Becky Newell, founder, and president of Levridge, an agricultural software company, joined the Agweek Podcast to talk about solutions for ag business software needs. Listen to the podcast above or read the Q & A below!
Q: Tell Us About Levridge
Levridge is a company made up of technology experts and Ag business analysts dedicated to building modern, user-friendly business software solutions for the agricultural industry. We are made up of business analysts from the industry and developers and technology experts, many of whom previously worked at Microsoft or have built other Ag solutions. We’ve been able to assemble a great technical team with specific industry expertise.
Q: Who is Levridge built for? What types of companies will find the greatest value in this business technology?
At this time Leviridge is focused on Ag retailers, cooperatives, and commodity/grain processors. The software is built on top of Microsoft’s leading platform, so if you already use Microsoft business products this will have a familiar feel. Microsoft does a ton of research and development on its applications, so this is taking advantage of the most current and modern architecture.
Q: Can you give us a couple of examples of how businesses use the software that you’re building?
There are many roles within a business that would benefit, here are a few:
• Agronomists – can take advantage of field planning history, proposals, sales agreements, all of this goes into back-end accounting and you no longer have to send an email or make a phone call and transcribe information between people and systems.
• Bookkeeper – matching contracts with pre-pay is a manual process, a person can spend days or weeks doing this, and its complicated to make changes. Levridge has one-button to make changes to invoices (30 seconds vs. hours of work)
• CFO – a dashboard comes native with the ERP part of the solution to make it easy to visualize financial information, CFOs and other financial roles can look at refreshed dashboards each day or multiple times a day, credit management is a sensitive topic at a retailer. This is presented right in the accounting or ERP system and you on’t have to dig for information. It’s easy to create your own queries and personalize to what you actually care about.
Q: What impact will this have on Ag businesses to meet tomorrow’s needs?
- Modern platform
- Integrate with other technologies
- Accessibility to vital data like inventory, historical customer information
- Customer service, keeping growers and members top of mind
Having a solution built on a modern platform (like Microsoft Dynamics ) is undervalued. Using a modern platform like this provides continuous updates, so your software is always current. With the old model of on-premise software, it would be a major project to upgrade and without upgrading, you are unable to take advantage of new features. This would have been needed every three years. Now we are talking about three days of testing and it’s ready to go.
Q: What is most exciting about what you are building?
• Dashboards and reporting make a huge difference in any industry
• Scale – especially under COVID, makes remote work more possible
• Split billing and contracts for multi-owner accounts
• Potential for self-service for growers
• The platform it’s built on is web-based which means you can access it from anywhere
Q: How will this affect current employees at Ag businesses?
- Attracting and keeping the future workforce
- Ability more efficiently and realign responsibilities
- Multi-site management by remote team members
- Tracking inventory is a vital part of this. Accurate inventory across several sites
- The scale runs from a browser, it could be run remotely. A good operator could run several scales at once, just like you have several browser tabs open at once.
- It’s a big change to adopt a new solution, but well worth it, change management throughout a project is important
- The big picture, allows businesses to remain competitive
Q: How would Levridge make Ag businesses more competitive?
• More self-service, better customer service
• Able to handle organizational re-alignment such as mergers, acquisitions and it can scale to grow with the company
• Able to integrate with other modern business applications
• Can react quicker and make better decisions for your business and your customers
• Can easily see Profit & Loss (P&L) reports which are really hard to get right now from existing systems
Q: Are Ag businesses able to invest in new software?
With software and hardware, it’s only able to run for so long. Eventually, it gets outdated and you have to make a choice to upgrade if possible or adopt newer technology. For this reason, companies have somewhat of a built-in budget for this. There are also cost-savings with adopting modern cloud technology. You don’t need IT resources to back up the system, there isn’t expensive hardware or a server room to worry about. There have also been consolidation scenarios where companies are merging and they don’t want to use the old systems currently in place and it makes sense to invest in something new.
Q: What’s next for Levridge?
We envision bringing future technology to the growers to allow them to gain insight to information that they don’t really have right now or is more complicated to get right now. The industry is really excited about what we’re doing and the option for a modern solution for Ag. We are happy to be bringing something to the market that is very timely.
We also love to the opportunity to work with our sister company Stoneridge, who is responsible for implementing the product. They are able to deliver the project in a way that makes customers comfortable in successfully adopting the solution.