Handheld devices coupled with a financial software package save a Waikato dairy farmer a couple of hours of work each day.
Ngatea-based Gary Stokes uses a Palm M100 running Livestock Improvement’s MINDApro and M-Note software (developed by iTouch of Christchurch) to enter stock records information.
Data can be input straight from the paddock and synchronised with either Stokes’ desktop PC or Livestock’s systems, which verify a farmer’s data and make a copy for storage on the livestock information company’s mainframe.
Stokes says MINDApro and M-Note save him one or two hours a day.
Doing his accounting, using Zap software from Hamilton-based KJ Software takes a couple of hours instead of half a day, Stokes says, and trips to town for banking are no longer necessary.
Stokes, whose Gidas Trust is a finalist in the “excellence in the use of IT in a small to medium enterprise” category of the Computerworld Excellence Awards, says the handheld system is simple, quicker and more accurate than paper-based systems.
Wellington confectionery wholesaler Falgoon Confectionery claims a nine-month payback from its $60,000 investment in sales force automation. The company had already partly automated with a DOS-based field sales solution, but was frustrated because orders could not be processed until reps returned to head office with their laptops. This forced warehouse staff to work overtime to ship the ordered products.
Falgoon adopted the aVya sales force automation product from emPrise IT using Microsoft Windows CE on iPac handhelds to deliver order entry, stock control, invoicing and other services.
The handhelds transmit data wirelessly using Telecom’s CDMA network, travelling via the internet to the Falgoon corporate network. Synchronisation of systems allows instant updates and downloads of data.
Falgoon managing director Ilesh Patel says the solution “was the biggest and most successful achievement of the organisation”, driving a 30% saving in sales reps’ time.
The new system has created “lots of savings”, including 85% of overtime.
“Now, because of the mobility, we can send the order straight to the office and somebody starts working on it straight away,” he says.
The “excellence in the use of IT in a small to medium enterprise” award is sponsored by Microsoft.