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How Omniactive curbed losses and saved costs using a mobile app

Ershad Kaleebullah | April 29, 2013
If someone told you that the fortunes of one of India's largest nutraceutical companies rest on the tiny petals of marigold flowers, you'd probably rubbish their claim.


Now, agents can feed data into the system from their smartphones only if they stand within a 10 meter periphery of their farms. "In case an agent enters data into the application from any location apart from the farm they are in charge of, the system would flag up the information," says Ahmed. By doing this, Omnikan ensured transparency and made sure that agents visited the farm at least once a week.

But getting here wasn't easy. Ahmed faced resistance from agents as their work would be now more scrutinized. However, he managed to convince them otherwise.

As the mobile app was developed and tested in English, without any Unicode characters, the farmers needed to know the language to use the app. As a workaround, the company decided to use seven big, bold icons that could be used easily to identify what the application wanted to convey.

With the system in place, it was time for Omnikan to relish the benefits.

Reaping the Rewards

The Android app rained benefits for Omnikan. Accurate farm measurement using geo-tagging saved input costs. "We saved upto three percent of the total input costs because we figured that 90 acres of the 3,000 acres of land didn't belong to farmers." This amounted to a savings of about Rs 44 lakh in a season. Better planning accuracy in harvest dates resulted in plant utilization of more than 95 percent during the harvest period. Also, there is an increase in transparency and a faster information flow from the farm to the center of excellence and back to the farm.

Enthused by the results of the mobile implementation, Ahmed is now planning to introduce BYOD at Omnikan.

"In the future, we are looking at a BYOD solution because the application has matured and we have more control over it. Currently, our agents and farmers cannot use the issued phones for voice and hence have to carry two phones. We would provide them with approximately Rs 200 per month for data charges and take this forward," says Ahmed.


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