Ballance Agri-Nutrients' real time farm information and analytics platform MyBallance has bagged global recognition at the 2018 SAP Innovation Awards.
The digital farm management system, which uses multiple SAP HANA applications, beat 170 other entries to win the "Best Run Award", which will be presented at Sapphire Now, SAP’s annual conference in Orlando, in June.
Developed in partnership with SAP and New Zealand technology provider Soltius, MyBallance operates across all devices to help inform on-farm decision making and simplify business processes.
According to Ballance's annual report for 2017, the company spent $35 million improving service through its distribution network and the MyBallance platform.
The MyBallance portal would allow farmers to easily access their account and place orders directly 24/7, the report said.
"In addition to online orders, farmers will know the status of their orders and have recommendations on the MyBallance system sent to spreaders once confirmed, allowing for optimised planning both in stores and with contractors," the report added.
"With Proof of Application capability and unprecedented convenience, MyBallance is a genuine step into the future, supporting improved management of nutrients for environmental reporting and financial reconciliation."
Dave Scullin, recently appointed chief digital officer at Ballance Agri-Nutrients after carrying the title of CIO, said Soltius had helped set the stage for the next phase of connected agriculture with the Internet of Things (IoT) and predictive analytics by re-designing Ballance's business from the inside out.
“We would not have been able to take this transformative step in our business – or win this global award for MyBallance – without Soltius challenging what is possible and delivering exceptional results," Scullin said.
Meanwhile, CEO of Soltius New Zealand Nick Mulcahy said combining and consolidating information and processes into the MyBallance platform offered better information about fertiliser placement and volume, helping farmers to operate sustainably and protect the environment while maximising production and profitability.
"Leveraging SAP’s progressive technologies, like SAP Hybris Commerce and Marketing, we were able to connect siloed data systems to create a seamless digital experience for farmers across all Ballance offerings; from nutrient analysis and planning through to purchasing and placement," Mulcahy said.
Ballance Agri-Nutrients reported $805 million in revenue in year ended 31 May 2017 and a gross trading result of $56.8 million, up from $35 million in 2016.
Founded in 1996, Soltius works with more than 80 organisations across Australasia to provide SAP and Amazon Web Services solutions, support and consulting.