Grain origination managers are challenged with making informed business decisions, even when detailed physical grain inventory information is not readily available, accurate or timely. Grain facilities are subject to not maximizing or even losing margins when they cannot easily determine the quantity, quality and availability of commodities in a timely basis in order to fulfill contract obligations.
This information has traditionally been managed with manually manipulated processes such as bin boards, spreadsheets and accounting reports that all reside at the local site level.Forward-thinking operations are investing in software solutions that combine both transactional and measurable data in a real-time environment that will assist in making business decisions using this detailed data.
Here are some benefits gained by using automated binning software:
■ Site managers are relieved of posting ticket information to spreadsheets, marker boards or pulling back office grain reports since scale tickets automatically post to an electronic bin board. They also can make better binning decisions when inventory information is quickly and easily accessible as it is received. This information allows site managers to produce more profitable blends with reduced variability.
■ Inventory quality managers can better track grain quality, quantity and traceability in the elevator while producing commodity traceability information from the inbound ticket or outbound ticket through the elevator.
■ Merchandisers can quickly evaluate easy-to-read, detailed inventory quantity and quality information in any combination of bins and locations to help them choose the best delivery options.
■ Regional managers are able to view and plan the next steps with site managers while jointly viewing online bin boards and their histories.
■ Merchandisers, operations and logistics managers can anticipate and plan current and future storage space needs leading to smart inventory movement.
■ Office and operations managers are better able to verify handling and drying shrink information with grade factor differences that assist in determining monthly adjustments to position.
Automated bin board software is the future of binning, grain inventory management and profitable deliveries that meet ever-changing contract requirements. ■
Allen Smith is a senior product manager for the binSight™ automated bin management system with Greenstone Systems, a Cultura Technologies company. He has spent 25 years working in various levels of management in grain operations in Central Kansas before moving into software solutions.