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Building Relationships Through Data

A company called Conservis is equipping growers with powerful new tools that help them track and manage all parts of their operations. By collecting data from numerous sources day to day and season to season, the company is amassing the industry’s largest, most accurate database of operational information. It’s already predicting industry-wide yields with 99.3% accuracy. As this mountain of data continues to grow, so do the opportunities for farmers.

Making the switch to automated data management isn’t always an easy choice. With roughly 40 paychecks in a farmer’s career, untested gambles are not an option. To win over farmers, Conservis invests in long-term relationships. Instead of acting like another vendor, they become an ally — someone who can open the door to change and help customers go through. 

It didn’t happen overnight. “It’s taken us six years of working with our partners and customers to get the change management right,” says Lori Fisher, Director of Implementation and Customer Support at Conservis. “Now customers tell us we do it faster and more reliably than anyone.”

Conservis is helping customers capture data from every machine and source, from planting to harvest to sale. That can only happen by working face to face with farmers on their terms and timeline, with knowledgeable people in place who are ready to help.

“When something doesn’t look right, we tell them,” says Fisher. “During harvest, that could be four out of five mornings. When an operator presses the wrong button, we’re on it.”

“The customer service is excellent,” says Cindy Moomey of Stoneman Farms, a corn, soybean, sugar beet and cucumber operation in Michigan. “I don’t have to go through a phone tree and Press 1 then Press 2 to get the help I need. I can call directly and get an answer.” General Manager Justin Stoneman agrees. “In choosing what company to work with, we look at the people as much as product. Conservis’s culture matches up with Stoneman Farms. They’re friendly, helpful and focused on trying to be the best.”

These changes are unfolding on farms worldwide. Conservis is now managing 29 different crops in five countries and harvested four billion pounds in 2015. Much more than row crops, the company just added one of the world’s largest nut growers to its client list, California’s Arbor Nutrio. By uniting diverse regions, crop types and expertise under a common platform, Conservis strengthens its solution as a whole.

“We are building a worldwide customer network one relationship at a time,” says Conservis CEO Pat Christie. “Working through partnerships with industry leaders on three continents, we enter new markets organically. We start by adapting our system to the needs of a handful of producers, then leverage that success to reach their peers.”

It’s a different world than in 2009, from ubiquitous Internet to reliable network capacity. Now the critical elements are in place to make automation viable and affordable for farmers, so it works when they need it.

Conservis isn’t the only company in this space. But while many are building good software, Christie says that’s only one piece of the puzzle. “Without reliable distribution, customer service, training and ongoing product development, even the smartest solutions will become irrelevant. We’re seeing it happen. To be in for the long haul, we need to excel at all of the above.”

Conservis does that by building relationships through data.

For more information on Conservis, visit www.conserviscorp.com.

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