Overview

Client:
Groward Group, UAB
Industry:
Agriculture
Services:
IT Consultancy, Front-end & Back-end Development, Resource Management Optimization, ERP, ArcGIS

Challenge

One of the largest agriculture companies in Lithuania had a difficult time managing all their resources, stocks, fields, equipment and wages. As their company and assets grew, so does the challenges to manage everything. Due to specific nuances in their field of work, it became impossible to manage everything efficiently using human labor.

The company approached us with a difficult request to overhaul their entire processes using technology so most of the management work would be automated.

At first, we had to investigate their ways of work and propose our solution to them. Once they approved our proposal we started working on MVP to prove that this solution would be capable of improving efficiency.

Solution

We have built from scratch an extensive application that gathers all the live data from machinery working in the fields, current stock levels of inventory, work that is being done by each individual employee. By gathering this data, the application improves the efficiency of workers by assigning them required tasks and tracking their performance.

By having all this data, it automatically calculates the compensations for workers. Also, it forecasts the time required to plow the fields and allows for easy tracking of changes when some new way of growing crops is implemented. Inventory tracking allows for timely purchases and planning.

Results

We have spent over a year investigating, developing and improving the application. The result is the tool that solves their largest bottleneck – management, and allows the company to grow without further roadblocks in internal company resource management. Data gathered by the system allowed them to understand the most important business KPIs and change the administrative and accountancy bureaucratic system. This resulted in optimized expenses and helped them purify profitable agribusiness formula.

Defending Valuable Features

Before starting the project we have done a week-long design sprint with the client to map out all the requirements and approached the entire development process with Agile Scrum methodology.

A proactive communication culture was created with continuous daily delivery of key UX pillars like usage research findings, user stories & journey plans, platform map and wireframes. As a result, Groward Group uncovered new useful system features. These sessions helped to prevent any big project scope changes down the road.

Agro Map Screenshot

A Powerful Tool

This system connects all agribusiness aspects. Internet Of Things (IoT) technology was used to connect all farming inventory.
– Data is gathered live while work is being done in the fields or factories.
– Tractors, combine harvesters and other equipment GPS data is logged.
– The type of instruments and fertilizers that are used in a specific field are noted.
What is more, the system tracks the harvest that is being harvested and tracks it from the field to the laboratory. This allows to easily investigate specific fields of crop quality and compare it with the work that was done and resources used. Deriving the best ways to grow crops.
AgroMap also manages warehouses, resource purchases, stocks, bills, and consignments.
Additionally, the system can derive correct compensation for each field worker by taking into account not only time spent working but also their efficiency. Since GPS data is tracked and the efficiency metric can be easily calculated.
It also allows agronomists to plan, track in real time work progress, see farming machinery moving in the fields and if needed to make changes in planned work.

Admin dashboard for agronomists shows finished work that must be approved. Once approved, the data is used to generate declarations and other documents needed by the business.

Agro Map Screenshot

User Interface Design Goals

Our approach was to design with the perspective of the users in mind. Since this platform has several separate views for different users, we designed them to suit each group of users.  Field workers prefer simplicity and clarity over fancy user interfaces that required a deeper knowledge and understanding, thus a simple interface was designed. For agronomists, a high level of technical information was needed that is easy to track in real time. And for management, statistics translated into currency values was needed the most. Our main goals were:

UBER-LIKE APPLICATION FOR FIELD WORKERS

This dashboard was made with ease-of-use and simplicity in mind. — Jobs are assigned to specific machinery based on location and availability by an agronomist. When a field worker enters the machinery, a list of jobs that need to be done is shown.

HIGHLY TECHNICAL

The challenge was to create a dashboard for agronomists that contains a large amount of information in a single place but still is easily navigable.

STATISTICS

We had to design an interface for management that shows all of the company statistics. That is also easy to understand and does not require high-degree of agriculture knowledge. — All of the statistics are shown in business terms.

Agro Map Screenshot

Rich Admin User Panel

It’s a CEO’s dream to get all data about the company performance in one place. We made this dream come true. — Top company leaders have their own panel where they can track progress that is translated into currency values, see the most profitable cultures, fields, jobs. Thus they can base their business decisions accordingly.

Multiple iterations of admin panel have been done until the desired results of top company management were reached and they are happy about.

Agro Map Screenshot

Technology

There’s always more than meets the eye. AgroMap is packed with features and best development practices that can’t be seen. It all adds up to a system performance which delivers optimized processes to the company.

ANGULAR

Angular was a platform of choice for this project. It was chosen due to its high degree of reliability and scalability.

AMAZON S3

Holds all static resources including angular app itself. Amazon S3 servers are optimised for serving static files, therefore it’s perfect for Angular App.

ARCGIS

ArcGIS is the world’s most powerful mapping and analytics software. It was chosen for this project to map fields, track in real-time GPS positions of machinery and draw statistics using this data.

NODE JS

With modular approach, we used Node to make AgroMap. It will not restrict server scalability and will be easy to update or upgrade.

MSSQL

Trustworthy enterprise level database which is perfect for dealing with high loads of data. Therefore it will sustain the app’s growth at various rates.

SOCKET IO

Socket IO was chosen as a tool for real-time interactions between system and machinery.