Hectre’s Insights and Reports module has been great for getting all the big-picture data in one place. With Hectre Insights and Reports, we can see all of the data from across the orchard, anytime, anywhere, and all with just a few clicks.
Matthew Lenne manages the family-owned and operated business, which began when his grandfather purchased 50 hectares of land back in the 1920s. Today, the orchard consists of approximately 150 hectares of apples, pears, and stone fruit. Around half the pears and stone fruit are sold to the local cannery SPC in Shepparton.
Lennes apples are supplied to both domestic and international apple markets. Matthew has an impressive onsite cold storage facility where the fruit is stored before being sent to a local packhouse to be packed.
Like a lot of growers, the past few years haven’t been easy for Matthew and the team, with labour shortages caused by Covid-19 impacts, along with rising production costs and stagnant low fruit prices.
We were considering a few different software companies when we were introduced to Hectre. After nearly a hundred years of being fully paper based, we were ready to ditch the wads of paper and automate our processes. We were keen to use technology to reduce all the doubling-handling of information and reduce errors and wasted time that came with hand writing everything out and sorting through paperwork.
Having everything automated with Hectre saves the office manager about two hours a week, so across the year that’s quite considerable, about 100 hours and a good four or five thousand dollars. That saving in itself is a large chunk of what we’re paying for Hectre, so you could say it’s paying for itself just with that.
I’m a really active orchard manager, fully involved in pretty much everything. So if things are taking more time than they should, that rolls on to me and means I end up with less time to spend on important issues. It also means I end up working much later than I need to be, which means less and less time with my family.
Those insights also give us all the important data we need to make decisions around labour. Labour costs are easily our biggest expense, so it’s really beneficial to have detailed labour insights to make better-informed decisions when trying to fine-tune or reduce our labour units.
We’re big on efficiency and having that data and being able to slice and dice it how we want, means we can dig in and identify where there is too much labour being applied to a particular job. If we know, we can address it.
Being able to make even a 2% saving on labour costs because you have the data to see where a labour wastage is happening, is hugely valuable to us
Something that was really important to us was to have all the information in one place. Hectre gives us that, along with the ability to correlate the data, see the trends, see where money is being wasted, and make changes where they are needed. Time savings were great, but for us it was more about saving money; being able to see where money is being wasted and the ability to easily make adjustments.
And because I’m out in the orchard or moving fruit in the cold stores a lot, having all the information in real-time means I can monitor activities on the go, which then aids in making better decisions.
We have a cold storage facility, where quite a few staff work during the harvest. We use the Hectre Check In Kiosk to streamline the clock in and clock out process. We’ve got Hectre connected to a fixed tablet, and the staff just scan their badge to clock in and out.
It’s another bit of time we can save, which all adds up.
We’re always looking at what new innovations Hectre is coming up with and providing feedback and ideas. We’re interested in seeing where they take the Spectre mobile fruit sizing technology.
Imagine being able to use that on the tree!