Emerging technology is helping farmers diagnose problems on their farm faster.
AgriSync—a Waukee based software company—developed an app that connects farmers with their ag experts and specialists using a smart phone or tablet with video conferencing. If a farmer has to troubleshoot a monitor or diagnosis a disease in a plant, farmers can open the app and choose from a menu of advisors who they can connect with.
“We allow those ag experts to deliver customer service in real time to those farmers,” AgriSync founder Casey Niemann says.
The app is free for the farmer and gives them one-touch access to his advisor from the local co-op, John Deere dealer or precision ag specialist.
And farmers no longer have to wait hours or days for them to come out to the farm.
Niemann says the current communication processes between farmers and ag advisors is is pretty, “Archaic.”
“The advisor can now see that issue in real time and typically solve it remotely,” Niemann explains. “Farmers want service right away, so what we do is we allow those ag experts to deliver customer service in real-time to the farmers.”
Niemann says that the focus of AgriSync is on non-tool-box issues and each interaction is recorded for time and quality.
“For that advisor company, their most expensive resource is their people,” Niemann says. “So we give them the ability to track the time of their people and make sure from a customer service standpoint, things are getting done.”
Technology from the future is here
As a kid Niemann grew up on a farm in Kansas and would grow up to work for Microsoft for 14 years. During his career he kept an eye on the technology in the agriculture industry. He noticed it was developing.
But he also saw a need.
“Support and service was going to be a challenge because there’s a lot of hand holding that needs to occur for adoption of these new technologies,” Niemann said. “I had a good mentor who kept going back to this area of support and communication. And how critical it was to building a trusted relationship.”
After leaving Microsoft, version 1.0 of AgriSync was launched in January of 2016; AgriSync 2.0 was launched in May of 2017.
Niemann says AgriSync now has six full-time employees and over 100 companies signed up in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.
“A lot of companies will embed us into their own locally branded offering,” Niemann says. “They may be helping a farmer with equipment, data, lots of things. It’s a great way for them to talk about their service plan.”