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Recently, eSolutions was recognized with Monsanto's Sustainable Yield Pledge Award for Operational Excellence. This global award recognizes people, projects and programs that exemplify Monsanto's corporate commitment to help farmers increase yield, decrease resource use and improve lives. Watch the awards video and learn more about this important commitment.

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Monsanto eConnectivity Helps CPS Spend Less Time Tracking Seed, More Time with Customers

Seed is a complicated business. Varieties and products change every year. Add in naming conventions, lot numbers, and pricing zones, and the complexity only deepens. That’s according to Richard Penhale, Director of Marketing & Operations Support for Crop Production Services, an agricultural retailer offering custom blended fertilizer, seed, custom application, field scouting and precision agriculture to farmer across the U.S. Penhale says Monsanto eConnectivity is helping CPS make a complicated business easier to manage and provide its customers with the right product at the right time.

"Given the multitude of variables in managing a seed business, reaching the required standards of accuracy is becoming increasingly difficult," Penhale says. "Monsanto eConnectivity has allowed us to be more efficient and more accurate at our 580 retail seed locations across the U.S. This enables our retailers to spend more time focusing on customer needs."

Through connection to CPS’ retail system, Monsanto was able to electronically deliver Asgrow® soybeans and DEKALB® corn ship notice and purchase order (PO) confirmation documents and made possible significant time savings for this leading provider of seed and cropping inputs. Specifically, Monsanto eConnectivity enabled CPS’ system to automatically create a PO, send it back to the dealer and Monsanto, enabling shipments without either party manually creating a document, or entering data. In the past, it could take several minutes for each transaction and several hours throughout the selling season to complete this process, which is now instantaneous. This has significantly improved operational efficiency by reducing error-prone, manual re-keying processes through the electronic transmission of product, quantity, lot number and purchase order information.

"We move a lot of seed," says Kathy Judy, CPS Administrative Coordinator in Hoopeston, Ill. "In the past, we’d get three pages of delivery tickets that used to take us 20 minutes to enter and now only two minutes. Auto loading of lot numbers, no more calls that we incorrectly entered information into our system and no re-work to fix errors. This new system is a blessing."

Penhale adds that during its initial phase, 95 percent of transactions flowed without erroring out. "That is very successful given that it was a startup and the errors we had revolved around initial configuration," he says. "My expectation would be going forward that our accuracy rate only gets better. At the end of the day, our mission is to meet the total acre requirements of our growers. Monsanto eConnectivity allows us to better focus on meeting those needs."


SSI’s Agvance Software is Working with AgGateway, Monsanto to Help Seed Dealers Simplify, Grow Their Business

Farmers today can choose from among hundreds of seed companies, hundreds of brands, and thousands of hybrids and varieties. These choices include seeds with individual and stacked biotech traits, traits developed through traditional breeding, and conventional seeds.

"The dramatic increase in the availability of seed traits has delivered significant value to farmers and seed dealers, but it has made managing a seed business increasingly complex," says Dave Craft, Vice President of Marketing for SSI, developers of Agvance, an integrated software package designed specifically for seed, crop protection and fertilizer retailers. "This complexity is compounded by supply constraints and compliance requirements that are unique to the seed industry."

Craft adds that seed sales are particularly important because they are a driver for other cropping inputs. "Business solutions that save time and increase inventory and billing accuracy empower seed dealers to grow their business through investing more time in customer relationships," he says.

SSI provides turnkey solutions for all types of agribusiness companies. Some of these clients include large regional cooperatives or companies with a national retail and distribution presence. SSI has worked with a number of seed dealers to provide software solutions utilizing Monsanto eConnectivity.

"We have worked with Monsanto and seed dealers through AgGateway to use bar code technology and software solutions to increase inventory and billing accuracy and help make sure growers get the hybrids and varieties they’re looking for when they need them most," Craft says. "AgGateway provides seed dealers with a voice in the development of industry standards. One example is the Seed Connectivity II project, which will expand AgGateway standards and guidelines to include support for seed booking and ordering and enable seed dealers to further enhance their business processes."

Craft reports that through Monsanto eConnectivity and Agvance, seed dealers are able to access critical business information in real time, utilize a single point of data submission, save time by reducing the need for manual inventory data entry and increase accuracy through eliminating data entry keying errors.

"The bottom line is increased accuracy and more time for seed dealers to help their customers be more successful," Craft says.


Monsanto eConnectivity Helps GROWMARK Expand its Seed Business and Improve its Profitability

Faster processing of seed orders, more accurate order placement and reduced man hours are benefits GROWMARK has seen from working with AgGateway and Monsanto on seed connectivity. GROWMARK serves farmers in 23 states and Ontario, Canada, and has been a member of AgGateway since 2005.

"Creating an efficient flow of information across our entire supply chain and using that information to improve the services we offer our customers is a key corporate strategy," says Tim Piper, executive director of information technology and chief information officer for GROWMARK.

The electronic connectivity established with Monsanto is helping GROWMARK simplify its member cooperatives' seed business by enabling them to manage their seed-related business processes with Monsanto directly through its member's local point of sale system.

"Once they have fully implemented electronic connectivity, our member retail locations will no longer be required to enter orders through MyMonsanto.com and then re-enter those orders into their local system," Piper adds. "Other transactions such as the Electronic Delivery Notification will enable them to bring received product into inventory without manual data entry from the bill of lading. When fully implemented, each of our approximately 450 locations will have the opportunity to use these services. We believe they will enable our member retail locations to profitably expand their seed business by helping them keep their overhead costs under better control as they sell more seed."