20 years after the arrival of the first software, new technologies have significantly increased the potential of plot management software. The problem when you are an operator is that you rarely have the time and the elements to study all the software on the market. Making the right choice can then turn out to be a real headache, which is why we guide you in this article on the selection criteria to take into account.
What is a plot management solution?
Less stupid question than it seems because in the field of agricultural software, it is sometimes difficult to navigate. So before talking to you about the criteria, let’s understand what plot management software is (and what is not). Plot management software helps the farmer in the management of his farms and simplifies his administrative and legal procedures (PPF declaration, spreading plan, traceability, phytosanitary register, etc.). A plot management solution does not call into question the business of the farmer but supports it and enables it to meet more demanding regulations and increasingly important societal expectations. Now that we have discussed the scope of this software, it is important to understand the two types of software that there are:
The Seas (Software as a Service) is a software solution whose heart functions are “fully” available online. It is hosted by the publisher and accessible remotely through an Internet connection and for a monthly subscription paid to the publisher. The term “fully” is important, because a lot of solutions try to pass themselves off as Seas by digitizing part of their interface. This is the advantage of Seas: making the software available online in its entirety. o- Called On-Premise software is the acquisition and installation of software directly on your computer. The software is yours, you must purchase it from the publisher. Updates and new versions may require additional costs (maintenance, installation, etc.) and it may be necessary to purchase a license per device. For this type of software you must have computers that technically support the software. Now that you know exactly what plot management software is, we can see how to choose it! Discover the 5 criteria to study to make the right choice.
5 criteria for choosing your solution
The ability to meet regulatory requirements
As a farmer you are today subject to demanding and constantly evolving regulations. The compliance with the regulations is complex, but strategic, any errors made during the campaign have important consequences (fine, reduction of CAP subsidies …). Using parcel management software allows you to avoid mistakes and to be more serene, but beware not all software has the same degree of reliability. For example, the phytosanitary database must be updated daily to offer you reliable controls.
Protecting your data
In the event that you opt for Seas-type software, it is essential to know where and how your data will be stored. The place of storage allows you to know which legislation applies to the management of your data and to ensure that the general data protection regulations (GDPR), which came into force on May 25, 2018, are respected. In the case of On-Premise, the risk of data loss in the event of a computer failure is high. To reduce it, publishers offer a backup of your data. It is important to know how often your data is backed up and where it is stored. To remain in control of your data, it is important to ensure that you can control and choose who accesses your data. Most freeware vendors give you access to software in exchange for sharing the data you enter. Your data is then re-used by agrochemical companies or research laboratories.
As with all types of solution, a plot management solution will be easier to handle if it is simple, intuitive and ergonomic. Indeed, you should know that adopting plot management software is a beneficial change but which requires changes in your work habits. The grip must be done as naturally as possible. The structure of the solution must therefore be flexible in order to adapt to your habits and needs. Regarding the functionalities, it is preferable to have some that improve working comfort. For example, it is essential to be able to make data entries without a network so that they can be carried out in the field, in the office or wherever you want.
Interoperability is the ability of software to connect with another tool. Interoperable software will allow you to connect your IOTs and OADs in order to manage all your activity from a single interface.
The price will inevitably be an element to take into account; however, it should not be the primary criterion. In addition, it must be realized that the cost is not only the purchase investment, the possible costs of maintenance, training, assistance and updating must also be considered. In general the price is defined according to the functional scope of the Folio3 dairy record keeping software and the number of operations. For a complete and reliable software, it takes between 30 € and 50 € per month. This estimate is given as an indication; obviously each publisher has its specificities.
Rehan Khan is a digital marketing agency Auckland expert with a core focus on helping raw talent fined the right careers. He is associated with Starlinks – A digital marketing agency Sydney.