A few years ago, the Osters & Voß company faced a similarly large digital challenge. It is obvious to everyone that the handling of around 100 Fendt tractors, 60 trucks, as well as harvesting and grassland technology, wheel loaders and telescopic loaders, sugar beet harvesting technology, transport trailers, slurry tankers and numerous machines for soil cultivation, fertilisation and sowing can no longer be carried out with pen and paper. As early as 2014, the contracting company therefore invested in agricultural software that is used in the office and on the field, as the data can no longer be managed with offline solutions or Access databases. Information is captured digitally and data records are combined using smart algorithms.
For the two entrepreneurs, it is important that they have an overview at their desks of where their employees and, above all, their machines are working. The drivers use a smartphone app to record what is happening in the fields: Who did what on which fields and when? All of the recorded data converges on the farm's online platform. Here, they are documented and automatically evaluated. In the future, further data will ben sources integrated. This is what customers now need from the contractor to maintain the field index.
Ultimately, the benefits that digitization brings only become apparent in practical application. "No matter what we tell the customer - if he sees that we use a technology and recognizes the added value it brings, then he is more willing to use it himself," explains Andreas Osters. The bosses also teach this to their trainees. As soon as Manuel Kleinhans is deployed for the first time in sowing, he not only has to be able to explain the technical aspects of the measures to the customers, but also shine with agronomic knowledge.
"Digitalization is a new business field for our company. Here we have the opportunity to install a very strong customer loyalty tool and set ourselves apart from the competition. The agricultural market is shrinking, the contractor industry is growing. That is why I am firmly convinced that Smart Farming is the only way forward. We are trying to prepare young farmers and agricultural service specialists for this in their training today," Andreas Osters sums up.