Henrik Thomsen, Janine Wasylenchuk, and Dennis Reyes of Canmark Family Farming Ltd., a 5,800-sow farm based out of Manitoba Canada, reveal how using Cloudfarms is helping them overcome some of the challenges of today’s pig production. Cloudfarms is a fully cloud-based swine management system developed to manage and analyze production data for operations of any size through their web and mobile applications.
Labor time savings
As with many sow farms, Canmark Family Farms Ltd. is rarely fully staffed, which means they must find ways to do more with less. Canmark owner Henrik Thomsen says that the Cloudfarms mobile app has helped them do just that. “We save 15 hours in total per week both out in the barn and in the office by using the Cloudfarms mobile app,” barn manager Reyes said with a big smile on his face. Employees use the mobile app to enter the data easily and reliably during breeding or checking farrowings as opposed to writing down the information on their pocket paper. However, the biggest time savings they see are in the office. Since the data is entered directly through the app, they have eliminated the need to decipher and enter handwritten data later. This one-step process has allowed them to make their data collection faster and much less error prone.
Easy to adopt
In addition to saving time, they report that using the mobile app is easy for employees to learn and utilize, which is important when training new employees. Reyes voiced “within 2-3 days of hire, new employees are able to enter data through the app”. In addition to the ease of using the mobile app, Canmark has found that employees find it more enjoyable to use a tablet or phone. “A piece of paper and a pen are not fun anymore,” Henrik remarked. They also like that the mobile app is customizable per user; you can give employees access only to the areas of the app they need which can help newly hired staff not feel overwhelmed.
Seeing data in real-time
Thomsen admits that in his role as owner he does not have much time to get out into the barn to work with the mobile app. The greatest benefit for him is being able to see his production data in real-time. “For me sitting in the office, it really helped me understand our production by getting the data instantly,” Thomsen stated. For Canmark, gone are the days of looking at data in reports that is a week old, they can see what is happening in the barns immediately. “What I like is that I can get data instantly. We really enjoy that they enter things in the barn, and we can see that on the TV [monitor] in the office. We can see how the night shift did. Did they get the pigs out alive with not too many stillborn?” relayed Thomsen. On Fridays they can review the data for the week, finalize their priority areas and then use that for their Monday morning staff meetings.
Peace of mind
Cloudfarms does not require producers to waste their energy on software installations and server maintenance. Thomsen said “It is really nice that it’s cloud-based. I know from previous experience if the computer dies with all the stuff on it and it has not been backed up for some time, it can be a lot of leg work to get it going again and updated.” Finally, the data can also be viewed by management from any location. Reyes reports that the app helps him see what is going on in the barn, whether outside the barn or at home. He concluded “I can provide assistance to staff, wherever I am, because I have access to everything just at my fingertips, on my phone.”
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