events are often attended by more then 100 farmers, each presenting an opportunity for new sign-up or contact information renewal.

The frequently high attendance  rate at Fieldays urges Beef + Lamb New Zealand to make the most of the opportunity to interact with new and existing farmers. However they needed a fast, accurate system for EMs to gather and record valuable contact information.

The pain

Until recently, this information was gathered by EMs using a pen and clipboard. The manual effort required to fill out these forms meant that errors could easily be made as EMs repeated the task dozens of times each day. Another staff member was then required to manually re-enter the information into the Beef + Lamb New Zealand database, opening further opportunity for error in  information transfer.

It also meant that there was less time for members to engage with the Fieldays event. While it was helpful to use these events as an opportunity to update farmer databases, paperwork was never intended as the primary attraction.

The technology

Intergen, which already hosts  Beef + Lamb’s website, developed a bespoke HTML5 software suite that now allows EMs to use iPads to gather attendee data in the field. The data collection app was designed to be used with or without an internet connection, allowing for total mobility and remote access.

Typically, EMs will attend a Fieldays event with two iPads, which are passed around attendees to enter their own details. If they match contact data pre-loaded onto the iPad, an autocomplete function will populate the remaining fields for them. For a new member, the ‘i-form’ notifies them if they’ve missed a required field. This cuts down on waiting times and increases the accuracy of information gathered.

After each event, the iPad is taken back to the office, where the  collected data is uploaded onto the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Microsoft Dynamics CRM system.

The gain

Feedback from staff and farmers  has been uniformly positive.

The new system streamlines processes between the field and the office, capturing accurate information more quickly and automatically updating databases to match. It is now much easier to send relevant, targeted information to specific farmers.

The intelligent software on the CRM system can retrieve and sort data collected in the field as needed, with categories pertaining to finance, region and farm size among others. Record verification can also be achieved by avoiding duplication between contacts with minor  name variations.

By reducing the administration time of this task, the technology gives the EMs more freedom for personal interaction, enabling Beef + Lamb New Zealdand to offer more services and more perceived value to farmers.

The business case

As a farmer-owned organisation, Beef + Lamb New Zealand works to provide the best possible service to potential, new and existing farmers in the field. Fuelled by a desire to move away from the 'pen and clipboard' approach, their newly developed CRM application for iPads fully automates the process for recording and storing contact information. This technology platform needed to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the data gathering process, while also enabling strategic marketing based on attendance and individual interests.

The business value

  • Better customer service
  • Greater business efficiency
  • More targeted messaging to members
  • Greater data integrity
  • A clear demonstration of Beef + Lamb's commitment to using technology to stay ahead and embrace digital opportunities.


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