Salta al contenuto principale

Flussi di lavoro di raccolta automatizzati di Minisoft Harvest

Automating harvest starts with gathering data on how much crops the farm collected, managing pickers and their salaries, overseeing shipments to warehouse and out of it. Obviously, it cannot be done by software alone - you need to find ways to track actual physical items (crops, containers) and people.  So, you’ll need some basic hardware to supply you with data.

Minisoft Harvest Solution: Software + Hardware

In our opinion, barcodes are, by far, the simplest and cheapest way to gather data during harvest. You can attach it to anything and anyone, and by using a specific scheme, encode all kinds of useful data. All the supervisor has to do is scan the code - and it will give information on the worker, container, location - whatever you like. Armed with these insights (that take two seconds to collect), the software calculates software, reports on collected crops, spots inconsicesits and even manages shipments.

Hardware prerequisites

  • A label printer
  • A bar code scanner
  • Scales (but you likely have them anyway)
  • A PC (online connection isn’t required)

With this hardware (very basic compared to any other, more specialized options) and Minisoft software, you can now make some subtle but high-yield changes to your working process.

Workflows for automating harvest

After four years of working on our local Ukrainian market, we came to the conclusion that there are 3 workflows that provide the highest productivity increase.

Here they are.

  • "Worker with a badge";
  • "The one-time worker."
  • Labeled Container technology.

The differences are in the way the software creates barcodes, in organization of crop reception, and work distribution at the beginning of the day. The use cases for these depend on your type of crops, size of farm, and workflow preferences.  

Here’s what we mean by that. Worker with a badge: the barcode is meant to identify the worker, not a container.

The one-time worker: the code is meant to identify the part-time worker of pick-my-own farms and the containers with picked crops.

Worker with a labeled container: the code identifies the containers (but it does contain information on the worker, location and everything else). However, you need to print a lot of labels - one for each container. Also, they are different every day. This method requires most preparation but it's the most efficient one and produces the highest visibility.

Options When to use When to opt for another option
Worker with a badge
  • Fixed hourly pay with no bonuses or weight tracking
  • Challenging terrain for crop picking, difficult to organize field weighing
  • For teams who want the simplest method for automation harvest
  • You have no access to electricity on the field
  • If you want to efficiently track the exact amount of fruit/berry/other crop gathered (it’s still possible with a badge, but it wouldn’t be the most efficient method)
  • Farms that are paying employees for weight collected
  • You are working on the nice flat, easily transversable terrain (ideal candidate for the label container method)
The one-time worker
  • Pick-your-own farms where you still need to keep track of picked crop’s weight but not count salaries or sign worker contracts
  • No access to the source of electricity in the field
  • Organized harvest process with hired employee;
Worker with a labeled container
  • You are willing to invest a bit more of time and effort if it means higher transparency and 100% visibility;
  • You would like to know how much exactly the pickers have collected;
  • Farms that pay workers for the specific amount of collected crops or offer result-based incentives on top of hourly pay;
  • Comfortable terrain that can be easily crossed by car/truck;
  • Access to the stable electricity near the field/picking location
  • It’s impossible to collect all containers in one go because the terrain is not suitable for cars;
  • You are paying for hours worked and are not considering result;
  • You’d like to start with the simplest automation mode (and this is the most precise one, but not the simplest one)

Necessary technicalities of harvest automation

Now, let’s take a look at technical characteristics of these methods - or, in other words, what you need and what you don’t need for practical implementation.

Options Advantages Downsides
"Employee with badge."
  • easier preparation for the start of work in the field;
  • there is no cost for printing labels on containers;
  • farmer’s assurance and confidence of employees in the results of acceptance and accrual of salaries;
  • label printer installed in the office;
  • no need for 220 V mains supply in the field
  • workers from the collection point to the weighing point;
  • presence of a queue and unproductive communication of workers at the scales;
  • if there is no badge, there is an accounting problem (no employee's badge);
  • inability to track products by employee and facility
"Random Worker."
  • easier preparation for the start of work in the field;
  • easy distribution of labels on containers;
  • label printer installed in the office;
  • no need for 220 V supply in the field
  • the printed labels are only used for one day,
  • lack of flexibility in moving workers across facilities and product types
Labeled Container
  • increase in worker productivity by up to 30% due to the absence of movement from the collection point to the collection point;
  • saving time and energy of employees without unnecessary walking around;
  • optimum utilization of support staff;
  • ease of labeling containers with labels;
  • simply control the availability of empty containers;
  • easy and complete product traceability by employee and facility, even without software;
  • the ability to control the quality of the assembly directly at the moment of operation.
  • somewhat longer distribution times;
  • the need to build workers' confidence in the integrity of receiving and accounting for what is collected;
  • you need a label printer in the field;
  • You need to assure a 220 V supply in the field;
  • Relatively (but not by a large margin at all) significant costs of labels for labeling.
Versione demo di Minisoft Harvest