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5 Things That COVID-19 Taught Us About Document Storage

5 Things That COVID-19 Taught Us About Document Storage

The COVID-19 pandemic transformed the business landscape, with workplaces utilising new technologies to stay connected to colleagues and access work files while away from the office. However, many businesses were unprepared for the pandemic, separated from important paperwork that was stored in physical on-site storage. When the office can be brought online via software such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, why leave document storage behind?

Here are 5 things the COVID-19 pandemic taught us about online document storage.

1. Digital Storage is Secure

Many businesses were caught off guard by COVID-19’s unexpected arrival. People had difficulty accessing business critical documents that were physically stored in inaccessible workplaces, due to COVID-19 restrictions. It became clear that businesses needed to provide access to documents for all members of their team who worked from home.

The solution was straightforward, and it lay in online document storage solutions, such as DocStore. DocStore eliminates the need for document hard copies. Instead, digital documents can be accessed online from anywhere. This does not result in lowered security. With flexible and secure control measures, you can create restricted and authorised access so that certain people have access to certain documents. This means that your sensitive, business critical documents are protected.

Secure Document Storage

2. Digital Storage is Space Saving

Document Storage Space

This benefit may appear minor to some, but physical paperwork storage in an office can take up a lot of space. Every year, the average worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper. With a large number of employees in the workplace, this amount can grow exponentially, taking up a lot of space in the office. Furthermore, employees working from home may not have the space for such a quantity of paperwork.

Moving documents online frees up a lot of office space, allowing you to repurpose entire rooms that were previously used solely for document storage. Also, the costs of on-site and off-site storage, paper, printing, and scanning are eliminated, allowing you to save money or invest in more important aspects of your business.

3. Digital Storage Saves Time and Improves Productivity

Accessing important documents quickly and effectively is critical in time-sensitive workplace situations. This is a difficult task to accomplish in an office setting where files upon files of paperwork make finding specific documents a time-consuming task. Furthermore, home workers don’t have the ability to access physical documents stored in the office and so time completing potentially important tasks is lost.

Throughout the pandemic, studies revealed that 65% of workers felt more productive at a home office rather than a work office. Online solutions speed up and simplify procedures like virtual meetings, email exchanges, and document retrieval. In DocStore, documents can be quickly retrieved using keyword searches and one-click document retrieval. Even better, you don’t have to spend your saved time uploading documents online. Moving documents online has never been faster, easier, or less stressful, thanks to quick scan capabilities that accelerate document capture, tagging, and storage processing times.

Furthermore, in DocStore, users have the ability to link documents according to particular subjects. For example, orders, invoices, and samples. This makes document retrieval extremely easy and, most importantly, quick! Ultimately, an online document storage system, that speeds up and simplifies scanning and retrieval, frees up workers’ time for more important tasks, resulting in increased productivity.

 

4. Digital Storage is Convenient and Contact Free

With our solution DocStore, users can transmit single, multiple, and third-party documents with the ability to even schedule the electronic transmission of documents. This feature has been particularly pertinent throughout the pandemic with most of the country working from home. The hassle-free transmission of documents online kept business processes flowing quickly and easily, while keeping staff safe from the spread of COVID-19.  Storing documents in an online solution limits the number of people touching a physical copy and thus limits the risk of transmitting the virus. As hygiene becomes a key focus of workplaces moving forward, digital document storage is a great way to remove the risk of transmission and ease staff anxiety surrounding the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.

5. The Future is Unpredictable

If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that the future is unpredictable. It is difficult to predict what will occur, when it will occur, and how it will impact your business. According to one study, 73% of all departments will have remote workers by 2028, with 57% of employees wanting to continue working from home.

With many people envisioning a future as home workers, online document storage becomes a necessity rather than a preference. Having a well-integrated document storage system not only saves time, effort, and increases productivity, it secures the future of your business.

Our online document storage solutions, Doc Store, can be fully integrated with our existing software solutions Gold and Generation. Paired with the improved services offered by Gold and Generation, the timeliness and productivity of all your business operations is continually improved with DocStore. Saving you time and effort during busy periods, such as harvest.

If you recognise the benefits of online document storage and would like to speak to us about our solution, DocStore, feel free to get in touch with us at primetics@culturatech.com.

Primetics: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

Primetics: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

Leigh Roberts, General Manager at Primetics, wrote the following article in Cultivate Magazine for Cultura Technologies. In the article, Leigh discusses the company’s journey from its humble beginnings in Chorley to its present and future as Primetics, an agribusiness software company operating across the UK and North America.

You can read the article by clicking the button below.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Work Smarter, Not Harder

You have probably heard the term Business Intelligence passed around, this is an umbrella term for visualising and analysing data, and providing valuable insights into your business, giving you a 360 degree view of your business’s data. At Primetics, we can help you to maximise the value that Business Intelligence delivers to your organisation. With PETL (Primetics Extract Transform Load) you take control of your business, providing a simplified, consolidated view of all the important data from across the business operations.

PETL will enable you to make better business decisions by showing present and historical data within its business context. Used effectively, it can even help with compliance and hiring efforts. Just about any aspect of business can be improved through the business intelligence that PETL provides.

PETL:

  • Quick and easy access to key operational data so that the users to do not need to navigate a complex database structure.
  • Incorporate data from multiple sources not just Gold (e.g. futures market prices or weather feeds) that when used in conjunction with the operational data gives you real insights into the performance of your seed business.
  • Operational data is automatically refreshed in the reporting database for up to date reporting, saving time by eliminating the need for users to manually create data sets for reporting.
  • Built in business logic for translating raw data into meaningful business information, for example, converting weights to units and bags and calculating values so that the appropriate information is automatically available in the form that makes most sense.
  • Use of any industry standard reporting tool to design and render dashboards and reports. This flexibility allows you to select and use an end reporting application that best suits your needs (e.g. PowerBI, Excel).

When it comes to building new reports, the biggest gripe for customers is that it is costly and time consuming, however with the access to a business intelligence tool you can build reports both easily and efficiently due to them being on a PETL database, if you need to update a report you can easily do so without having to create a new one, which eliminates the tedious task of extracting reports.

Due to the data being live, you have the ability to drill into it and find information that is below the surface without huge time and money investments. As an example, you can track your sales rep figures and what sales they have made, any discounts and what else contributes towards their figures.
Having your business data in front of you is a powerful tool, visualising can help you to understand your data better as you can start to decipher it. When you understand your data, you can make better informed decisions. Business decisions are based on information rather than estimation, and with PETL and a BI tool, you have support in making these decisions.

Your business can be transformed with the utilisation of Business Intelligence, the software helps to interpret data with insights, based on facts. If you would like to discuss how Business Intelligence can benefit your business, contact us today on 01257 279 811 or alternatively, email us primetics@culturatech.com

How Primetics’ Gold Grain Trading Software Can Help Your Business Navigate the Volatile Grain Market

How Primetics’ Gold Grain Trading Software Can Help Your Business Navigate the Volatile Grain Market

Despite its longevity as a trade, commercial grain is one of the most challenging global markets in existence. Thanks to the volatility of grain prices, low margins and the unpredictability of supply, grain trade remains one of the most difficult industries to navigate. Working in such a turbulent industry naturally requires support, which is what Primetics are here to provide.

Why is grain management so complex?

Successful grain trading is complex as it relies on a number of unpredictable factors. One of these is the weather, which naturally plays a key role in the production of grain. As such, any fluctuations to average weather predictions have the potential to cause havoc in the grain industry if businesses aren’t adequately prepared.

But the weather isn’t the only factor. The volatility of the commercial grain industry was exemplified back in 2017 when some of the world’s biggest grain traders faced massive hits to their profits after South American farmers experienced slower sales than average.

Soren Schroder, the chief executive of Bunge, reflected on the crisis, stating that to support healthy grain trading, the industry is required to be ‘more responsive and manage capacity actively’. Schroder insisted that to succeed in the grain trading industry, companies must ‘work more closely with farmers and offer them new financing and risk management tools as well as logistics, so they can lock in a larger share of crop before harvest’.

Primetics software is designed to help you do exactly that. Our software supports all aspects of grain management, from grain tracking to grain inventory. At Primetics, we understand that grain management is more than simply producing grain; from seed origination to production and yield sizes to traceability, there is much for grain traders to consider.

How Primetics can help

Considerations for those in the industry today are vast and include everything from labelling requirements to traceability legislation. This is why, at every stage in grain production and trade, Primetics are here to offer user-friendly and flexible agribusiness software to manage the entire grain process.

Primetics provide comprehensive and effective crop recording and management to help you from field to fork. Our end to end crop management is vital for grain farmers, traders, and marketing organisations alike to succeed in the volatile world of grain.

No matter the size of your business, the powerful Primetics agribusiness software is designed to be highly configurable and scalable to support your business and grow with it.

Our software

Gold Grain software from Primetics enables you to optimise your management and streamline all operations from planning to shipping. It also allows you to provide traceability for all ingredients at first-stage processing and remanufacturing.

Designed using our years of experience in the agriculture sector, our software is able to help you navigate the grain industry with ease. Our Gold Grain trading software and management system supports successful grain basis trading to maximise marketing opportunities, price, movement, and payments.

The benefits

  • Manage risks
  • Obtain optimum prices
  • Ensure transparency for customers
  • Manage quality sampling and testing at large volumes
  • Analyse high-quality data to give grower customers valuable feedback
  • Achieve on-time delivery
  • Provide a full view of grain availability by grade and location
  • Realise maximum business efficiency
  • Reduce business risk and control costs
  • If you work in the grain industry and would like more information about the services that Primetics provide and how they could help you, then please do not hesitate to get in touch. To discuss your business needs with us and find out more, simply give us a call on +44 (0) 1257 279 811 or send an email to primetics@culturatech.com.

What Is Blockchain?

What Is Blockchain?

Welcome to the first blog in our blockchain series. In this series of blogs posts, Primetics General Manager Leigh Roberts talks about what blockchain is, how it could be used in the agriculture industry, and the challenges of implementation.


Blockchain is currently a hot topic. People from all different sectors are talking about it, heralding it as the future.

However, there is still quite a bit of confusion about what blockchain actually is. I’ve recently been learning lots about blockchain and how it could impact on the agriculture industry.

I decided to write a series of blogs about blockchain to explain what it is, how it is used, the possibilities it might bring for agriculture and its potential pitfalls.

So first things first: what is blockchain?

Put as simply as possible, blockchain technology refers to a list of records (‘blocks’) linked together using cryptography (making the ‘chain’). The records are stored in multiple locations at once and controlled by multiple parties, or ‘nodes’. This makes it very secure, because transactions or changes have to be approved by everyone in the network, and there are more people to spot anomalies in the network.

blockchain diagram

How is a blockchain structured?

As mentioned, a blockchain is made up of a series of records, referred to as ‘blocks’. A block is a chunk of data that is identified using cryptographic ‘hashes’.

A block contains three pieces of information:

  • The data being stored
  • The block’s unique identifying hash
  • The hash of the previous block

blockchain block

So let’s break that down

The data being stored can be any information, so will differ depending on the industry and application of the particular blockchain.

As the most famous use of blockchain is the cryptocurrency bitcoin, let’s use that as an example. In a bitcoin transaction, the data of a block will record data about bitcoin transactions that have been made (usually about 500 transactions are recorded in one block).

The block’s unique identifying hash is a unique combination of letters and numbers that identifies the block and includes a timestamp. It is generated using the hash of the previous block, in order to place it in the right place in the blockchain.

The hash of the previous block is also included in the block, again to show where the block occurs in the chain.

The creation of a block requires all of this information, plus the approval of a majority of members of the network.

Any edits to a block also require approval, so they don’t happen very often and are difficult to carry out – meaning that information stored in the blockchain cannot be easily accidentally duplicated or hacked.

How does blockchain work?

Now that you know the structure of blockchain, it is important to understand how it works. One of the key features of blockchain technology is that it is what is known as a distributed ledger. To put it simply, this means that it is a database which exists across several locations or is shared among multiple participants.

blockchain international node diagram

How is this different to other types of software?

Most businesses and companies use a database which is centralised and lives in one fixed location.

In blockchain, the blocks that make up the chain become part of a shared database which all involved parties have access to at the same time.

Those computers that have access to the chain and oversee all transactions are referred to as nodes or miners.

Every new data entry must be confirmed by a majority of nodes before it is encrypted with a unique hash.

The reason that maliciously editing the blockchain is so difficult is that must be approved by a majority. This makes it very secure, and is the biggest difference between blockchain and a traditional database.

Why is it becoming popular?

Lots of businesses and organisations are beginning to explore blockchain because it is very secure, reduces risk of errors, promotes transparency and cuts down on operational inefficiencies.

Could it be used in agriculture?

There is potential for blockchain to deployed in a range of different industries. In the agriculture industry, one potential application of the technology is for supply chain management. The increased transparency and efficiency of blockchain has the potential to further improve the traceability of produce and create accountability along the supply chain.

We’ll look into this more in the second blog of our blockchain series: How Could Agribusinesses Take Advantage of Blockchain?, along with other possible uses of blockchain in the agriculture industry.

For all its strengths, like many technologies, blockchain has significant flaws also. In the third and final blog of the blockchain series, The Blockchain Challenge for Software Suppliers, we will also touch on what I believe those to be.

Considering a New ERP System?

Considering a New ERP System?

agribusiness erp on tablet in field

You might well be thinking about adopting a new ERP system in your agribusiness, to boost and optimise efficiency and results. The advantages of using an ERP system are well documented, and there are lots of different ERP providers out there. However, each industry differs dramatically, so choosing a one-size-fits-all option is unlikely to bring you all the ERP benefits that you’re looking for.

Choosing a specialist provider, however, means you can benefit from their industry knowledge and expertise and end up with a system that is perfect for your business. In this post we outline the benefits of opting for an industry specialist ERP provider.

Specialist providers know your industry

A specialist ERP provider will know your industry inside out and be well-versed in developing software for the specific needs of the sector. Firstly, this will make the whole process smoother and quicker – there will probably be existing modules that fit the needs of your business, plus you cut out the time it would take to explain everything to a provider not familiar with the industry.

It also allows you to be certain that you will end up with a solution that is the right fit for your business and helps you become more efficient and profitable right from the outset.

Specialist providers will even be able to advise you on industry best practices and offer suggestions based on their wealth of experience.

Software can be customised to your business

It’s not just industries that differ: it’s companies too. And this is where the customization capabilities of specialist providers come in. Agile, flexible software design means that customisations can easily be made to accommodate individual business needs. Your company’s other systems can also be integrated so that you can share your data across all systems.

The benefits of ERP

If you currently don’t use an ERP system, then it is definitely worth investing, as it could bring a whole range of benefits for your agribusiness. For example, relying on older methods of data storage such as spreadsheets leaves your business open to errors and informational inconsistencies. In an ERP system, on the other hand, all of your data is centrally stored in one place. Information can also be added and updated automatically. All of this leads to more efficient processes and time and cost savings in your agribusiness.

So why not review your existing system and see how your business could benefit from a new ERP system from a specialist provider?

Primetics is a specialist ERP provider for the agriculture industry. We use agile methods to product unique, effective software solutions for grain traders, feed merchants, mills, seed, and malt businesses.

You can read more about our customisable ERP solutions for agribusiness below:

If you would like to discuss your business needs with us, then don’t hesitate to get in touch. Give us a call on +44 (0) 1257 279 811 or send us an email at primetics@culturatech.com.