4 Reasons to Go Digital This National Agriculture Day

Happy National Agriculture Day! Today we celebrate the incredible work of agriculture professionals and recognize the vital role they play in sustaining our communities.

Each American farmer feeds more than 165 people...
— Agriculture Council of America

The agriculture industry provides a diverse array of careers, including farm workers, laboratory teams, engineers, veterinarians and more. When these different teams must work together to complete a project, efficiency and communication can be made difficult by the manual nature of paper forms and traditional data collection.

Collecting data digitally via mobile forms helps agriculture teams work more efficiently and accurately

Fortunately, mobile forms provide a scalable, digital solution to manual farm data collection. From digital Soil Tests to versatile mobile Inspection forms, digitizing your forms collection for use on phones and tablet empowers field and back-office personnel to collaborate more efficiently. For example, consider this mobile forms use case from Prestage Farms. Prestage Farms relies upon a number of farm locations to house and care for livestock. These locations are regularly visited by Prestage Farms inspectors to ensure that livestock are properly cared for and mobile forms are used to expedite communication between field teams and veterinary personnel.

Bradley Faircloth, of Prestage’s Information Technology team, explained Prestage’s digital efficiencies, explaining, “You do a service report and you want to alert the veterinarian that you have a medical issue… if they [note in the form that they] have a health issue on the farm, the form automatically sends a triggered email to the vet to let them know, and then we send them a completed form as well.” This is accomplished through an Automated Workflow, in which a form action triggers the completion of a specific task, in this case, routing a form to a veterinarian.

If there’s something wrong with an animal, the person doesn’t even have to think about it. All they have to do is complete the service report they were going to do anyway and the vet will know about it. They’re not only going to know it instantaneously, but they’re going to get a copy of that Service Report and start working on it.
— Bradley Faircloth, IT, Prestage Farms

Prestage Farms’ use case is merely one of the many ways mobile forms and digital Farm Data collection can transform agriculture operations, no matter their role, location or size. To help your team work more efficiently and accurately, we’re listed four reasons your agriculture operation should go digital this ‘Ag Day’:

Mobile agriculture forms, like digital soil tests, help teams in the field collaborate with back-office counterparts more efficiently

Easily input Images, GPS, Maps, Sketches and Signatures
Relying on paper forms to collect agriculture data means that your team must struggle with not only manual forms, but also the various attachments that accompany them. For example, when collecting field images, a separate camera and attachment are necessary when using paper forms. With mobile forms, new data types like Images and Sketches can be rapidly captured and input into forms, straight from your mobile device. Similarly, mobile forms can instantly input GPS coordinates and Maps, effortlessly identifying the precise location of the user. Finally, users can add digital Signature boxes to capture authorizations seamlessly, and even make Signature fields Required, ensuring their capture prior to form submission.

Connect your forms to your other business apps and databases
Mobile forms also allow users to push and pull their data between their forms and connected platforms. Using paper forms, agriculture data must be manually collected, delivered and rekeyed into a variety of systems – resulting in costly delays and human error. Integrating mobile forms with your other critical apps (like ServiceMax, Salesforce, Box, Google Sheets and more) allows for data to be digitally collected and routed to other platforms in real-time. Attachments, like Images, can even be uploaded to digital records alongside form PDFs. Similarly, databases, spreadsheets and analytics dashboards can also be instantaneously updated to reflect new data.

Streamline and expedite communication with automations
Automated Workflows are incredibly powerful, flexible tool for agriculture teams. Prior to digital solutions, paper forms and collected data needed to be manually gathered, delivered and processed. With mobile forms and automations, agriculture data can be rapidly collected in the field (even offline!) and instantly routed to teammates and customers. These automations not only improve efficiencies across your operation, but also improve client communication and business agility.

Centralize and standardize documentation across locations
Many agriculture businesses operate across a large number of locations, resulting in fragmented and isolated data, as well as irregular formatting from location to location. Using GoFormz to digitize your forms collection allows users to create identical, digital versions of their existing forms, that can be instantly generated by account users from any location. Similarly, completed forms can be accessed by users with the correct permissions, across any of your locations. This means no more scanning, faxing or mailing forms!

Looking for more reasons to go digital? Check out our GoFormz for Agriculture video and sign up to try mobile forms for free.