Riverlea Agricultural Contractors Working in Taranaki

By Gus Hewitt


New Zealand has just under 14 million hectares of farm land with over 55,000 land holdings. Primary Industries contribute around 7% to the New Zealand GDP and is forecast to grow. At the core of that are our agricultural contractors, who provide the service in which the majority of our 55,000 land owners rely on to operate their farms effectively.

One of the most common trends in contracting is the significant drop in efficiency as a business looks to grow. Growth does not necessarily mean geographically or in scale, but can mean in efficiency, profit or enjoyment.  A tractor operating near 95% efficiency may do the same job of two inefficient tractors. Think of the drop in efficiency from working alone, to a time you have had to manage someone else through a job as well as managing your own work load.  Having worked on three continents of the world ag contracting, and within a team of 50 and 5, I have observed a similar trend.

The question then is, if ag contracting is so valuable and the market is so significant, why are so many contractors struggling to establish their businesses as profitable long-term ventures? Why are owners and operators tied to their business while in other industries, owners spend more time fishing than working? Yes, you may love what you do but making the choice to work is very different to being bound to your business.

TracMap NZ Ltd is a locally owned Dunedin company who have come up with a solution helping thousands of their users globally.  It is helping companies by showing them how their staff and machinery are their most valuable assets, but only when these assets are working and working efficiently.  The co-ordination of getting your assets to spend as much time operating efficiently is essentially the art of any logistics business.

An example of this demonstrates the significance it could have on your business. If your staff were to get an extra 10 minutes per job in efficiency gains, doing 3 jobs per day, for a 6 month season, you would have an extra 3,600 minutes of billable time. At $150 an hour that is an extra $9,000 per machine that you could be making every year by being slightly more efficient.

Within the meat industry, leading companies such as ANZCO, Alliance and Silver Fern all invest heavily into their supply chain management. They see the co-ordination of their assets as a pivotal role in helping the business succeed.

In order to grow your business and direct it as you would like, TracMap have the tools to help you do this.  Firstly, you will drop the dependence on intellectual knowledge and shift it into systems where it can be shared and used business wide. This will benefit your business because you or your management team will never have to micro manage to get a staff member into the right paddock, doing the right job.

With seasonal workers being a prominent challenge within many contracting businesses, setting up systems that are easily transferred between people is key. The reliance on an individual’s knowledge of a farm, product, job or machine is neither efficient nor scalable. TracMap gives you the tools to share that knowledge and educate without you needing to be there.

Secondly, TracMap will give you visibility within your business many people did not know was possible. Analysing your business through TracMap Online gives you data which can steer the direction of your business. Do you know which machines are used the most at each time of the year and what operation turns you the greatest profit?

Worried about the hurdles of new technology?  Not to worry, your TracMap Area Manager has the exposure and experience across a number of businesses, to provide you with expert advice and assistance, around improving your business. Their ideas and guidance will help formulate a plan and then with help from the support team, ensure it is implemented effectively.

If you truly want to do something about improving your business, just submit the form and we’ll start a discussion to see how TracMap can transform your business.

With thanks to Riverlea Contractors Ltd for the use of their images.