"“We’ve seen a direct advantage in unit economics with farmers that are using AmpEDGE software. When managing a farm, it all comes down to yield and how fast you can turn plants over. With backend business management built into the platform, all data can be correlated to what the growing elements were at that place in time. In the software, the farmer can leverage a large set of ever-evolving data to improve all aspects of the farm operations and growing systems," says Don Taylor, Founder and CEO of AmplifiedAg.
AmplifiedAg, a supplier of indoor farms, equipment, and software, built a multi-tenant software platform, AmpEDGE, that can either be used to manage one- or multiple farms which provides all the environmental and operational information needed to run a farm, from small to enterprise scale.
Benefits of enterprise farm health monitoring
Starting as a software company, it's not a surprise that technology is at the core of AmplifiedAg's farm platform.
"The unique thing about our software is that it was developed on the foundation of our proprietary inventory control management system. Then, we developed farm controls and monitoring, giving the farmer the ability to log into one application and have access to a platform that houses all of the critical data to successfully manage their business. Connected to the software, our farm partners can manage multiple farms and locations at once or drill down into the specific growth chambers," adds Taylor.
Introducing the Enterprise Farm Health (EFH) function in AmpEDGE, a tool that offers farmers real-time monitoring of environmental, operational, financial, and risk metrics of an entire organization across multiple farms and locations in one holistic view. From the enterprise viewpoint, the farmer can narrow down to a specific site location, farm unit, or even an individual tray, gaining control over all associated tasks and data.
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How traceability enables scalability
The EFH function in AmpEDGE aims to make farm tasks easy for anyone involved in production, especially when it comes to scaling businesses. Instead of only being able to access segmented data farm by farm, the EFH function assembles and organizes details from every farm in a user's network. Farmers can more accurately identify areas of success and pain points in production and forecast potential growth opportunities to see faster ROI and profitability.
As Don explains, all work on the farm can be generated through and reported on in AmpEDGE. Daily seeding, harvesting, and packaging tasks are scheduled to align with sales orders, and third-party software integrations make it possible to correlate inventory with financial reporting. This allows the farmer to effectively manage their team operations and products' sell-through.
AmpEDGE also enables farm operators to achieve food safety certifications. "From an audit perspective, growers can obtain reports that can be shown to inspectors. In just a few keypresses, you can conduct an audit and trace where a seed was planted, associated materials used, plant health, all the way to the finished product in a labeled clamshell." Food traceability is key when selling produce, especially to retailers. For the farmer, this prevents downtime and limits the risk of contamination. For the buyer, this increases their confidence in a safe, reliable product.
Although most processes are automated, Don points out that at the end of the day, it’s still farming. “Expertise is needed when growing plants. The software helps to maintain nutrient levels and tells you when crops are ready to be harvested, yet having operational and horticulture expertise in the mix is also rather important. For many years, we focused on developing expertise by operating large-scale farms with our technology and software. Now, we are more than just a tech provider, we support our customers with real valuable experience to ensure their long-term success.
New software feature coming soon
The farm processes that are currently available in AmpEDGE are 24/7 control and monitoring of the farm environment, product inventory, purchasing, shipping and logistics, food safety and traceability, sales orders, accounting, and product labeling.
AmplifiedAg is working on a new software feature to streamline inventory and manage production costs. Taylor adds, "One of the components we have released in production is the farmer's ability to control the raw materials, including seeds, plugs, and nutrients, and keep track of the balances throughout the farming process. The software will automatically notify the farmer that you need to order the products to be ready for harvest and seedling schedules to meet forecasted sales orders.