A Mobile Tool That Made One Elevator Say, “You can actually do that??”

By Maddie Little

Nov 9th 2018

Something is different now. It’s quiet. The phones are ringing less. For Brent Grassman, this is not a sign of lost business but rather, better business. On Brent’s operation, 1,000+ growers are served daily. Here, they log into their Bushel-powered Mountain View Coop app where they check their scale tickets, send and receive electronic contracts, and monitor cash bids numerous times during the day. Brent is able to work knowing that the growers he serves are out there making more informed business decisions with Mountain View.

“They’re becoming more self-reliant growers,” he says, “they are actually delving into their own accounts and keeping count of their information.”

From the start, Brent was drawn to Bushel’s offerings. After seeing the first Bushel demo presented to him by Bushel’s account managers, he says, “The customized demo with the attention to detail showed that Bushel would go the extra mile.” From there––– he was in.
“My very first impression was that you’re a company who sticks to the details; from design to support team–– which is awesome by the way–– to the development and beyond, I couldn’t be happier.”

For Skyland Grain Agronomy Division Manager, Justin Ochs, his introduction to Bushel led to one question: “You can actually do that?” Justin serves 2,000 Skyland Grain growers from its headquarters in Johnson, Kansas. “I’ve found a couple [similar] apps out there, but honestly, from what I’ve see, none have had near the functionalities that Bushel has.”

In Reynolds, North Dakota, Jen Skold has similar input from her experience as Controller at Reynolds United Coop, with 300 growers. “There are some apps out there, but nothing, no, nothing quite like it.” For Jen, daily life has altered in a new way. “Our growers are saving time which saves us time, because they already know the information they need at a touch of a button.” When asked what she’s hearing from growers with their new tool she says, “I get a lot of ‘That’s really neat!’ They love being able to see their scale tickets and more in one spot.”

This sort of response to Bushel has powered the adoption of the platform to now 60 companies providing the product for more than 15,000 growers across the United States and Canada. While it’s clear to see how much Bushel is changing the game for growers, it can be cloudy spotting the clear benefits for elevator team members. With so many agtech products out there, what does one more do to the space? For Brent, Justin, and Jen — it does a lot.

This past harvest, Justin could truly notice the difference. “During harvest the scale tickets are making it very efficient. The lay out of markets and contracts are making it quick and easy—they can see what’s happening out of business hours.” As a farmer himself, Justin’s favorite Bushel feature that has been making a difference for him has been the ultimate access to contracts. “Hit a button and boom, boom, boom. You see exactly where you’re at.”

On Brent’s side, he was surprised at the demographic utilizing the Mountain View Coop app. “I’m surprised by the number of people who already are saying they can’t live without it. Even older farmers are on board with it––hard.”

Even more, Brent has recognized the Bushel-powered app as a large competitive advantage for his operation. “Bushel gives us a competitive advantage over our neighbor elevators for sure as we’re the first to offer it.” From a marketing stance, the times growers are coming across his operation’s logo and branding has been monumental. “If you go to anyone’s phones now, you don’t see anyone else’s logo. The personalized touch and branding is at the forefront of their minds as we’re getting the logo that many times a day.” Jen can agree with Brent as she highlights the perks of Bushel’s white labeling qualities. “They’re going to one local spot for their app. Once you draw your growers to your site, you’re their one stop shop. We can provide what they need and want.” As Justin appreciates the centrality of the Bushel-powered app, he appreciates more the edge his operation is able to provide. “In talks with competitors, they keep hearing ‘the Skyland Grain app.’”

From their positions at the operations they work at, the business advantages are both far and wide since signing onto the Bushel platform. Being able to provide real-time information and stay ahead of competitors have been focal points in the decision to sign on, but the breaking point comes from a deeper, less dollar and cents point. Justin says, “Here at Skyland, our mission reads, ‘Connecting our producers to the world.’ With Bushel, we believe we’ve been able to stick to our mission.” Jen can attest to the value behind getting on board with the platform. “Our customers are happy and that makes us happy because they have the information they want, when they want it, where they want it––on their phone,” she says.

When it comes down to the values that go above ROI, these operations’ team members care. It matters that a product reflects their values and mission: to provide solutions for their growers that sparks better industry business. With Bushel, they feel as if they are doing just that. Justin says it best with, “We still have a long road ahead of us, but we’ve taken the first steps in getting there.”


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