Fruit growing is one of the most challenging occupations on the planet! So many factors affect how well your fruit will grow, how well your harvest will go, and what price you’ll receive.
It makes sense to take control of what you can, to ensure the best result.
Comprehensive, yet easy to use orchard management software can support your success, saving you time and money, improving quality, and helping you to achieve optimal performance.
What is Orchard Management Software?
Orchard management software is technology designed to help fruit growers efficiently manage all of the key jobs on their fruit farm.
Managing labor, tracking harvest, tracking bins, pruning, thinning, picking, quality control, crop size estimation, payroll integration, recording, allocating and reporting on tasks, plus information on yield, revenue and costs. Specialist orchard management software should help streamline all of the above.
Effective modern orchard management software is provided as a mobile app and is cloud based, which simply means it’s software that can run on your mobile device like your iPad or phone.
Benefits of Using Fruit Specific Orchard Management Software
Technology that is focused on fruit, such as fruit orchard management software like the Hectre orchard management app, means it is built for the fruit industry.
Having a fruit focused orchard management app for your business, means you have a tailored system which has been designed to meet the specific challenges of fruit farm operations.
Challenges like how best to manage the complexities of piece rate. Or how to keep track of workers in the field. How to record and track your harvest data. Or how to maintain health and safety records. And of course, how to improve production and view and report on all of your key orchard activities, so that you have accurate data to help you to plan and make successful decisions.
Choosing a Management Software for Your Fruit Orchard
Some orchard software focus on very narrow areas of orchard management, such as orchard mapping software, orchard planning software, time management apps, or tree tracking software. These are great fits if you’re just after that one very specific tool, but most fruit growers are seeking a comprehensive orchard software that helps them manage all of the key activities, not just one or two.
Special care needs to be taken when choosing which orchard management software might be best for you.
Top Tips for Choosing the Right Orchard Management App:
- Is it easy to use? There’s no point having the most technologically advanced software in the world, packed with GPS tracking and lidar capabilities, if it’s not easy to use! Think about who in your team will use this software. They are likely to be normal people who don’t have IT degrees! (And don’t worry if you don’t know what ‘lidar’ means…)
- Is it built for fruit? If it’s not, walk away. Generally the software will be broad and the supplier will try to fit you into an ill fitting box. Walk away now.
- Is the pricing straightforward? Having orchard management software which has user limits, data limits, or which has pricing that changes throughout the year due to the normal changes in staffing levels that occur on farm, is just complicated. Select software that provides certainty, so you can plan your costs. Even if it’s a bit higher than others, you’ll know what you’re in for.
- Do growers like you, use this software? Some orchard management software is targeted specifically at big corporates, or specifically at small growers. Make sure the supplier you choose works with customers like you and feel free to ask to speak to a customer to gain their insights on the product.
- What is the service and support like? There are some well established suppliers out there in the industry who have not looked after their customers very well. Their product may be quite good, their price may be attractive, but if their people are not friendly and responsive, you are setting yourself up for frustration and dissatisfaction. You can do better!
- Can you easily get stuff out of it? OK great. You’ve got an orchard management software in mind, but take a moment to check that it’s simple for you, your team or any relevant managers, to view and pull data out of the software. A simple to use and view dashboard, plus the ability to export excel type reports is a must so you can analyze the performance of your fruit farm, reduce costs, increase yields and improve profitability.
- Is the company committed to continual improvement? The technology world is an ever evolving beast. Better tools are being developed every day and you want to ensure the company you choose is focused on continually improving their software, so that you can gain the benefits.
Why Choose Hectre?
That’s a great question. Let’s take a look at just some of the reasons:
Comprehensive and Fit For Fruit
- For starters, the Hectre mobile orchard management app was built for fruit with the backing of fruit growers, so you know you’re getting a fruit specific orchard management software. Whatever pain points you’re currently experiencing, Hectre are bound to have come across them and can help you address them.
- Whether it’s a small family farm, or a large corporate customer, Hectre helps improve the production of all. The Hectre app adds value regardless of farm scale.
Simple to Use
- The Hectre team are committed to “clever simplicity”, providing leading-edge tech to fruit growers and packers around the world, which is super simple to use. This way it’s accessible for more growers, easier for their teams to adopt, and growers can gain full value for their spend. Hectre’s fruitlet sizing is a perfect example of this, giving growers the ability to size fruitlets with stunning but simple technology, providing them with accurate pre harvest sizing data just from a simple photo on an iPad.
- Not only do growers and packers love Hectre’s technology, the wider industry does too, with Hectre being named winners in the AgTech Breakthrough Awards. Dedicated to delivering the best cloud based technology to their customers, the Hectre team delivered 147 enhancements and products to growers and packers in the last 12 months.
- They have a “Kiwi” culture. Originating out of New Zealand, Hectre customers say a big part of why they choose Hectre, is because of their team. Hard working, customer focused, innovative, fair and friendly – they are people you want to do business with and have dedicated customer success teams to provide great support.
Great Data for Decision Making
- Data is captured through every entry in the Hectre app and that information flows through to reports that are simple for managers to view. Costs, yield, packout revenue, you can record and track it all straight from the field. And with the click of a button, that data can be exported for analysis in excel.
Records for Regulation
- GPS tagging in the Hectre app enables managers to track where the fruit has been picked and by whom and heat maps show progression of the harvest in real time. GPS pins can be dropped on locations for task allocation too, for Health & Safety hazard management.
Growers like Jason Woodworth of Lamont Fruit Farms have this to say:
“Hectre is now the tool we use to evaluate all of our blocks in the true sense of real time. You can track each and every project and monitor costs from the start of pruning until the end of harvest. Bilingual and user friendly at the same time has been a huge plus for our company. The staff has been fantastic with support and are always thinking forward.”
Bruce Nimon who manages Kokako farms adds: “Because we can now see the block costs with Hectre, we’ve already gained insights on certain blocks costing a lot more than the averages. Job costings have also got a lot better and overpaying on jobs has stopped – saving us thousands. ”