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GrainCoat Helps You Make Efficient, Timely Marketing Decisions
Fumbling through piles of paper to track and manage his grain sales was a cumbersome and time-consuming chore for Sean Arians.
“If I get a text message today telling me the market is up, and I don’t know how much grain I have to sell, I then have to sift through a spreadsheet and my notes to try and get the information,” says Arians.
As he searched for options, the northern Illinois farmer continually came up short.
“While there are solutions out there that do a lot by way of farm management – and have the ability to track grain inventory – they are really complicated. They also gave me more than I needed. Most farmers don’t need that, especially a small farmer like myself. I want something simple,” he says. “They also came at a premium price. I can’t afford an expensive solution.”
Other platforms didn’t provide enough functionality to make it worth paying for, either.
Turning to other farmers for their input, Arians quickly realized that they too were faced with the same dilemma.
Last fall, he set out to develop a simple, yet effective way to let farmers ditch the spreadsheets and hand-written notes.
Available in two versions, GrainCoat is a software that allows you to make grain marketing decisions on-the-go while taking advantage of shifts in the market, regardless of location.
With GrainCoat Free, users get operation-level tracking, forecasted projections, and the mobile app (iPad).
GrainCoat Advantage, which costs $199 per year, offers the following:
- Access to multiple operations
- Other crop types like non-GMO, wheat, etc.
- Farm- or field-level tracking
- Forecasted projections
- End of year – present or future inventory valuation
- Crop share functionality
- Delivery reports/notifications
- Contract reports
- Updated markets with CME price data
- Mobile app (iPad)
“The goal for me is it has to be smart and easy,” says Arians. “Most farmers don’t like a lot of data entry. With a single entry, you plan your crop by entering how many farms and fields, respective crops, and crop rotation. GrainCoat then projects out multiple years.”
Why is that important? Because you need to be able to take advantage of a market run if you can sell a year out.
“In order to do that, I need to know where I’m at, and is why I wanted to be able to project,” he explains.
As a farmer, Arians understands that you don’t have time to mess with a product that doesn’t work.
“GrainCoat has to be easy enough, simple enough, and flawless enough that it doesn’t take a lot of support once you get set up,” he says.
It’s also why he has developed how-to videos, which are available on the company’s website (graincoat.com). There’s also email support, feedback through the app, and phone support to help on the development side.
Protecting your data
“We use the data on the back end to help you manage your marketing plan and that’s it,” says Arians. “Your data is used for your operation only.”
As he looks to the future, Arians plans to continually integrate technology solutions into GrainCoat to ease data entry, add API partners, and expand the product.
“What’s next is continuing to develop and evolve this respective platform,” he explains. “We want to include options (puts and calls), along with improving the connection to the elevator and the broker. At some point, there will be a dashboard and a sharing feature that says I have the broker who I want to see everything, and I have the elevator that is only going to see the offers and the sales made to them.”
To learn more, visit graincoat.com.