Keeping equipment moving and employees fully engaged can be challenging in agriculture, especially in the fertilizer industry. Throw in Mother Nature as a controlling factor and it becomes even more difficult to manage people and machines.
Karthic Ravindranath believes his company, Gold Farm, has a solution that can help overcome those challenges. New to the U.S., he is looking for businesses, particularly ag cooperatives, that are interested in boosting productivity from their existing fleet of equipment and team of workers.
“We believe our ag equipment management computer program can help co-ops and other businesses with fleets digitally manage their operations,” he says. “We can provide insights dynamically for on-the-go decision-making to increase productive hours for their equipment.”
Gold Farm has developed a dashboard that provides historical insights. “It allows managers to revisit processes,” he adds. “We can quickly adapt our program to match various situations and help support a continued improvement process for any operation.”
Ravindranath says the system they’ve developed can provide four key benefits. First, it can increase the productive hours of the equipment. There will be less time when equipment is sitting idle in the field, at a dealership or in the barn lot while the operator waits for instructions.
Second, he says the system allows a person or people to manage more equipment with the same team size. In other words, you can keep more machines running with the same number of employees you have now.
Third, Gold Farm’s system allows you to develop a paperless operation. Everything is handled through paperless interactions.
Finally, it improves communication. “We can increase seamless communication between team members,” Ravindranath says.
Build on model
To understand where Gold Farm wants to go, it helps to understand where the company started. “We began in India, and still operate there,” Ravindranath says. “We use similar computer technology, but to achieve a very different goal. Agriculture in India still largely consists of lots of farmers with small acreages. Not all farmers have the machinery they need for every operation.
“We developed an Uber-type business where we match farmers who need equipment or need a task done with those who have equipment to do the task,” he explains. “Part of what we do is help oversee the transaction and facilitate payment between parties.”
MATCH FARMERS, EQUIPMENT: In India, Gold Farm helps match farmers who have equipment with those who need work done through an Uber-type arrangement.
The concept of using computer-based technology to figure out how to keep equipment busy and make best use of manpower is similar, he says. In the U.S., with far more developed agriculture, he believes the first application that could help people the most is using what Gold Farm has developed to shorten downtime and increase productivity in operations where the biggest challenge is coordinating people and equipment from job to job.
Ravindranath says he would eventually like to bring the Uber concept of equipment sharing to the U.S., and believes there may be a fit in certain situations.