Some 7.7 billion people currently inhabit the planet. By the year 2050, world population is expected to hit 9.8 billion, according to the United Nations.
That’s a lot of people to feed.
How is the agriculture industry coping? One of the ways is smart farming. More and more farmers are using technology to increase the quality and quantity of production.
For KSi Conveyors, it all starts with the seed.
The agriculture equipment manufacturer makes conveyors that handle seeds with care, helping farmers move commodities faster and with minimal damage.
KSi is bringing its seed-handling technology to more farmers across the world and is using low-code development to do it.
Moving Better Quality Seeds Across the Globe
Founded in 2001, KSi Conveyors is a full-service manufacturer of agricultural conveyors.
After introducing their patented cleated belt conveyors to the market, they have expanded their products and services to bulk seed systems, seed handling and treating equipment, and other industrial automation solutions. The company now builds between 10 and 20 conveyors at a time, alongside control panels, pumps, hoppers and other components.
KSi operates roughly 90,000 square feet of production and office space between their two locations in Illinois and Kansas. Through their offerings, the company is able to help farmers move and handle seed across four continents: North America, Asia, Europe and Africa.
From treating soybean seeds to delivering them to the grower who is going to plant them in the ground, KSi’s products and services play a huge part in the whole farming process.
Such responsibility, of course, comes with inevitable challenges.
In the Weeds With Poor Communication, Project Management
“We weren’t necessarily providing the greatest experience to our customers,” admitted Jason Kaeb, director of business development at KSi.
While their teams used spreadsheets, emails and “a lot of phone calls” to communicate, it wasn’t enough to give everyone complete visibility into what other departments were doing. Some teams would end up calling customers without knowing what actions other departments have already taken.
So in 2009, KSi assembled a group to address their internal communication and project management challenges.
They knew they needed to build online database applications but their IT department was “fairly small.” Hiring in-house developers was an option, but they weren’t ready for the high costs.
KSi ended up stumbling upon Caspio and quickly realized that the low-code platform is packed with features that simplified data management — without the steep cost and technical demands of traditional development.
The team was able to build tools that simplified their project management process and improved internal communications.
“With Caspio, we’re now able to build database applications that keep us from having to email documents around the entire office,” he said.
Reaping the Agile Benefits of Low-Code
Meanwhile, what makes Caspio exciting for Duane Kaeb, IT personnel at KSi, is the ability to develop very quickly.
In a traditional application development scenario, a company would need to meet with stakeholders, develop a business plan, document all requirements, wireframe interfaces, and make sure all important data is captured before they can even start building, he said.
With Caspio, the application development process is much simpler.
Duane said they typically go into a room, build the table backend and the interface frontend right there with all stakeholders.
“We make sure that when they walk out of the room, they actually have a working application that they can go back to their desk and play with,” he said.
Fruitful Boost in Revenue, Efficiency
Aside from making the most out of rapid application development, KSi also noticed significant revenue and efficiency gains from using online database applications, particularly in the Sales Department.
“We’ve done some research on this and we found that for every day that it takes to get back to a customer with a quote, there’s a much higher percentage of us not winning that order,” said Neal Kellenberger, CFO at KSi.
Through Caspio, they were able to develop a new order entry and quoting system that’s more efficient in handling customer inquiries compared to their previous tool.
“In turn, this has driven a lot of revenue growth for the company,” he added.
Planting the Seeds of Success with Caspio
From not knowing what everyone else was doing, KSi has successfully provided everyone in the organization visibility into various departments’ activities. This transparency helped the agriculture equipment manufacturer improve inter-department communications and streamline project management for better customer service and more revenue gains.
It all started with online database applications built with Caspio.
Caspio’s low-code platform is packed with a visual point-and-click app builder and scalable cloud database, allowing business professionals to develop custom web applications even without coding experience.
Recognized for its ease of use, Caspio puts the power to create solutions in the hands of business professionals, or the people who are directly involved with the work that needs to be done. Rather than talking to somebody else, who then talks to somebody else for the bid to develop the project, users can simply build the application themselves — while meeting IT compliance.
“Caspio has empowered me personally in my day-to-day job. I am able to look at a problem, and immediately go to Caspio and build a solution for it.”Jason Kaeb
Director of Business Development, KSi Conveyors
In the case of KSi, Caspio not only supported them to solve data management challenges, it also enabled them to bring their technology closer to more farmers across the world, helping the agriculture sector cope with the ever-growing demand for food.
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