Harvesting the green gold: SaaSam created a central hub for all of NZ Avocado’s industry data

NZ Avocado is the industry organisation representing the interests of avocado growers in Aotearoa, promoting the sale and consumption of the popular fruit, and managing important research and development.

With more than 4,000 hectares of avocado trees across the country and since New Zealand is the world’s ninth largest avocado exporter, NZ Avocado has a huge amount of data that needs to be managed as effectively as possible for the good of the industry.

There were inefficiencies across the board with separate databases that didn’t communicate with each other, historic systems that were out of date and contradictory industry measurements that made compiling and comparing data extremely difficult, so NZ Avocado reached out to SaaSam for a solution.

When looking for a vendor, NZ Avocado found that many providers offered either purpose-built solutions or existing off-the-shelf software that limited flexibility to extend to primary industry data needs.

SaaSam, using Agiloft, had the right solution and the right team to provide the best system for NZ Avocado’s needs.

Morgan Jans and Jaco van der Merwe, project managers for SaaSam, worked with NZ Avocado biosecurity and programme manager, Brad Siebert, to create a list of priorities and implement them in stages. 

Firstly, some work was done to enhance and support the industry app Spray Diary, with a granular permissions system being added to allow access to particular records where an orchard owner can give specific privileges.

Next, export registrations and non-propagation agreements (NPA) were added, meaning growers could register their orchard for export to packhouses and exporters.

Agiloft stores payment information and sends notifications to the packhouses, exporters and grower about their registration to each other. 

“The NPA process allows nurseries to request agreements for a grower saying they will not propagate the plants they are purchasing,” explains Morgan.

“A formal agreement is generated by NZ Avocado and sent to the grower using e-signature technology. Once signed, the grower is sent the agreement and the nurseries can view this agreement from the Agiloft End User Portal.”

Having this information in the system means that NZ Avocado can track how many trees are on each orchard and enforce the NPA should suspicion of propagation occur on an orchard.

Lastly – and still ongoing – are further enhancements to the Spray Diary. One of the valuable new features includes when a spray application has been added and avocados are being packed for sale, a text and email are sent to the packhouse to tell them to stop if the fruit are not fit for export.

What NZ Avocado has now is a central repository which houses all data, including orchard information, Spray Diary, NPAs, export registrations and other information as well. Agiloft is the main hub for all current data and future data.

SaaSam’s system was also able to integrate with different software programs and be restructured and expanded to accommodate any future data and reporting needs the company might have.

The implementation has been well worth it, with more work being done in less time, response times reduced, and the accuracy of solutions enhanced.

“As we have learnt the Agiloft system we have been able to identify other aspects that we need – we are currently using the contacts tab and will possibly be looking at using the contract management systems in future,” says Brad.

NZ Avocado has more enhancements on the horizon – specifically an integration with Radford’s inventory horticultural software, an integration with AvoGreen - the auditable avocado production system, and the inclusion of property identification number information.

“The implementation was highly efficient with rapid outcomes and took significantly less time than was expected,” adds Brad.

SaaSam was able to create an intuitive, custom database that is the single source of truth for all of NZ Avocado’s industry data.