One doesn’t often associate farming with digital transformation, but that isn’t the case with Nature Fresh Farms Inc., one of Canada’s largest independent greenhouse produce growers.

Nature Fresh isn’t new to using smart technology to manage its greenhouses (as you can see in the video below), but it’s taking another step forward by bringing mobility to its employees and customers. The firm is nominated for ITWC’s Digital Transformation Awards, being held June 14 in Toronto. We’ll be reporting on the nominations we receive ahead of the event.

To accomplish this digital transformation, Nature Fresh started with finding a method for “employees to submit work easily and accurately.” The company has 100,000 plus assets to track, and needed a solution to solve the problem where tickets would be submitted and the maintenance staff could not find the correct asset to work on or diagnose.

This meant first providing everyone on the maintenance staff with smartphones loaded with Connectwise Manage and QR Codes. Just with these devices in hand, tickets could be submitted and automatically connected to the correct asset/work/purchase. Additionally, with the smartphones in hand, the maintenance staff can now view tickets assigned via a dispatcher immediately.

“These steps allowed Nature Fresh to change from a paper and word of mouth company to a digital one,” said Keith Bradley, Nature Fresh’s IT manager, while nominating the company for the SME enterprise or sector transformation award.

Since transformation of this kind was new to both sides of the equation, Nature Fresh made sure that its employees on the maintenance staff and otherwise were prepared for the changes brought by using solutions like QR codes. The company was also able to reduce costs and increase production through these new methods.

“Ease of use and making sure that the maintenance staff was ready for this transformation was key,” said Bradley. “We spent time training and listening to our employees so that they could continue to do their work effectively.”

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