Do your research and make the right decision when buying agritech. Here is our suggestion on key questions you should ask.
Producers are now faced with a burgeoning field of agritech providers offering a vast array of solutions to choose from and many compelling use cases.
To find the solution that’s right for your needs, producers should approach buying agritech in the same way as buying any piece of equipment or infrastructure, or livestock and undertake due diligence.
When choosing an agritech provider, make sure to ask these key questions:
- How many devices have they deployed, and do they have any operating in your region?
- Ask to talk to a customer who is already using the technology you’re considering.
- When considering the actual agritech, check with the provider to see if it is a complete solution, or just a piece of hardware that will require other elements to actually work and fulfil its purpose.
- Can the device work with a computer as soon as it’s connected – known in the tech industry as ‘plug and play’ – or is a technician required to visit on-farm to install the agritech? If a technician is required, this can involve additional hidden set up costs
- Is there a set-up fee involved, and will there be ongoing costs and maintenance?
- Is after-sales support available if needed and where are they located?
Further to these questions, check if the agritech is fit for purpose. For example, is a device robust enough to withstand being installed out in the elements in a paddock with livestock? Or if you’re wanting to capture data in real-time, does the technology have the ability to fulfil this requirement?
This leads to another critical consideration – the reliability of connectivity. As many producers are acutely aware, connectivity can be a challenge in rural areas where it is unreliable, slow or unavailable.
If you want a device to constantly be collecting data, then reliable, connection is obviously vital – ask the provider whether satellite options are available. If the product has been produced with rural connectivity restraints in mind, they will offer satellite which works all across Australia.
By asking some key questions, your investment in agritech will enable your business to innovate and become more productive, sustainable and ultimately, profitable.