Potato Inventory & Distribution Simplified
Farmsoft is a Potato Inventory Distribution Management System, which simplifies the tracking of potato from field to chip. Farmsoft uses the season’s contracts between distributor and buyer and distributor and the various growers to estimate payments on loads and validate payments on loads. It automates the import of quality metrics provided by the buyer upon receipt of each load and tracks inventory in each storage bin.
We offer a cost effective and integrated way of tracking your potato inventory, whether in the field or potato houses, managing contracts with buyers and processors, tracking what potato inventory has shipped, how it was shipped, where it was shipped, quality metrics associated with each load, payments received from the buyer / processor, and payments made to growers, shipping or washing companies.
Stop wasting time with complex spreadsheets or pen and paper processes.
Farmsoft can run on the your local computer network or in the cloud for your potato inventory control:
Print Payment Reports
Export Payment Reports to CSV
Configurable Detailed Reports
Grower Bin Report
The Potato Cartel – Cartels and the supply chain
written by David Weaver May 20, 2013
While driving home from work last week I heard a news report on the radio stating the existence of a “Kartoffel Kartell” here in Germany. Given that this translates to “potato cartel”, at first I thought maybe it was a joke. Coming from California, the major cartels that typically make the headlines are the drug cartels out of Mexico, so one could understand my initial skepticism regarding the credibility of this story. However upon further research, it turns out that potato alliances really do exist and it is no small business.
Simply put, a cartel is a formal agreement amongst competing firms. This agreement can come in the form of price fixing, fixed output levels, customer allocation and the like. On the surface this may seem harmless, but such private arrangements leave participants subject to legal liability under competition laws found in the majority of nations worldwide.
The case at hand provides evidence that the 10+ companies involved in the German potato cartel have generated an estimated 100 to 500 million Euro due to the special arrangements and price fixing amongst themselves. These cartel members have over the last 10 years ensured that German potato consumers have been paying too much for their potatoes over the last ten years. Additionally potato farmers have paid dearly as a result of this scandal as evidence points to seed potatoes also being overpriced. Germany’s competition authority has opened an investigation into the issue. The potato cartel is however not constrained by the German borders as a similar issue appeared in the US just last month which brings a nationwide potato cartel referred to as “the OPEC of potatoes” to light.
As demonstrated above, cartels pose a negative threat to many innocent people and organizations. Supply chains are not immune to cartel activity. In fact, the opposite is true. The profits generated by these cartels come at the expense of nearly everyone along the supply chain. It is therefore important that businesses safeguard their supply chains against cartel activity.
While conducting my research for this blog post, I came across a document from the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission which provides some general tips on avoiding cartels and safeguarding the supply chain. One example from the document includes keeping a diverse range of suppliers and remaining alert to the competitive situation in the market. Furthermore, when searching for new suppliers it is important to conduct proper research and obtain quotes from several companies. As potential suppliers become more transparent thanks to tools such as Sourcemap, the ability for businesses to avoid cartels during the supplier selection process can be enhanced.
Cartels represent yet another threat to the smooth operation of supply chains. What tips do you have for safeguarding the supply chain against cartels?
A vertically integrated potato inventory snack food company sources potatoes from multiple growers spread across different growing regions contracted before the growing season for
their potato-based products.
Due to a severe and lengthy shortage of potatoes in the European market along with a spike in consumer demand, the potato inventory and availability of developed
supply could not support the production requirements.
The company was in need of sourcing potatoes from their growers before the growing season was completed, but did not know how to choose which growers and plots should be prioritized for early harvest to minimize the negative effect on both yield and quality. Harvesting plots that could have continued to increase in yield and quality instead of those that had reached, or were close to reaching, their prime would result in a direct decrease in production.
Farmsoft supplied the company with their AI-powered, plot-level yield and quality Prediction Simulator to explore and compare different “what-if” harvest timing scenarios.
In real-time, the Farmsoft Prediction Simulator enabled the customer to compare the effects of varying harvest timings on the production line outcome. This simulation accounted for both optimization of required supply and inventory, as well as cost of production with fluctuating quality metric levels.
Because the cost of production is strongly influenced by dry matter content in the potatoes, the customer was interested in harvesting the plots that had not only reached their optimum yield, but also their ideal dry matter levels to minimize operational and production costs.
Leveraging the Farmsoft Prediction Simulator, the customer was able to identify plots that were predicted to be of both optimum yield and dry matter content, and prioritized their supply with those plots being supplied to the factory first.
Plots that initially were not of optimum yield and quality were harvested weeks later, and by that point they had reached the necessary growth maturity to be harvested as usual.
Had the snack food company not supplied their production line with the optimum Farmsoft recommended simulation, their production costs for those plots would have been 7% more, yield would have been 12% less (28t/ha to 25t/ha), and there would be an increase of 5% waste due to grade b potatoes.