The agriculture industry has the potential to be transformed through digital technology. Leveraging powerful big data, for example, can significantly improve decision making and management of commodities like grain and wheat.
Similarly, agricultural robotics offer an efficient solution to harvesting in the same way that tractors did in the early 1900s. With this industry expected to triple in size by 2050, the possibilities are huge.
In 2020, the European Commission provided grants for 19 projects in the agriculture industry. These grants provided financial support to agricultural firms so that they could improve their services. Technologies adopted as a result of these grants included artificial intelligence, robotics and internet of things. These technologies helped farms in rural areas make their supply chain more sustainable by providing new, efficient ways of working.
The following digital transformation case studies show how two global agricultural companies have benefited from adopting new, innovative digital solutions.
Cargill is a Global food corporation who has invested significantly in digital solutions in recent years. These solutions were developed with the intention of innovating everyday agricultural processes.
Prior to their digital transformation, the business model was not centralised, working with many global stakeholders over 67 countries. All of these organisations had their own working processes and systems, which meant that operations could quickly become disparate
One recent innovation that has had a positive impact for the business is its Cargill Data Platform (CDP). As an alternative to disparate data management systems, the CDP is a centralised data analytics tool that acts as a single source of truth for the organisation.
Using the tool, critical credit intelligence is automatically calculated and integrated into the platform. Fully automating this process has allowed Cargill to reduce manual processes, instead allowing credit analysts to focus on monitoring the business.
ADM agriculture is a global agriculture and food processing company with locations in all eight continents. For their digital transformation, their priority was finding a scalable platform that would permit the company to grow. However, the company's legacy trading system required employees to implement workarounds, costing valuable time and money.
In order to support their growth strategy, ADM decided to upgrade their existing platform. The solution was an intuitive and reliable commodities trading platform.
Key areas of business were significantly streamlined and automated through this centralised platform. These essential areas included transactions and pricing structures for seed, fertiliser and grain. The new platform proves a valuable asset for a company that oversees £1 billion of grain transactions each year.
The platform has also streamlined the process of generating over 200 invoices every day. Their new platform now makes this process 12x faster than before. What’s more is that there is no system slowdown. These improvements, again, allow ADM to operate with quality and efficiency.
Throughout all processes, the tool provides synchronised, consistent and accurate data. Crucially, this has minimised costs and obstructions to the trading process and improved financial return for ADM in the process. For example, ADM has seen an 80% reduction in finance admin costs.
By successfully integrating a new platform with their existing core systems, ADM have continued to save valuable time, money and resources. Further, the new system was fully scalable, making it possible for the company to grow in the future.
This article has shown some examples of the way that digital solutions can drastically improve operations in the agricultural industry. These case studies show that technology can enable this sector and help traditional processes transition into digital business. It stands to both improve the efficiency of internal operations and ensure the performance of essential agricultural processes.
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