Biwer still remains a boutique procurement software company providing procure-to-pay solutions and continues to focus solely on the agricultural space. “Unlike paying for raw materials in the manufacturing sector, paying from raw product in the farming industry is a whole different animal” says Biwer’s Chief Technology and Strategy Officer, Regi George. “Farmers are not paid just based on weight or units, but also based on more complex factors like quality and market conditions.” The agriculture market is so niche that traditional ERP vendors refrain from spending their resources on complexities of the sector. They would much rather create joint solutions with companies like Biwer when working with Ag customers. This bodes well for Biwer, as they continue to gain expertise and thought leadership in the industry. “When we speak with industry leaders, they know that we can appreciate their pains and speak their language” says George.
Biwer’s solutions, although very powerful, are only accessible to the top tier of ag industry due to the cost of the technology stack and implementation. Biwer realizes that there is a large untapped market of medium to small ag processors that could benefit from their expertise. Advanced technologies have also become freely available and abundant. In addition to this, the industry generally employs outdated practices and policies that already puts them several decades behind. Biwer sees this as an opportunity to pivot and lead the development of the next generation of the ag industry.
“You hear about precision ag and smart farming and connected cow and blockchain, but these are all happening in pockets. Someone needs to bring it all together and we are very well positioned to do that and to enable adoption.” says George. Biwer envisions the future of Ag being a connected ecosystem from farm to shelf, if not table.
Biwer is well into the development of a software-as-a-service platform to reach the small to medium size ag processors, with information sharing between the entire ag ecosystem.
Large ag processors are likely to remain on on-premise systems for a little while longer. They are still not comfortable with the fact that their sensitive data and competitive advantage will be stored and managed outside their domain. The SMBs on the other hand are thirsty for information accessibility and transformation. Additionally, there are several farming operations that are consolidating and creating their own local brands. Does that mean that collaboration will win over competition? We will need to wait and see.
Biwer is also developing a distributed ledger platform to enable trust, transparency and traceability in the ag ecosystem. By integrating the two platforms they hope to align product movement and information flow bringing real-time visibility to participating ecosystem players.
Biwer realizes that developing technology does not mean adoption. To address this, they have invested in a collaborative approach bringing industry leaders, academia, trade groups and other technology partners together to re-imagine the food industry, discussing everything from data standards and ownership to impacts on the value-chain. Biwer invites participants that can add value to the discussions, to join.
The fourth industrial revolution is here and Biwer wants to make sure that the agricultural sector keeps up.