Twenty years ago, a small group of exfarmers from the South island of New Zealand decided to share their extensive knowledge in the agricultural business and started an organisation that provided services and support to dairy farmers.
Since inception, FarmRight has grown exponentially; from the original three managed dairy farms to around seventy properties across New Zealand and Tasmania including dairy and beef farms, orchards, vineyards and hop gardens. Today, FarmRight focuses on providing a full range of investment and management solutions to long term investors, including specialised consultancy, farm management, development and administration.
“As we were using this new tool, we thought it was the right time to also look at the vendor that was going to implement this into our technical ecosystem and that’s when we went out to market.”
Robert Read Technology manager, FarmRight
In order to efficiently manage each owner’s investment, FarmRight used an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that could operate multiple entities within the one platform. Microsoft Dynamics GP provided the organisation with the financial planning and reporting requirements effectively; however, the process of entering and approving invoices was entirely manual.
As the business expanded, FarmRight realised the need to automate their processes in order to keep up with the volume of farms managed and subsequent increase of transactions entered. The organisation identified a new third party solution that could extract data from a PDF invoice, but their current Microsoft partner’s solution to integrate with Dynamics GP was not suitable.
Robert Read, technology manager at FarmRight, decided to go to market for a new Microsoft partner. Robert explained, “As we were using this new tool, we thought it was the right time to also look at the vendor that was going to implement this into our technical ecosystem and that’s when we went out to market.”
After an extensive review, Farmright selected DXC Technology as their technology partner to manage the solution integration as well as support Dynamics GP moving forward.
We evaluated the technical expertise of different vendors and found that DXC had worked in similar projects before. The more we looked at DXC during the selection process, the more we were comfortable with changing vendor. Changing a technology partner is quite a big thing, but with what I know now — I’m so glad we did it!” Robert said.
Farmright chose the DXC Practice for Microsoft as their preferred partner due to their previous experience in similar projects, as well as the technical skills and expertise within the team of Dynamics consultants. Furthermore, DXC orchestrated several workshops and solution reviews in order to understand the organisation’s pain points and business processes.
Robert said, “The technical genius of the delivery team was the big selling point for us... Their solution integration expert was also huge part of that — he was just fantastic to work with throughout the project.”
“There was a bug in the Dynamics GP code that didn’t allow the two instances [for New Zealand and Australia] to be merged together. DXC took ownership of that, went to Microsoft and resolved it for us.”
Working with DXC meant FarmRight had a trusted partner who supported them throughout the entire delivery process.
Robert said, “We put over 1,500 invoices through the test system which meant that when we went to go-live, it was actually reasonably stress-free; it just worked! The whole project was completed on time and on budget.”
“The integration between Esker and Dynamics GP is improving as well as FarmRight’s efficiency as our growth continues adding new farms into the Dynamics GP ecosystem.”
Robert Read Technology manager, FarmRight
Outcomes and benefits
The integration project delivered immediate benefits to the business. By automating the injection of data into Dynamics GP and eliminating manual processes, FarmRight saved time, reduced costs, reached higher accuracy and improved operations.
Following this success, FarmRight transferred their ongoing maintenance contract to DXC and today, benefits from ongoing support to ensure the IT environment continues to improve in response to the business growth.
Robert said, “The integration between Esker and Dynamics GP is improving as well as FarmRight’s efficiency as our growth continues adding new farms into the Dynamics GP ecosystem.”
“When we put in a support call, the service desk team is very responsive. It’s one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, and I’ve been doing this for thirtyplus years now — so it’s refreshing!”
With future digital transformation projects on the horizon, FarmRight can now rely on their partnership with DXC to support and provide expertise on their business vision and strategic direction.
“It’s all starting to come together. We can see the vision — the more we can automate the better — but we need to make sure there’s a good foundation to be able to do that, and the start of that foundation is Dynamics GP at the latest release.
“We’ve already got a project underway: to upgrade Dynamics GP to the latest release. So, that’s going to be quite a big project and it will be mostly owned by DXC,” concluded Robert.