Thank you to growers for your support throughout the 2018/19 harvest. It was a very challenging season with dry conditions during the growing period followed by ongoing weather events during harvest.
As part of our review of harvest operations, our annual post harvest grower survey was sent via email and SMS to growers who delivered grain to a Viterra site during the 2018/19 harvest. The survey was also available on the Viterra website and paper copies were available upon request.
In addition to the grower survey, Viterra held meetings with local growers and the Strategic Site Committees to discuss the performance of sites in their respective areas.
Thank you to all growers who took the time to complete the survey and provide valuable feedback.
The results from our post harvest survey showed that growers thought the overall service level across our network was very good. All feedback and comments on opportunities for improvement have also been reviewed in considering future focus areas.
The majority of respondents to the survey believed that Viterra’s overall service and delivery had improved.
When filling out the survey, growers rated the service levels of classification, receival/elevation equipment, turnaround times, segregations and opening hours.
Segregations and classification services received the highest results.
Growers determined that receival/elevation equipment provided the most opportunity for improvement. In particular respondents highlighted a need for more “large weighbridges for road trains” and improvements to drive over hopper stacker sets. In our capital expenditure and maintenance plan, improvements to receival/elevation equipment is one of our focuses.
Another issue highlighted in the survey was “a better source of internet required” at some sites to improve time taken through the classification process. We are currently running trials to install NBN at a site to test if this can improve speeds.
We continue to investigate new ways to speed up receival times and we are looking at changing our printing machines to thermal printers, which are capable of printing much faster and will in turn speed up our processes.
Viterra continues to focus on providing a sustainable and efficient supply chain to grower customers.
Each year we invest over $40 million in capital works and maintenance, some of our focus areas this year include:
In 2018, we implemented our new grain IT system, which allowed us to introduce wheat dynamic binning.
Viterra returned an estimated $6 million of extra value back to growers who were able to access higher grades during the 2018/19 harvest.
Growers gave very positive feedback about dynamic binning in the survey such as:
“This is an excellent service which helped us get to the next grade.”
“Dynamic binning is a brilliant upgrade. Very practical and helps trucks spend less time at the sampling office.”
“I thought that dynamic binning worked very well and we had a reasonable amount of wheat upgraded due to this.”
Other feedback on dynamic binning included that “binning on malt barley would be good down the track”.
Based on feedback we are currently investigating the possibility of introducing barley dynamic binning.
Growers were pleased with Viterra’s communication of safety information. Safety is our number one priority and we will continue to ensure everyone who visits our sites understands the importance of onsite safety.
For the 2018/19 harvest we revised where hard hats are required on site, a number of respondents thought that “the change in hard hat policy was an improvement”.
Reminder: You must renew your Viterra Safety Induction for Grower Deliveries every two years and ensure your safety card is valid.
Survey respondents believed our customer service was very good during the 2018/19 harvest. Growers were particularly pleased with the customer service from site employees.
Employee competency and training was highlighted as an important factor when deciding where to deliver grain. We will continue to improve our training and ensure employees have all the knowledge necessary to complete their tasks efficiently.
Growers gave very positive feedback about our level of communication during the 2018/19 harvest. Our communication of safety and site opening hours received the highest ratings.
The majority of respondents to the survey thought that our SMS notifications were clear, easy to understand and at just the right frequency.
A number of growers asked for a better way to access Ezigrain and site opening hours, and to be able to receive notifications when a carrier has made a delivery on their mobile device. We are currently working on developing a user-friendly app to improve growers’ experience when accessing this information on mobile devices.
Growers considered market access the most important factor when considering where to deliver their grain.
Through the Viterra network, and our high standards of food safety and quality management, growers have access to domestic markets in Australia and international markets around the world.
Some growers highlighted that “accurate and even testing” and consistency in classification were important factors when considering where to deliver grain.
Classification and quality management are key focuses for Viterra in meeting the needs of customers. In 2018, we spent over 5000 hours training our employees on classification.
We continue to ensure testing is as accurate as possible with further investments in training, testing equipment and classification offices.