A PROVEN SWINE MANAGEMENT – FARMERS COOP SOCIETY CASE STUDY
A PROVEN SWINE MANAGEMENT – FARMERS COOP SOCIETY CASE STUDY
Summary: Before integrating EveryPig into their swine management portfolio, Proven Swine Management – Farmers Coop Society found it challenging to monitor, document, and intervene in health-related matters in a timely and comprehensive way. Implementing the app has significantly improved their ability to effectively manage their swine by enhancing efficiency, streamlining communication processes, and providing mechanisms for accountability. Here we describe in detail the specific ways EveryPig has benefitted Proven.
When Brady Goslinga, Production Manager at Proven Swine Management, was considering ways to improve Proven’s ability to manage large numbers of pigs across several barns in disparate locations, he knew EveryPig may be the answer. “I wanted to avoid the hassle of implementing something that didn’t really improve our performance, so I wasn’t going to commit to EveryPig until I was confident that it was going to improve our business,” says Goslinga. “After managing pigs for RC Family and seeing what EveryPig could do, I knew we needed to bring it to Proven.”
Saving time on paperwork, communication, and transportation
The nature of the EveryPig application reduces the time required for several aspects of management, but there have been a few parts of Proven’s workflow where the management team has accelerated the pace with which it completes certain tasks. These tasks range from the field to the office.
Out in the field, “yardage sheets” used to be completed manually. The hassle of filling out paperwork meant that yardage sheets were often left largely incomplete. “Some people in the field would take the time required to fill out all the information needed to meet compliance for potential audits,” Goslinga says, “But others would only fill in death loss information or sometimes not fill out the yardage sheets at all.” With the convenience of EveryPig, there is no need for paperwork. Instead, the relevant information can be easily uploaded into the app.
For Proven’s veterinarian, Dr. Logan Huisman, the most noticeable time savings comes from the way EveryPig has revolutionized communication with team members. “Before implementing EveryPig, each time I formulated a plan for how to intervene with a pig or a barn, I had to call the field man to tell him what the plan was,” says Huisman. “Afterwards, I had to call the caretaker, I had to call the pig owner, and I had to call Brady. Now, I can communicate with all these people at once through the app, which is a huge time save.”
With the app, Dr. Huisman can also gather more clinical information on the pigs and determine when an in-person trip to the barn is warranted. When a trip is not necessary, he can care for the pigs through telemedicine and avoid the time required to travel to barns, which may take the better part of an hour in each direction.
Improving performance by visualizing the field in real- time
A major challenge for Proven, as with other swine management organizations, has been adequately monitoring all the pigs under their purview. With their number of pigs and barns growing, it was difficult to keep track. EveryPig changed that and brought peace of mind to the management team.
According to Goslinga: “Our job is management, and it’s always been a concern in the back of my mind that something could get missed when we’re managing large numbers of pigs. For about a decade before EveryPig, I tried implementing different strategies to reduce our risk of missing something. Some of these approaches helped, but none of them compared to what EveryPig has done for us.”
Now, Dr. Huisman begins each day by using the EveryPig app to identify any clinical problems and plan his day accordingly. “I knew the app would save us time,” says Huisman, “but I didn’t realize how much it would open our eyes to every single site. I can now run through the app and see where issues are and delegate resources accordingly.” With the real-time data provided by EveryPig, Proven can efficiently assess clinical issues and target prevention strategies based on that information.
“We are a better management team because of this program. We react to things more rapidly and communicate faster,” Goslinga says. “While it’s hard to measure quantitatively the effect EveryPig has had on pig performance, it is clear to us that we are more attentive now than ever before thanks to the application.” According to Huisman, there is a lot of buy-in within Proven because people know that with EveryPig, they can get the help and support they need in a timely fashion.
Enhancing conveniences and time management
EveryPig offers Proven certain conveniences that are also new for organization. Record keeping for instance is now kept in one place. For example, MetaFarms, a software provider many industry businesses use for closeouts and other historical reports, syncs with EveryPig, So instead of having to manually report death loss by group into the MetaFarms system, that tracking occurs automatically at regular intervals.
Having everything in one place is also convenient for everyday workflow. “I used to receive texts from people in the field, which could interrupt my current work,” says Dr. Huisman. “Now, though, they can upload pictures and other information into the app while it’s on their mind, and I can look and act on that information at the time that makes the most sense for me rather than bounce around between different people and activities in an unorganized way.”
Providing evidence for decision making and keeping people accountable
As EveryPig streamlines Proven’s work processes and maintains information in one location, it also enables people at Proven to track all their activities over time. “One of the benefits of EveryPig that I didn’t anticipate was how many times we would use the app to look back at records and comments to justify certain decisions or figure out some details of the health trajectory of certain pigs,” says Goslinga. “Now if a pig owner has a question about what has been done, we have a way to show them exactly how we managed the pigs.”
Before, it was harder for Proven to prove that they had made certain recommendations to caretakers that may not have been followed. Now the process is completely transparent, which not only provides helpful data but also works to keep everyone accountable and do their jobs.
Enabling better management
While there are several ways that EveryPig has improved operations for Proven, the bottom line is that it makes them better at their core function: swine management. “When Brady told us we were going to implement EveryPig, I was resistant at first because I didn’t see a major problem with our processes and wasn’t sure if was worth taking the risk of disrupting what seemed to be working,” says Dr. Huisman. “Now, I couldn’t be happier that we have EveryPig. It has made such a difference in our ability to manage.”