The agricultural sector may seem like something that will remain resistant to change, but leading organisations are now implementing digital farming inspections to take the next step. In an era where the room for error and competitive advantages are slimmer than ever, digital farming inspections provide a way to work with data to move forward.
By harnessing the power of modern farming solutions, organisations and businesses in the sector can transform the way they operate, as well as doing as much as they can before mother nature decides fortunes. Digital farming inspections is a broad field which can mean different things for different stakeholders. It may be that you are a large multinational farming corporation that relies on industry standards and strict inspections to be applied over vast fields and facilities. It could however also be the case that you are a smaller organisation working with Local community farming, trying to use technology to make a difference. Whatever your inspection, audit, compliance, or quality assurance needs; the future of farming management lies in digital farming inspection.
Farming inspection can today take advantage of the latest mobile technology in the form of smartphones or tablets paired with an application. By utilising a digital device to carry out checks or inspections, there are numerous benefits over a pen and paper checklist method. Often the inspections needed at a farming facility may involve assets, methods or an audit spanning a large area. As such, there are clear benefits when your inspection solution has built in asset lifecycle tracking; you have categorised and standardised response checklist layouts; and handy GPS timestamps of every check. The actual inspection process itself is also improved by the features of a camera on the mobile device, which can be used to take pictures of an asset, scan barcodes/RFID etc. The device touchscreen input can also be used to annotate any images or make drawings for any additional input. Many inspection solutions allow speech-to-text data input, or sync with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tags, both which can be useful when inspecting a large combine harvester, or a complex farming method setup.
If you operate a farm or agricultural facility, you may be required to have a categorised asset management system so that you can easily access historical performance date or supply an audit trail. With digital farming inspection solutions, such a backend access is very common. Not only will all the inspection data feed into the portal, but all inspections can be categorised by asset, by inspection type or by compliance needs. This means it becomes much easier to see what has and hasn’t been completed, which with the help of work order scheduling; dramatically simplifies the management of all your inspection needs. When a tractor fails a safety check, you can quickly pull all the historical data of the asset, calculate return on investment, see maintenance and repair records, or compare it with other tractors you may have. Alongside being able to see what compliance checks have or have not been passed, the tractors inspection history will be able to show the GPS timestamps, photo evidence and all inspection notes. When considering that these assets and operations being inspected are often very large and crucial to success, it can be hugely beneficial to have all your information easily accessible in one place. This also gives the opportunity for management to schedule in downtime for the asset, assign inspections to different staff or set up automatically suggested corrective actions for the asset during an inspection. If something fails during the inspection of the tractor, the field officer will have an immediate notification of what to do to ensure maximum safety, or minimum damage. This can be set up as an alert system which then notifies necessary personnel around the farm like upcoming users of the tractor, or repair teams for quick attention of the issue.