With Hectre, there’s no need to input things more than once. After the block is set up in the app, getting the bin card is almost instant – at least ten times faster than before – and repeating the process is just as quick and easy. Hence, there’s no need to maintain a diary to keep track of everything anymore.
Wairepo Holdings Ltd
Motueka, New Zealand
Less Paper. More Time. Easily Accessible Costings Per Block. Enhanced Planning. Reliable and Accurate Information. More Informed Decision Making.
Wairepo is a family-owned and operated orchard that has been in the Easton family for four generations, dating back to 1910. Starting with just a few cows, the business has grown to produce top-quality pip fruit across 160 acres (65 hectares) and approximately 7 acres (2 ½ -3 hectares) of export-quality Peony roses.
The orchard is currently managed by brothers Simon and Matt Easton, both key figures in the local fruit-growing community with years of experience and expertise between them. Simon's partner, Josie, also plays a crucial role in the business, helping with administration and payroll. The Eastons are passionate about producing high-quality fruit and are proud to contribute to the local industry's reputation for producing some of the world's best apples.
We spoke with Simon and supervisor Mark Carrington about their experience using Hectre in the orchard to boost efficiencies in their business.
Mark has an interesting background, having previously worked in the banking industry as a mortgage specialist before trading in the office for the fresh air and open spaces of the orchard. According to Mark, there was a learning curve, but since he started working in the industry, he hasn't looked back.
There were also issues with information getting lost and mistakes that needed sorting out, which was another drain on our time.
With timesheets, all of our staff submit them with Hectre now. Whereas before, we had to collect all the handwritten timesheets and manually transfer the information for payroll. With Hectre, it's a much faster and more efficient process.
Another great benefit of Hectre is that we can show people how much work they've done. Before Hectre, if a picker said they had been underpaid, we had to take their word for it. Now, with Hectre, we can pull up the information on the app and show them exactly how many bins they picked, when and where they picked them, and what the variety and rate were.
Hectre provides us with more accurate data to track costings per block. Previously, a timesheet might have shown that a picker had worked on multiple blocks, but we never recorded that data for each block. We only recorded the number of hours they had worked. With Hectre, I can easily check the app at any time and see how much a block cost to prune, thin, tree train or pick.
Knowing the profitability of blocks is highly beneficial, whether it’s for future planning, analyzing how a season went, or making real-time decisions. For instance, when I consider turning over or changing blocks, I can quickly access Hectre to get an accurate indication of which blocks are performing well and which ones are not.
Another advantage of having all the information in one place is that it’s easy to compare data with previous years. It’s simple to see how much a block cost to prune the previous year and then use that information to make decisions for the current season. This cost analysis is incredibly valuable.
Hectre provides me with real-time information whenever I need it, including the blocks being pruned, thinned, or picked, the costs to date, and other useful details. So after we've finished thinning a block, it’s easy with the Hectre app to see the hours and wages that were spent in the block and the same with pruning jobs.
During harvest time, after the first pick, I can access the Hectre app and see that 200 bins have been picked. If the block estimate is 300, I immediately know that there are 100 bins left. I use information like this to know when to call the truck drivers to pick up the bins and tell them how many bins to expect.
One of the main benefits of Hectre is its simplicity and ease of use. It's similar to using a cellphone - all of our staff have one, and if you can use a cellphone, you can use Hectre! Whether it's timesheets or bin cards, everything is straightforward and intuitive.
We previously tried another orchard management system, but we stopped using it because it was clunky and took more time than it saved. The difference between the two products is night and day. The Hectre app is incredibly user-friendly, with an interface that doesn't overcomplicate things. Typically, it takes only a day or two at the start of the season for all the staff in the orchard to learn how to use it.
The team at Hectre is awesome to work with - they're enthusiastic and always willing to answer any questions. We've been using Hectre for some time now, so we're familiar with it and don't tend to need any help. However, if we're ever unsure about something, we simply give our Customer Success representative a call, and it's quickly resolved.