Competitive Advantage, Delivered by Digital
As New Zealand's largest independent dairy processor and second-largest global exporter of whole milk powder, Open Country Dairy recognised an opportunity to improve their groundbreaking Fixed Milk Price process for their farmer suppliers and customers.
The Fixed Milk Price (FMP) platform that would provide FMP offers to farmers quickly, in response to changes in the highly dynamic commodities market, also to be delivered digitally.
The Farmer Offer feature enabled farmers to select a certain price for a portion of their milk supply, see the live and upcoming FMP offers available, be notified by email and push notification when new FMP offers are published.
The Customer Offer feature allowed customers to intuitively create offers and provide a supply opportunity for farmer suppliers to consider while still allowing control for internal admin to manage and process FMP offers.
The customisable Market Insight dashboard helped guide farmer decision-making about participation in Fixed Milk Price offers.
Farmer suppliers can keep track of their past production data and forecast version history to make informed forecasts.
Farmers can see a summary of current and draft or pending FMP commitments, save offer applications as drafts and return to complete them before the close date and view details of completed offers.
The new platform is now a significant point of difference with competitors and has been used to help win new dairy farmers over to Open Country
The first offer was conceived, executed and fully subscribed in just five business days, where previously it would take between six to eight weeks requiring significant internal resources to implement.
Comprehensive real-time reporting allowed the Open Country Dairy finance team to help manage risk on the overall milk pool and help inform decisions regarding future offers and allow tight controls on the different user access rights.
The FMP platform supported cross-device journeys, allowing farmers to apply in minutes, on their mobile or any other device resulting in higher rates of offers being subscribed.
Farmers can now more efficiently manage their farms, as the FMP platform offers more certainty for their business in an extremely volatile market
“Dairy farming has multiple risks, and whilst I can’t control problems like the drought we had last summer, at least now I can fix a price for a portion of my milk.” - Mark Smith from Smith Dairy Farms.
“Absolutely the project has delivered value and to my knowledge, is the first of its kind in New Zealand.”
Tommy Liu | General Manager Commercial & IS, Open Country
Alongside product research on direct and related platforms in the market, we conducted in-person user research with farmers across New Zealand as well as with the Milk Supply Team, Sales Team, Finance Team, and other internal key stakeholders.
Facilitated a 5-Day Co-Design Sprint, bringing farmer suppliers together with subject matter experts and critical decision-makers. On Day 4, a working prototype was designed and built, including a dashboard, farmer offers, customer offers, market insights, and other comprehensive, functional tooling.
Tested with farmers on the fifth day of the 5-Day Co-Design Sprint to validate assumptions and help inform refinements.
The summary and analysis of the user testing were used to guide priorities for our product backlog and plan delivery, using the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe).
Set up a DesignOps pipeline, Digital Style Guide and produced high-fidelity designs
Re-platformed the Integration Layer to provide API access to internal ERP and CRM systems.
Delivered a frontend custom solution consisting of an Angular Single Page Application (SPA) designed to work on any mobile, tablet or desktop device. It can also be accessed from our existing iOS and Android Farmer App via Single Sign-On (SSO).
Built the Integration Layer as a custom Web API (REST/JSON) written in C#. The entire platform is hosted on Microsoft Azure allowing for scalability at peak times, which was essential given the transactional and event nature of the planned usage. The platform integrates with our Microsoft Dynamics CRM instance and our MadCap ERP system.
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