Homegrown MyBallance takes global innovation award
New Zealand farmers have been quick to take to their keyboards and touchscreens to order and manage their nutrients online with the new MyBallance digital platform.
Their early adoption and the success of this technology from Ballance Agri-Nutrients that puts "your farm at your fingertips" has now been reflected in another big 'thumbs-up' with a win in the prestigious international SAP Innovation Awards 2018.
The global competition attracts entries from around the world to be considered by a panel of international judges, so the Best Run award is a double win for the Co-operative and their farmers, who provided the insights and inspiration for building an outstanding customer experience.
MyBallance gives simplicity and convenience to farmers in a mobile platform they can use 24/7.
More than 100 farmers a week have been joining MyBallance since it launched in March – providing real-time data with the capability to place and track nutrient plans and orders online 24/7, and with digital mapping the ability to report accurately on nutrient application on their farms.
The positive response from farmers is a great sign for the Co-op which set out to make the customer experience as easy as possible. Many see the greatest value in MyBallance being the time-saving, meaning they have a bit more time in a busy day to do special things with their kids and family.
Canterbury dairy farmer, Darcy Bishop, says he's lucky to be able to get home a bit earlier now: "MyBallance is easy. You can order online, just go on your phone and order the fertiliser for the paddocks you need – with the touch of a finger, it's great!"
Ballance was the first New Zealand organisation to go live with SAP S/4HANA in 2016, providing a foundation for the launch this year of the MyBallance online platform that puts customers in control.
MyBallance is proof of the tremendous progress within the Co-operative on a digital journey – using data and analytics to drive services for customers.
Chief digital officer, Dave Scullin, says: "Our farmers are more connected than ever, and this is about our business being future ready with a personalised service, using real-time data to drive decision-making and having business processes that are as simple as possible."
The beauty of MyBallance is that it turns raw data into useful information that means farmers really have their farms at their fingertips – the product of two years of development and a lot of time spent talking with farmers and asking their opinion on what 'easy' would look like.
With the SAP Innovation Award in the bag, Scullin says the focus is on more listening to farmers and more innovating. Being future-ready is a constant for the team at Ballance, where digitisation is at the core of the Co-operative and key to supporting the future competitiveness of New Zealand farming.
"MyBallance is a winner, but we will keep working on making it better to deliver a truly outstanding customer experience."