Agribusiness Looks Beyond Legacy Tech

More agricultural businesses are enlisting product managers.

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iStock/Evgenii Emelianov

It's easy to think of farmers and ranchers as doggedly old-fashioned, resistant to new tech, and preferring to do things the way they've always done. The reality is quite different. In truth, today's farmers, ranchers, and agribusiness professionals depend on cutting-edge technology to work as efficiently as possible. Legacy systems, like email and simple spreadsheets, need to be more.

One sterling example is product development. Farmers, like anyone else, want to develop the best, most market-ready products and position them for maximum success. The same is true for the makers of food products, the developers of agricultural machinery, and so on.

To help achieve these goals, more and more businesses in the agricultural sphere are enlisting product managers. Their role is to guide new product offers through the iteration journey and effectively launch them in the marketplace. This often involves many different teams working together in tandem, so using technology to ensure clarity and collaboration is a must.

In particular, many companies in the farming space are using product roadmap management software or PRM. This software excels where traditional spreadsheets and email chains cannot, allowing teams to communicate effectively while working from a single source of truth. PRM has revolutionized how products are developed, including food and other agricultural products.

A Case Study

Consider a case study to get a clearer sense of how PRM can transform product development.

We start with AGCO, a business founded in 1990 and based in Duluth, Georgia. AGCO is one of the world's foremost designers and manufacturers of heavy agricultural machinery.

To help them keep up with the changing demands of their industry, AGCO enlisted a tech startup called Gocious, famous for its standard-setting work in PRM design. Gocious designed a custom PRM dashboard specifically for the AGCO team.

The Problem

To understand the scope of this project, it's important to start by defining the problem.

Essentially, AGCO makes incredibly intricate machinery. Their production process involves several interrelated pieces; separate teams design these components, but they must work together synchronistically and harmoniously. This requires a high level of clear communication between different teams and a lot of organizational acumen on behalf of the product manager.

Meanwhile, AGCO's global customer base continues to become more diverse, and their needs are more fluid and dynamic. AGCO contacted Gocious about developing a solution to help them keep up with these evolving needs in an ever-complex manufacturing environment.

The Solution

Gocious responded to these concerns by creating a custom PRM application for AGCO's product development teams. Specifically, they sought to develop a program that offered higher functionality than any spreadsheet or other legacy/generic tech ever could.

"By understanding their challenges and relaying feedback in real-time, we pledged to help problem-solve solutions for AGCO's portfolio management needs throughout the entire onboarding process," comments Maziar Adl, the CTO and co-founder of Gocious. "By taking the time to study AGCO's goals, we aimed to ensure our solutions brought value to all product teams and decision-makers. We truly believe in AGCO's core mission. When AGCO succeeds, their customers succeed."

The Results

The PRM dashboard that Gocious created for AGCO empowered their product development teams to function at the highest possible level. Specifically, Gocious provided:

  • A single source of truth for all team members to access.
  • A turnkey system providing real-time status updates to all stakeholders.
  • A wealth of automated visualization options allows team members better to understand their current standings in the product life cycle.

"Gocious has transcended the role of a mere product management tool for AGCO," comments Rodrigo Soeiro de Souza, Director of Global Product Roadmaps Management and Product Investment Prioritization for AGCO. "We now have an environment that gives a 360-degree view of the entire AGCO product portfolio, can capture visuals and helps make decision-making easier. Our teams communicate more effectively, report to management more clearly, and engage ideas more thoughtfully."

For Food Product Manufacturers, Legacy Tech is Out

Simply put, product managers working in food, farming, or agribusiness can no longer afford to rely on outdated legacy tech or generic solutions. Increasingly, the types of custom technology offered by innovators like Gocious are essential for lasting success.

Based in California, Gocious is a tech startup focused on disrupting the product development field by creating product roadmap software for the manufacturing industry. 

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