A leading Hawke’s Bay’s kiwifruit grower is looking forward to far less paperwork and labour hassles this coming harvest season.
With up to 140 contract workers at the peak of the season working over four orchards, 60 hectares, and with over 700,000 trays of fruit to be picked, managing labour and all that entails can be a headache for Nga Tukairangi Trust.
This year though, Richard Pentreath senior orchard manager of the Hawke’s Bay operation, is feeling far more confident that collecting and processing information will be significantly more efficient with less errors in time-sheet recording and that all his workers will be paid appropriately.
Simon Horsfall, operation team leader for Hawke’s Bay’s largest kiwifruit grower, is finding ABCgrower a welcome addition to his toolbox.
The Trust, which has a similar size operation in Tauranga, has been using ABCgrower this year to collect and record its on-orchard labour costs. Richard is very happy to see the paper war disappear.
“We’ve done away with paper time-sheets for our own staff and cut out the immediate steps of team leaders having to chase time-sheets and admin staff onerously manually entering them. The data goes straight into the website from tablets or smartphones in the field, which avoids inputting errors.
“Over the winter pruning period we were able to check that workers were making minimum wage. It meant we could be confident we were treating workers fairly.”
Richard is looking forward to using the real time data to check on team performance this harvest, analysing picking rates by gang by day.
“I’m looking forward to getting granular-level data for orchard work. Our team leaders will be able to focus more on managing performance, supervising workers and getting quality results.
“And instead of waiting until the end of the day for a manual tally during harvest, juggling trucks on hold, we’ll be far more efficient because we’ll know immediately what the day’s pick is.
“We’re so pleased we bit the bullet and implemented ABCgrower. Yes, there’s been an investment of time to learn it but now the team loves it. It’s really easy to use. I wish we’d done it a lot sooner.”