Saturday 20 October 2018

Another accolade for TracMap, the game-changer for efficient viticulture

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Initially designed to assist fertiliser spreading trucks operating on steep New Zealand hill country, TracMap’s GPS guidance and job management system has evolved significantly since its inception in 2005.

The combined tracking, job tasking and reporting capabilities make it easy for its users to increase efficiency, reduce risk of errors and keep staff safe. This award-winning hardware and software solution is now an integral part of operations spanning the agriculture, horticulture, viticulture and aviation industries in New Zealand, Australia and USA.

The key to this growth has been collaboration, a philosophy that has led to major developments for the business this year. TracMap has released significant product updates, launched a revolutionary new hardware platform, TML, and been selected as a finalist in the Australian Wine Industry Impact Awards. Cultivating relationships with customers has been instrumental in these successes, something the company values highly.

Vaughan Flowers, TracMap Development Team Lead says, “With our team forming partnerships directly with our customers, we’re able to gain unparalleled insight into their strengths, skills and needs. We’re able to rapidly deliver on requirements as they arise and focus our efforts to ensure that we’re delivering the greatest impact for our partners and customers.”

By working closely with customers during the design phase, TracMap uses these unique insights to ensure targeted development, with the overall goal of increasing the capability and competitiveness of growers, farmers and contractors. From product design to field trials, this has resulted in a simple and intuitive system their customers love and are excited about.

Lincoln Grocke, director of LG Vineyard Services, is a fifth generation grapegrower based in the Barossa Valley and has enjoyed the benefits of the two-way communication.

“They’re an open bunch of people that are happy to listen to our suggestions and ideas for innovation to improve efficiencies within the system,” he said. “They’ve been really really good to work with right from the start really.

“It’s pretty much a total game-changer for our business. The fact that we capture so much data and statistics that comes back to the office means that we can actually use the information to plan our next job in that same vineyard and have the additional benefits of real-time live tracking and that collaboration with the team.”

Design decisions for TracMap’s new touch-screen unit, TML, initially began with direct input from customers in the Australian viticulture industry, and in the lead-up to product launch in September 2018 it was tested extensively with customers in the wider horticulture and agricultural sectors.

This collective development process has also contributed to functionality improvements for the existing TM5 hardware platform and online job management system TracMap Online, resulting in an extremely powerful management tool.

Charles Rosback, managing director of Group Logistics based in the Adelaide Hills, also pursues a collaborative approach in his own business, where the company’s ethos is “working with the grower”.

A TracMap customer since 2013, they’ve found many efficiencies with the system, especially the effective job management capability which has had positive outcomes for both the business and their customers.

“After installing TracMap, we’ve seen better management of our machinery and equipment, better contact with our staff, and most importantly it’s improved the bottom line,” Charles said.

Grapegrowing customers who equipped harvesting fleets with TracMap for the 2018 vintage, also found huge benefits in being able to accurately implement split picking. Harvest maps can be created, and crops harvested or left for later depending on crop quality or maturity. This granular data, combined with yield data recorded using load cells allows for planning in real-time, simplifies job and task management and vastly improves operational efficiency.

Other exciting releases TracMap has made recently include expansion of application capabilities, allowing  jobs to be calculated, tasked and reported on a linear metre basis instead of the standard per hectare rate. Live job sharing, speed and rate reporting are also customer-driven features, where vehicles working on the same job can see the application coverage rates of other vehicles while out on the job reducing errors, overspray or missed areas.

Accurate, detailed and timely data enables operators, sprayers and harvesters to confidently and efficiently perform tasks, giving managers the ability to forecast and plan for competitive advantage. Consequently, growers can easily oversee the day-to-day operations, and contractors can demonstrate to their customers that they’re doing a great job.

With this commitment to collaboration and finding practical solutions, TracMap is sure to keep pace with their customers’ needs, increasing competitiveness, efficiency and sustainability. With an ambitious plan for future technological advancements, perhaps it’s time to join the TracMap family and contribute to the next generation of precision farming solutions?

Watch this space! For further information visit TracMap.

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