Precision Consulting Services (PCS) is an agricultural consulting company that helps farmers grow better crops, maximize yields, and more efficiently apply pesticides and herbicides on their land. They combine strong agronomic and technology skills to assist farmers in reaching the next level in precision agriculture. Among the services they provide farmers are crop planning, soil sampling, analysis, and field mapping that alerts growers to the type and amount of products required for specific areas. PCS utilizes specialized GIS enabled ag software, SMS Ag Leader Software and Ag Data Mapping Solutions (ADMS), to create these maps but wasn’t able to make those maps work effectively with their custom FileMaker application nor could they effectively distribute the data to farmers.
PCS approached LuminFire as experts in GIS and FileMaker to help find a solution. Using FileMaker Go, GeoServer, Leaflet.js and other GIS software, LuminFire created a custom integrated solution that made the GIS data, more easily available to farmers while in the field–even when offline without internet Wifi or cellular connectivity. LuminFire took advantage of the power of FileMaker Go to download and cache the map data directly to their iPad mobile device which allows the app to later construct the same maps without network connectivity. With GPS and geolocation enabled the FileMaker Go maps allow for interactive groundtruthing of the data while in the field. Dynamically computed legends with custom color ramps correlate analyze levels to pixels on the maps.
The PCS FileMaker Go app also facilitates year to year crop planning. These plans help farmers know which products and quantaties they’ll need to budget for across all their fields. Previously crop plans were all completed in copies of complex MS Excel spreadsheets. Every time a calculation or product price needed to be adjusted across customers every spreadsheet copy would need to be manually updated and for those already distributed to customers the only option was to send a new version. Now that LuminFire has built all of the calculations and temporal product price tracking into FileMaker, updates are cinch, changes made in one place apply to all records. Furthermore, PCS is able to maintain control over the business logic used instead of distributing it with every spreadsheet. Farmers love this too because they do not need to manage, organize, or backup dozens of files like they used too. Everything is available via one simple interface. Additionally farmers have to ability to override pricing themselves and see how different prices impact the overall plan.
LuminFire also made use of our custom FileMaker framework fmIgnite to provide additional value to PCS for their internal office processes. The pre-built fmIgnite solution framework provided many of the modules and components required to create the solution out of the box including Contacts, Groups. Products, Admin, Setup, and Help. We were able to consolidate many grower databases into one file with custom objects for Farms, Yields, Years, Operations, Ag Data, and Products.
Before implementing this solution, PCS customers had to get their map and soil sample data from multiple unwieldy Google Earth files or Adobe PDF files that could reach up to 26 pages long and that were nearly impossible to read on a handheld device. Now, instead of managing a static paper-based system, PCS has a dynamic system that they can manage for their customers and one that makes full use of the robust data they provide. LuminFire was able to take a discerning look at PCS’s processes to find additional ways to help PCS improve their business. This included integration of their Dropbox workflow with GeoServer and FileMaker as well.
Due to their deep knowledge of FileMaker and understanding of available tools and solutions, LuminFire is able to create customized solutions like this for a fraction of what it would cost to produce a native iOS or Android application. Utilizing FileMaker (the #1 rapid custom application development platform in the world) helps makes this possible. LuminFire can provide businesses an affordable option for highly customized hi-tech solutions.
Many businesses have GIS data that they are unsure how to utilize to its full potential including maps, location data, etc. LuminFire GIS experts can help identify, generate, and use that information in powerful ways that help businesses to be more effective, productive and profitable. If you have a specific question or want to explore options for your business contact us about a project.
Also published on Medium.