Farming News - Farming Cousins Launch Transformative App Digitising the Agricultural Industry

Farming Cousins Launch Transformative App Digitising the Agricultural Industry

Two farming cousins are aiming to revolutionise the farming and agricultural industry with a first of its kind app, Yokit

Launched yesterday (Thursday 30th November) the digital platform created by farmers for farmers provides game changing visibility on operations, driving the sustainability of farming businesses. 

James and John Fairlie, cousins and neighbouring farmers from Angus, were frustrated by the excessive time spent on manual administrative tasks such as reviewing timesheets and processing payroll and invoicing. 

With no clear solution on the market for the specific needs of the agricultural industry, James and John decided to create a bespoke digital platform to automate these tasks, while providing real-time operational data and analytics. 

James was UK Young Farmer of the Year 2017 and runs Fairlie Farming Co, a ware potato and cereals business together with a commercial scale biogas plant. John runs Balmirmer Farms' ware potato, cereals, and beef cattle enterprises. Before returning to the family farm, John qualified as a chartered accountant, following which he spent eight years in corporate finance roles. 

Their combined expertise and first-hand experience of the challenges facing an industry still predominantly operating analogue systems has driven the creation of a digital platform and app that is simple and easy to use, from farm worker to farm manager.  

John Fairlie, Co-founder, said: "The agricultural industry overwhelmingly uses verbal and manual methods to record and communicate key operational data. This often results in delayed and incomplete records that use a wide range of terms for similar tasks. This creates a huge margin for error as well as significant extra time spent by management decoding and interpreting data."

Yokit provides on-the-go smartphone app-based worklog functions that enables everyone, from family-staffed farming businesses to multi-site operators to easily, digitally record key information on the go including recording hours worked, yields and diesel used.

James Fairlie, Co-founder, said: We want to make daily admin tasks easier for everyone in farming and so we designed Yokit to be incredibly simple for all users at all levels, whether it be a quick entry logging acres ploughed or generating invoices. 

"The straightforward interface also gives farmers game-changing visibility on operations, with real-time access to information that can be easily analysed to drive enhanced decision making.

"Running a busy farm day-to-day, while also having a detailed understanding of where immediate improvements can be extremely challenging, especially when essential information can only be collated from various sources, often well behind the point it could be impactful."

The cousins have spent two years developing the app from when they first came up with the idea after facing significant post-harvest month end paperwork piles. 

Driving the technology development is Yokit Technology Lead Kyle Kennedy, a Computer Science Master's graduate, who has developed mission critical systems including high profile projects, such as protecting London from airborne threats during the Olympic games. 

Kyle Kennedy, Yokit Technology Lead, said: "Our vision is to create a digital enterprise platform that has the potential to revolutionise the industry for both farmers and the rural supply chain. Farming is a traditional industry that is ready for digital transformation. 

"UK Agriculture is facing a number of existential challenges including a severe lack of skilled machine operators and massive cost price inflation. The supply chain would also benefit from closer partnerships, driving productivity.

"Yokit's worklog function coupled with automated invoice generation, payroll reports, holiday request and tracking functions means the platform can be relied upon to effectively compile critical data that will drive the revenue, profitability, and ultimately the sustainability of farming businesses."

James Fairlie, Co-founder, added: "With phase two of Yokit already underway the launch is just the beginning of how the platform will offer a route to facilitate better informed commercial decision making across farming and supply chain enterprises."  

Yokit is available on the App Store & Google Play. Costs £10/month per team member or £99/year/team member. 

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