A New Zealand developed smart app is making its Australian debut in SA vineyards, aimed at helping to manage land, staff and operations.
Onside was developed by NZ agritech start-up Onside and has about 35,000 registered users in its home market, across wine, fruit and cattle, among others.
By integrating check-in and check-out applications, team coordination, task pinpointing, time sheeting, incident logging, disease control and hazard identification in one smartphone app, Onside streamlines complex functions to help save time and money while securing lives and livelihoods.
Onside co-founder and chief executive officer Ryan Higgs said the idea came from his experience in managing rural properties and seeking a digital toolkit that could aid agribusiness efficiency.
"I experienced first-hand how difficult it was to keep track of who was on our farms, what they were doing, how to get in touch with them and whether they had all the information they required," he said.
"What started out as a simple check-in, visitor management and health and safety tool has since evolved into a comprehensive operations app for all rural sectors that cuts down on paperwork and provides real time crucial information on everything that is happening on the property.
"As the app evolved it became clear that our mission was to transform agri-efficiency- because an efficient primary production sector is the key to prosperity for all."
The platform is designed specifically for the agricultural industry and can be used in all rural sectors, including viticulture, horticulture, agriculture and contracting businesses servicing the rural sector.
"SA's diversity in agribusiness was what really attracted us to starting our Australian journey here - from grapes, almonds, citrus and other fruit through to cattle and live stock, we look forward to working with local producers and simplifying the complexity of agricultural operations," Mr Higgs said.
"Large scale vineyards are reaping the benefits of Onside, particularly at busy times of year such as harvest, when there are typically extra staff on the property.
"The app allows managers to ensure everyone is accounted for, and aware of any hazards. It also allows critical information to be available from the palm of your hand at any time."
Yalumba viticulturist and technical manager Brooke Howell has been using Onside for almost a year to help improve biosecurity efficiencies on the ground at the eight sites she manages in the Barossa and Eden valleys.
She said the app provided real-time tracking of everyone on-ground across all sites.
"It captures essential information to ensure the safety of our vines and visitors, particularly when it comes to the spread of Phylloxera, which is a major threat to our vines in the Barossa," she said.
"In the past we've had issues with not knowing who was onsite at any one time, which is a significant problem when you're trying to uphold strict bio-security protocols.
"Onside enables us to closely monitor who comes onto our vineyards, and where they've been, with a simple notification to my mobile phone.
"This has streamlined our biosecurity efficiencies to ensure there's no threat of contamination, which ultimately helps keep our crops safe."
The Onside app is adaptable and customisable, and has also been used to management COVID-19 plans on-site in NZ, as well as biosecurity.
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