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After two years of debating whether to invest in GPS guidance units and job management software, Kerry Pioen owner/operator of KP Contracting made the move to TracMap precision farming system.

KP Contracting specialises in cultivation and planting crops including barley, wheat, and zucchinis. Before TracMap, Kerry managed his 20-30 jobs per day through a paper-based system.

“It was too hard for the guys to remember their jobs and for me to read their handwriting,” Kerry says.

He needed clearer communication with his team and total visibility of his operation. “I wanted something to make the process easier and see what had been done and what was being done”

Not knowing which jobs had actually been completed was negatively affecting the company’s revenue. “Forgetting jobs that we had done meant we were losing profit,” Kerry says.

Earlier this year, Kerry bought TracMap GPS guidance units for three of his John Deere and Case IH tractors. He installed them, found them simple to use and loved them so much he purchased an additional eight GPS units within three months.

With all 11 tractors now TracMap enabled, Kerry subscribed to the TracMap Online job management system so he could manage all his jobs remotely from his office or on his phone when he is on the move.

With the online job management system, Kerry can draw maps of the areas he wants his drivers to treat, mark out any hazards and assign job details such as product type and rate.

Once jobs have been entered into the system, he can wirelessly send them to his drivers. The GPS unit will the guide his team to exactly where they need to be and show them how the job should be completed.

“I can send the guys a job and the map and they are away, ” Kerry says. He also receives all the completed job data back without having to worry about paperwork, “It’s now very easy and I can see what they have done.”

The data collected for each job provides proof of placement and can be sent along with the invoice for the work. “There are no more mistakes. I can review the job, check-in with the farmer to let him know the job has been done, and send him the invoice.” Kerry says.

Kerry was initially concerned about moving to a digital system. “I am not very good with technology and there was a time I would look at the system and think “Boy, what have I done”. But it’s so easy now it’s not funny.”

Even his employers find it easy to use, “Once they figured it out it was as good as gold, really easy”, Kerry says.

KP Contracting invested in TracMap during their quieter Winter season, which enabled them to learn how the technology worked. They also had the support of TracMap’s Lower-North Island Area Manager Ben Duncan and the customer support team that is located at TracMap head office in Mosgiel.

“The support is unbelievable. Any questions that I have I call the 0800 number and get the answer I need”, Kerry says.

Article was first seen in Rural Contractor Magazine, Dec 2017