DECEMBER 2018 SEEDWORLD.COM / 63 IN THE WORLD where we have an end- less array of gadgets and gizmos at our fingertips, making communication and data analysis easier than ever, paper is a sign of inefficiency. Think about your paper trail as it relates to treating seed. A customer orders a batch of seed to be treated, which is typi- cally initiated through accounting proce- dures. That order then must be transferred to the seed treatment facility/operator. Once complete, it must be passed back to accounting for billing. Then there’s the inventory component. That’s a lot of paper -- and probably a lot of manual and/ or double-entry of data. Without think- ing about it, you might not consider how much time is spent tracking, reporting and sharing information as it relates to a seed treatment order. That’s where application programming interface (API) comes in. This is the next step in seed treatment and seed delivery systems, and it’s a huge gain when it comes to organizational efficiency. Basically, it’s the ability to take a data set and automati- cally plug it in across multiple departments. The best part: the equipment does the work. Here’s how it works: seed treatment orders are pushed out to treatment facili- ties. Simultaneously, recipes are pushed down to treatment facilities from an inhouse team or third party, allowing oper- ators to select the proper recipe that cor- responds with an order, without having to manually enter the data. During the actual treatment process, inventory of liquids and seed is automatically tracked, and alerts can be set for thresholds indicating low Throw Out the Seed Treatment Paper Trail JASON KAEB KSI CONVEYORS DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT @jasonkaeb_ksi • • levels. Finally, when the order is complete, that inventory tracking data is automati- cally pushed back to the billing software for invoicing, noting the amounts of seed delivered and liquid delivered. It’s all about improving efficiency and accuracy! Remember: Data alone is not valuable, it’s what you do with the data that is valu- able. This next-step with seed treatment systems will ensure that the data doesn’t get lost on paper and that it makes it into the hands of decision-makers. WHETHER YOU’VE DECIDED it’s time to update your seed storage and handling equipment, or build a brand- new seed site for your business, knowing where to start can seem daunting. However, your vision is where it all begins. Brainstorming ideas for your seed site will help you check off the important things on your list while allowing you to consider the extras you could add to the site if and when you have the budget and means. Some of your ideas will be driven by need and some by your vision. For example, even at this early stage, some of your current needs should be considered: * What product are you going to be handling? * What capacity do you require? * Where is the location of the site? * Do you have existing equipment or is this to be a greenfield site with new equipment? Address these factors, but also give yourself room to grow. If you’re adding new buildings and storage bins to your site and you think you may be adding more in four or five years, you must have enough area at your location to expand, as well as the capabilities to expand (i.e. equipment that can handle being upgraded and extended). It’s a good idea to have that longer-term vision, so you have enough room to expand as your business grows. Eventually you’ll base the design of your site on your concept, and this time you’ve spent brainstorming. I have a few things for you to keep in mind while you’re visualizing your site: 1) What type of equipment do you want to use? 2) What is the capacity you’d like to achieve? 3) What is the flow coming in and out of the yard bringing seed in and getting seed out to customers? Order your yard so that the flow in and out is easy and efficient for you and your customers to do business. Storage and handling equipment specialists can assist you with this impor- tant conceptualization stage. Meridian Manufacturing takes its customers through the design process and to the manufacturing stage. From concept to completion — it all starts with your idea. Don’t Underestimate the Value of Brainstorming GERALD UNRAU MERIDIAN MANUFACTURING PRODUCT MANAGER FOR SEED SITES AND CONVEYORS •