We were approached just over a year ago by a prospective client in Tasmania who had an interesting business requirement for a new SMS reminder system to help with their farm veterinary management activities.
After some correspondence it was clear this was a very worthwhile project and we agreed to work with them to help implement their required solution. This involved some modifications to our existing system and processes which we could see would also have benefits for other clients too, so we agreed to undertake these as new system enhancements.
Dairy Systems is run by Grant Rogers, a farm vet who was looking to use text reminders to help manage his animal health plans for dairy farmers across Tasmania. As Grant explained, farmers are very busy people and sending emails is not an effective way to communicate information to them. But they all carry their phones everywhere they go, so SMS messaging would be the ideal solution to get time-sensitive reminders to them wherever they were on their farms.
Dairy cows in the region calve during the spring and there are many vital veterinary related activities that need undertaking before, during and after calving. Some tasks must be done on a specific day, whereas others need to be completed during a particular week. With so much to do during calving season, it is easy for a farmer to miss an important deadline which could then have serious consequences for their calves and also be costly for their business.
Grant was looking for a way to use technology to improve the veterinary management process for all his farm clients. His plan was to implement a centralised online project management and workflow system to record all the tasks that needed doing during the calving season and throughout the rest of the year. In order to communicate with the farmers, the system needed to be able to send text reminders to every farmer for each important action which was automatically scheduled by the system at the appropriate times per farm.
Grant had already selected an online project management and workflow system that met his requirements for scheduling the tasks and deadlines for all his farm clients, however this system did not have the capability to send multiple types of SMS reminder messages automatically at pre-defined times, both before and after specific dates.
This was when he reached out to SMS Client Reminders to see if we could help. After discussing his requirements in more detail, we agreed on a potential solution by linking an online calendar system to his project management and workflow system in order to schedule each of the farm tasks in advance. Each farm has its own calendar and by linking all the farm calendars to our system, SMS Client Reminders can automatically generate the required text reminders for each task at the designated time. By using our Multiple Message templates, all of the different tasks have customised text messages sent out at exactly the time the farmer needs to take each specific action.
There were a few things that the system did not currently handle in the way Grant wanted, and after further discussions we could see the benefit in adding these features as new enhancements that all of our clients could use in future. We agreed to work with Grant and implement a new confirmation message which would be sent at the start of a required process and also a follow-up message which would be sent up to 14 days after each task to get the farmer to confirm back by text that everything had been completed. With these in place, Grant was ready to put the system into operation with his farm clients.
The system has now been operating for over 12 months and has been a huge success for Grant and his farm clients. The benefits that have been achieved include:
Grant says about the new system "We’ve ensured all our farm businesses (and our business) are completely on top of all animal health events that need to happen on farm. It’s the attention to detail and ensuring correct timing that gives our clients the best chance of a great outcome. Our system is still developing but I can see potential to make a real difference to farm businesses across a number of areas in the future. And best of all our clients love it!! I really appreciate how SMS Client Reminders went out of their way to make this work."