"Farming customers need to exactly represent government forms in their business.Windward allowed us to start with Word versions of these documents and quicklymake pixel-perfect versions with the client’s data inside." — Aaron Hutchinson, CEO, iCropTrak
After implementing Windward, a mobile software solutions provider decreased the amount of time needed to create reports, reduced risk by eliminating a data transfer step, and created pixel-perfect government agency report output.
iCropTrak is at the forefront of Farm Management applications. The privately held company, co-founded by Aaron Hutchinson in 2009 and based in Tucson, Arizona, was built to help customers leverage technology effectively, make better informed decisions, and help them be more productive and profitable. iCropTrak’s goal is to use highly experienced teams bringing the latest innovations from Silicon Valley and mobile technologies to land and farm data management in order to make clients more efficient and profitable while continuing to preserve and maximize natural resources.
One of the main benefits of iCropTrak’s forms-enabled tools is that the flexible apps allow clients to customize the entire data collection experience without end-user programming required. In addition, the tools help minimize the time spent on training end users as the customer moves from previous paper-based systems to iCropTrak’s full digital solution.
But the company faced several challenges before it could show off these benefits to their best advantage. iCropTrak uses the Yellowfin dashboard business intelligence tool for data analysis. The web-based solution works extremely well for dynamic dashboards and KPIs at company headquarters, but the setup was not optimal for efficiently producing the reports and documents that customers need:
In order to create various reports, iCropTrak was transferring data from the cloud storage solution into spreadsheets and then creating the resulting report or document, often in PDF form. The report output was imperfect, and the extra steps added expense for iCropTrak’s customers and introduced an opportunity to make mistakes.
The iCropTrak team investigated a number of reporting solutions and choose Windward for its abilities to address the pixel-perfect reporting challenges and allow customers to access reports while offline.
The Windward Java and .NET engines integrate cleanly into a company’s cloud, and customers and other end users can apply the Windward AutoTag design tool to create report templates in Microsoft® Office. Users can then run and distribute those reports when they want, in widely used and widely accepted formats.
iCropTrak’s group of iOS native developers made a service that wrapped around the Windward Engine so that it became possible to create reports directly from within the app in both connected and disconnected modes. Mobile users could collect data in the field, store the data in the cloud, and then report on that data using Windward’s reporting component.
In addition, the iCropTrak tool offers multilanguage support, and iCropTrak wrote software that allows the user to target a language with the Windward reporting solution at the time the report is created. So, for example, an English-speaking farm manager can ask for a chemical application report to be in Spanish.
The Results After implementing Windward, iCropTrak:
“Farming customers need to exactly represent government forms in their business, and Windward allowed us to start with Word versions of these documents and quickly make pixel-perfect versions with our data inside,” Hutchinson said. “For report templates that are already in Word or Excel format used by the customer, it takes less than a day to set them up to be called from within our app and populated by their data.”
“Customers are impressed by the results from Windward and the ability to embed styling using concepts they already know,” Hutchinson added. “Windward allows us to better serve our customers by providing them with the precise reports they need to manage their business.”