Our colleagues with AgriChain have serious ambitions to become google for agribusiness with a single authorization window and tools of work and decision-making for each specialist and manager. the head of AgriChain, Natalia Bogacheva, tells how the team lives and works.
Natalia, for what tasks have AgriChain Company been created and when?
Everything started with the request of ASTARTA for automation of processes for all segments of business, especially the issue was for agro-production. We have conducted a detailed analysis of the software market. Yes, we have found good solutions, but they cover business tasks only partially. After all, different tasks require software of different providers, which is not integrated among themselves, but on the other part of the tasks and could not find the corresponding products. Most of IT-solutions require localization for a specific company, and significant terms for further development, adaptation, and implementation. Moreover, they cannot be combined to build fast and efficient work – and they are their main problem.
All these factors became a push for TOP management ASTARTA – Victor Ivanchik and Viktor Gladkyy to create their own in-house company AgriChain, which was founded in 2017. Its main task is to develop a comprehensive product for agribusiness management.
- What tasks does AgriChain perform?
AgriChain solutions are designed for the automation of business processes and efficient management of all areas of agribusiness activity. We have created a single portal for agribusiness management, which consists of eight modules, each of which closes a separate block of tasks for agribusiness: Landbank management, production, planting monitoring, warehouse management, purchasing and supply of parts, control of work of machinery and repairs, logistics of parts and finished products. All AgriChain solutions are integrated with the 1C accounting system, data from various equipment and telemetry, and satellite and meteorological data, which are consolidated into a single system for further analysis, processing, and decision-making based on risk management.
Who is part of the AgriChain team?
At present, the AgriChain team is without exaggeration dream team (smiling) consisting of high-class specialists with a huge professional background, and an expert in the field, which motivates challenges, interesting and complex tasks, and large-scale subjects.
We are United by a single goal — the creation of a single portal for agribusiness management, which will become the standard for the industry. More than 20 employees work in the company: Food and object managers (active 7 projects), 10 developers, business analysts and implementation specialists, QA specialists, UI/UX specialists, and separately dedicated sales and marketing department, who work daily to develop, improve, implement and promote IT-solutions on agtech-market. The development center is located in Kyiv, but there is a small group of specialists involved in outsourcing. Soon we plan to expand the number of employees.
How are team communication and interaction taking place?
In AgriChain we allocate for today the main managers – a product manager, a technical director, a financial director, a sales director, an architect 1C, managers of the objects with which we discuss strategic plans, actual objects, priorities, terms, distribution of resources for solving all the company’s tasks. Then all our goals are broadcast on our own to the teams of developers and analysts, today they are four, to the sales and marketing department, to the implementation and technical support department, which we plan to expand later.
AgriChain team uses Scrum methodology to build its work, set clear objectives and goals for each object, conduct daily stands, plan sprints and tasks, adhere to strict time management, and conduct qualitative retrospectives. All plans and tasks are conducted in the system of management of the problems Clickup, therefore each specialist knows the plan of his work, managers analyze their performance – dynamics and quality, observance of the set deadlines. Large tasks are broken down into sprints, and short-term projects with clear lines for development, testing, and implementation. During the quarantine, we actively use Skype and Google meet to hold standings, presentations, negotiations, etc.
Sometimes we organize timbildink in different formats and corporate. There is a tradition to recognize in good institutions with all the team significant events for us – the first commercial client of the company, successful presentation of the new product, successful implementation of the project, etc. Also in the team, we follow the “policy of a clean table”, because we in the team are convinced that the order on the table means the order in the head.
Whom would you compare AgriChain to?
In the team from the very beginning and up to today, we try to cultivate the spirit of the startup. The scale of our ideas and ambitions is Google for agribusiness with a single authorization window, where every specialist gets the tool for his work. We are developing a solution that will become the industry standard. I believe that the morning of successful agro-producers will begin with consolidated data on all business areas in their working “virtual” office in the AgriChain system.
Based on these data, they will make operational management decisions and manage the business effectively. I like Henry Ford’s quote: “Thoughts about the future, constant thinking about how to do more, give rise to a state of mind in which nothing seems impossible.” It is in this mode that we have been living and working for the last two years and we have results for today. I am often asked how much time and how many specialists have developed our solutions, understanding the scope of the object. It is very pleasant to answer him – two years and 15 specialists on average, which means that our team is very effective.
What functions do you interact with most in the holding?
At present, AgriChain’s main customers are the Agricultural Production Department and the Department. Recently, they started working with the monitoring service, the elevator, procurement, and logistics department on the first project. Today, the main allies in the implementation of modules in the holding are the Monitoring Service, which provides personnel training and implementation support. We also work with it, which provides the first customer support line.
What is the age of men in the team and what gender distribution?
The average age of the team is 30 years. Gender distribution 38% are girls, 62% are boys. Among the oldest are the directors.
What are the interesting interests and skills of the team specialists?
We have practically no time to discuss the interests of one another, too many tasks. I will learn about the interests of our specialists from social networks: Some melons are ready to go to the concert of a rock group for thousands of kilometers, there are professional travelers, which travel is planned for a year ahead, and there are athletes — skis, snowboard, bicycle, yoga, running, swimming, fitness, etc. Some guys have been fond of programming and electronics since childhood, who at a very young age have become specialists and today are developing further in our team.
Tell us about the main challenges faced by AgriChain?
The challenges are many, starting with the gathering of requirements and audit of existing processes for their optimization through software products, ending with the implementation phase, since the new one is always unclear, sometimes to bring to people the importance of transformation and process digitalization, the challenge is probably bigger than work with program code and data. For itself has developed a single rule and constantly projects it on the team – we work on business and only in its interests. Understanding this rule helps to work with the internal client. What business wants is to minimize costs and increase profitability through automation of systems, to get an effective management tool, and increase production efficiency, which is exactly what we are solving.
If there was a desire, which is easy and 100% is carried out, what would you like for the work of your team?
One desire is not enough (laughs), but if only one, I would like to wish both our team and all people on Earth – health. As for the work of the team, there are no easy tasks here, it is constant work and management to achieve the result. Our team wishes to further develop the first flexible skills, so-called soft skills, which, sure, are the basis of the team’s success, as well as to develop hard skills, set high goals, and realize complex projects.