"It really has been a success - It will bring efficiencies to our system and to the farmers’ systems and that really was the key." Pat Maher
When global premium lamb supplier, Ovation New Zealand, needed a major overhaul of its ‘stock-for-slaughter’ booking system, it was looking for reliability and innovation from its digital agency. The Cohorts supplied both.
Ovation New Zealand supplies premium quality lamb to all corners of the world. With around 650 core suppliers, three slaughter plants, and a commitment to supply clients 52 weeks of the year, efficiency and efficacy in logistics and business processes are an absolute must.
So when the time came to overhaul their suppliers’ online booking service, the team at Ovation had to be certain their digital agency was second to none. They were looking not only for reliability, but also for innovation. The Cohorts had what they needed.
Ovation commercial manager Pat Maher says, “The Cohorts had a really good understanding of what we wanted and what would work, but they also brought innovation and new ideas to the table.’
Known as The Notebook, the online booking system allows suppliers to book their stock for slaughter at one of Ovation’s three plants. The original Notebook was a desktop-only system and was limited by the technology of the time.
By 2016, not only had technology improved, but the majority of farmers were carrying smartphones out on the farm. Ovation saw the opportunity to redevelop the system, improving its speed, security and functionality, and making it available on mobile.
“Functionality was the real drawback of the previous system,” says Pat. “We needed a service which would provide more feedback to farmers and more timely information.”
The Cohorts worked with app developers Roam on the eight-month project, designing an app which allows farmers to book their stock for slaughter directly from the yards. The company used an Amazon Web Service (AWS) server setup to ensure cost effectiveness and scalability for increasing demand.
The new system has allowed Ovation to manage bookings more efficiently between its three slaughter sites, particularly in peak season.
“It’s also producing greater efficiencies in the office at Ovation and greater efficiencies and information for suppliers,” says Pat. “If farmers have the information at their fingertips then there’s less reliance on us to provide that for them.
“One of the real benefits of the app is the data push function, which means that even if the mobile is out of service range when the farmer enters the information, it immediately updates as soon as they get back into phone range.”
“It really has been a success,” Pat concludes. “It will bring efficiencies to our system and to the farmers’ systems and that really was the key.”