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50 Best Workplaces of the Year 2021

‘Proagrica truly values its greatest asset – the people’: Matt Waits, President of Ag Solutions, Proagrica

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Never before has connectivity and data been more important than the current times, especially when it comes to the agriculture and animal health industries. Supply chains are under strain, growers have a multitude of challenges from climate change to price increases, and the demand to feed the global population continues. Proagrica, a part of LexisNexis Risk Solutions Group, delivers data-driven, actionable intelligence to drive business success, deliver seamless supply chain management, and improve customer insight and engagement – everything vital for agribusinesses looking to improve their value offering and expand in the modern marketplace.

We interviewed Proagrica’s President of Ag Solutions, Matt Waits, to understand the company’s expertise. In this brief interview, the executive talked about the quintessential element that makes Proagrica unique and the recently launched Sirrus Suite of products.

Read on for the excerpts from the interview.

Q. How do you help agribusinesses?

Access to information drives competitiveness and agribusinesses have more information at their fingertips than ever before. However, mining through all that data can be difficult. Proagrica helps agribusinesses in key areas like operational efficiency, business visibility and grower engagement. By using the right technology and harnessing business data, agronomic industry-focused providers and retailers can ensure they deliver valuable services and drive loyalty among their customers.

Q. What makes Proagrica unique?

Our independence. Proagrica is a global provider of independent connectivity and data-driven support solutions for the agriculture and animal health industries. Our expertise is around collecting, analyzing, and handling geospatial sciences and data management, which is why our customers and partners trust us with their data.

Q. Could you tell us about your recently launched Sirrus Suite of products?

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The Sirrus Suite of products extends the functionality beyond iOS, to also include Android (currently available in Beta) and to a new web app. It manages in-field agronomy data including scouting, soil sampling, crop inputs, and harvest data, and is used by thousands of agronomists around the world.

The release of Sirrus Web marks a transition from Proagrica’s legacy desktop application (Summit), as now, all versions of the app sync data using the agX® platform and interoperability across devices. Therefore, collaboration is increased between agronomists and their customers, enabling them to work more efficiently.

The Sirrus Suite allows growers and agronomists to upload, store and share data easily. It provides seamless access to data to improve workflows from planning to execution across stakeholders.

Its other functionality includes tracking work orders; updating completed jobs; importing machinery data; and the ability to make quick substitutions as necessary in response to unexpected disruptions, such as shifts in the weather or inventory.

Agronomists will also be able to tap into Proagrica’s FarmRite service to create crop input recommendations, make edits to fertilizer, seed and pesticide recommendations, and share their reports and shapefiles with applicators and growers.

Q. Tell us about the company’s work culture. How do you help your employees grow?

Proagrica truly values its greatest asset – the people. The commitment to ensuring employees thrive is safeguarded by making the company values a primary focus. Proagrica encourages working in collaborative environments to help the process of knowledge transfer and help employees grow at an accelerated pace. Our high-performance culture encourages, recognizes, and celebrates success. Objectives, career aspirations and development plans allow employees to look at their strengths and areas of opportunity to broaden the horizon for everyone which is critical to building and sustaining the growth of the overall organization. 

Q. How important are partnerships to Proagrica?

When it comes to data sharing and collaboration, partnerships are always going to be important. As data and visibility experts, it is essential that the partnerships we forge echo the ones that our customers are cultivating. It is important the industry has a joined-up data infrastructure, and by building trust with partners, the whole sector will be more open to sharing best practices and their data.

Open and transparent relationships are therefore vital to build sustainable partnerships and our independence in the market is a unique characteristic that allow Proagrica to achieve that commitment. 

Q. How have you innovated to adapt since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Supporting our people is at the top of our priority list. Internally, we have focused on supporting our team with an initiative that provides employees with paid time off for volunteering and giving that has a positive impact on society. Many have felt that they needed to give something back during these difficult times.

For our customers, the past two decades of work in integration by connecting thousands of customers across the globe has created the largest agriculture and animal health network in the world. The pandemic has only increased Proagrica’s dedication to digitize the industry. We are able to leverage data to create efficiencies, improve visibility, and enhance engagement to create industry value in productivity, supply chain management, customer loyalty, quality assurance, sustainability, and risk mitigation.

Q. Do you have any new services ready to be launched?

We are currently looking to build on the Sirrus Suite of products. Proagrica’s acquisition of compliance firm CDMS earlier this year sets the stage for further enhanced value. Today, we are delivering pesticide labels to our Sirrus customers, but in the future, we will bring compliance functions into Sirrus via the CDMS label checking service to ensure agronomists are making on-label recommendations.

Q. What does the road ahead look like for your company and its customers?

Proagrica is about to enter an exciting new chapter. The appointment of Jamie O’Sullivan as CEO brings expertise for us in strategic business growth insight, building on the work of Graeme McCracken. He will work closely with Proagrica’s SLT to execute the strategic vision and accelerate at scale with the integration of new business units, such as CDMS. He will work with Proagrica’s teams to continue driving optimal value for clients through smarter connectivity and data-led insight.

Matt Waits | President, Ag Solutions for Proagricaimage

Matt has been at Proagrica since 1999, and has guided the development of enterprise-level data management platforms that provided decision support tools for agronomists and farmers across the world. This platform is now the chosen infrastructure for data management and services for 130 million acres across the United States, Canada, Australia and South America.

Matt has led the integration of two businesses solutions that enhance the services provided to agronomists and growers, opening up exciting opportunities for the development of business intelligence and analytics tools, such as Proagrica’s agX® platform, and delivering a new generation of geospatial analytics.