That branch of agribusiness that implies the production and trade of fresh products, has for several years implemented the use of software especially for accounting and administrative procedures.
Many companies have their own website but too many of them are limited to a static site, do not produce enough content, and do not include features to interact with their audience.
In short, the sector proves to be quite conservative and not inclined to use new communications technologies.
The software mentioned above were implemented out of obvious necessity, better to say out of obligation, it would no longer be possible to do without.
However, is it possible to stubbornly neglect technologies that are now in common use in other sectors?
The answer is a resonant “no!“
What most operators, especially wholesalers, maintain is that their customers and suppliers do not want to register on new platforms that allow the exchange of information in a simpler, more direct and clearer way, where everyone’s work would be simplified and streamlined for the benefit of productivity.
The solution is seen as a problem and this is a fatal mistake.
Covid-19, however, is ahead of its time, everything undergoes an acceleration far more intense than what we are used to in our already quite nervous and variable age.
Not realizing that a few years from now even the fruit and vegetable sector will necessarily have to surrender to new technologies and information exchange methods, means putting your business in serious danger.
Yes, serious danger sounds pleonastic, danger is enough for itself!
Growing market needs are now being met with increasingly stringent health regulations. The economic consequences do not only concern the financial aspects but also the organization of work.
WhatsApp, one of the most used applications, is an excellent resource but it is not enough. It must be integrated into platforms that allow to easily and unambiguously retrieve information, to collaborate in the drafting of documents, to manage user access levels and to regulate the information flow in order to make it rational and comprehensible for everyone.
It’s a continuous stream of different data flowing back and forth, from personal and commercial data – which also require particular safeguards and protections – to accounting and financial ones. There is a need for greater efficiency and safety.
There are excellent and easy-to-use solutions, it’s time to apply them. They have become the standard in almost every industry by now and will be standard in fruit and vegetable markets in a few years as well.
This is where, among other things, customer loyalty passes.
These systems involve investments, and while they are not so cheap neither are so high as to be prohibitive. Certainly, once the purchase cost has been addressed, it will be necessary to face the learning cost and therefore ensure that all staff be well trained. However, these are not complex systems from the user’s point of view, as already mentioned, they are easy, and the learning curve is rather mild.
What really matters is that each business creates its own network of customers and suppliers through these technologies and that it is able to manage the supply chain efficiently. Each company within the supply chain is an actor, so the system proves to be a shared platform.
This type of organization implies a vertical structure, made up of the actors of the supply chain, whose end must necessarily be the consumer. The consumer is the decision maker of last resort, the one who rewards or rejects a commercial initiative. It goes without saying that marketing cannot be left out of this type of organization and indeed must be modulated on multiple levels of target, through the players in the supply chain up to the end user. In other words, the networks will be pivotal, so companies will also have to be organized into business networks.
These networks must maximize the requirements of transparency and the readiness of information.
Furthermore, experts from different departments are called upon to join forces to proceed with the analysis and implementation of these projects: farming, agronomy, logistics, packaging, marketing, communications, software, business engineering, bookkeeping, finance, they all ought to be part of the team.
Postponing these goals means being left behind, wasting time and money.
The big misconception is that the agricultural sector produces food, which people cannot do without, so it can continue with traditional methods while largely ignoring technology. If you want to eat you have to accept us like this. What entrepreneurs who think this way don’t understand is that technological changes are unstoppable. Just as they have had to surrender to the use of accounting software and the elementary use of the Internet, they will have to surrender to the use of these new communication technologies.
Doing it today means giving your staff time to learn new systems without the hassle of haste, offering your business partners and consumers clearer information, and improving efficiency.
We need to develop and implement communication hubs that everyone can share and use simply and effectively. Your today’s inaction will lead to tomorrow’s rush and in all probability to the detriment of your business achievements and profit.