Stop Buying Things in Pieces
If you always buy ‘bits’ of systems, you’ll end up with a pile of jigsaw pieces that don’t form any complete picture.
You don’t go out on a Friday night to buy a steak and chips with a pint of beer, each from a different pub, and then eat it on a plate from the fourth pub!
So why do most people want to buy and piece together technology systems themselves? I suppose we’re used to it with cars – buying the bullbar, the wheels, the tray, and then the dog box we like best. But we’re used to dealing with cars, it’s second nature.
When it comes to running a data-driven sheep farm, for a lot of farmers, this concept is something entirely new. But it’s so important to buy in ‘whole pieces’ wherever possible, and in systems that produce results and have end-to-end hardware, software and support, too.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to buy the Rolls Royce top end $80k technology system with all the bells and whistles. You can buy in a stepped manner, but making sure that each step is a complete system in and of itself for the needs you have now, whilst also enabling expansion later on. Don’t buy a teflon box that nothing else can stick to!
This is why we have different complete systems for whether you are a stud, commercial or feedlot producer. Whether you haven’t started using electronic tag technology yet, or you’ve been using them for 10 years, we have systems to suit your specific needs and journey.
For example, I was speaking with a Sheep farmer last week who was unsure if the Drafter was right for them, and wanted to wait for 3 years so they could afford it then (and was going to hold off on purchasing anything). I agreed that it wasn’t right for them, but NOT starting with individual animal management now was not the right move, either.
The lower-priced fleece weighing bundle was the right first action for this farmer. With the potential to unlock an extra $17k per drop per year that drop is alive, it goes a long way to affording the drafter later on.
With the fact that they had to work off farm just to afford their current expenses, was it really going to be possible to put money aside for ‘when I’ve had time to think about it’? Probably not, is the sad reality.
I also speak with farmers regularly who decide to buy load bars from one place, scalehead from another, software from another, crate from another, and then hope they’ll employ someone or learn enough as they go to make it all work together.
Is it possible? Yes.
Is it time consuming? Yes.
Does it make downtime a lot harder to overcome? Yes.
Is it the right move for some? Yes.
Is it the right move for most? No.
Why is it NOT the right move in MOST cases?
Farmers are always short on time. Money comes and goes but time is always short.
Labour efficiency is one of your biggest drivers of both profit and happiness. After all, most of you are farmers for the lifestyle, right? How often do you ask yourself, or your partner asks, “When is this lifestyle actually going to happen”?
Why are you working your arse off? Capital investment is something to take with caution, but it is not something to be scared of. At worst, you may lose 20% of the investment on resale. At best, it could completely revolutionise your way of farming and give you control and efficiency like never before.
Last time I checked, good labour is still getting harder to find, and I haven’t met anyone in the last 5 years who is optimistic about worker availability increasing in the coming years.
This means you HAVE to get set up to drive your own labour efficiency,
Have the systems in place so good labour WANTS to work at your farm (and not become a ‘second owner with no reward’).
I look at it from a labour vs technology perspective. Any outcome produced has two structural inputs to make it happen; an interplay of labour and technology. Capital investment moves you to more technology and more labour efficiency, saving you time in the process.
Buying the right system that works correctly for what you need to do, and is the correct tool for the job, determines how easy that outcome is produced.
Can you ride a bicycle to Sydney? Yes, BUT, it will require a hell of a lot more time and grunt to get there when compared to a motorbike! But, a motorbike is a bigger investment.
You need to decide where you want to sit on the labour-to-technology slider now, and know how that system improves over time to move you toward more efficiency.
Buying integrated systems that work together may cost a little more, but they save time which ultimately ends up costing you less and makes the process a hell of a lot smoother in the meantime.
Do you want to buy a system that saps time every time you use it? It’s supposed to be labour saving, isn’t it?
You’re going to be busy no matter what, so what do you want to be busy doing? Do you want to spend time being a farmer or becoming a technology guru? Do you want to spend time making confident, easy decisions or stuck in excel spreadsheets and session files all day?
If I had to guess I’d say you’d choose to be a farmer that doesn’t need to guess at decisions, and makes more money because of it.
And better yet, buying technology that expands and grows with you over time allows an ever-increasing outcome to be achieved and you don’t get held back by it.
Having a seamless, stepwise technology journey is what we are here to do at BreedELITE. If you want to stop buying pieces and start buying solutions, and get easier decisions with less labour, then we may be the right fit for you.
Let’s jump on the phone to find out – please give me a call any time on (08) 8382 4565.