SALINAS, CA – In a bid to empower growers, Measure to Improve (MTI) is launching a software solution designed to help growers respond to Walmart and similar buyer surveys efficiently and effectively.
“The produce industry faces unique obstacles related to seasonality, multiple cropping systems, and complex production systems that make it more difficult to respond to surveys designed for a broad range of agricultural suppliers,” said Nikki Cossio, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Measure to Improve. “After years of collaborating with our clients throughout the fresh produce supply chain, the critical need for an all-encompassing software solution to address these challenges became apparent.”
One of MTI’s Core Programs and Services is Buyer Survey Support, a press release explained. Buyer Survey Support helps clients in responding to buyer sustainability information requests accurately, completely, and confidently. MTI has years of experience in this arena and has seen how challenging, time-consuming, and confusing collecting and reporting this information can be for growers.
Not only does collecting this information require companies to chase down data from multiple sources and locations, but it often requires them to present the data to address specific survey questions and topics within a limited amount of time.
In 2022, MTI began the process of addressing these challenges. The consulting firm began looking for an ideal partner or partners capable of developing a software solution tailored to these needs. By initiating discussion with various companies, MTI found a strong alignment with CropTrak and iDecisionSciences (IDS).
“Several of our major customers have used CropTrak form-based software to collect survey metrics for sustainability initiatives in recent years,” remarked Landon Morris, Vice President of Marketing for CropTrak. “The leading perspectives from MTI and IDS together allowed us to develop a standalone application built specifically to address this growing market need.”
Both CropTrak and IDS are committed to serving the industry’s needs with a user-friendly tool that simplifies data collection and aggregation and enhances the value of this information as a management and decision-making resource, the press release noted. CropTrak is known for its easy-to-use, grower-friendly data solutions, and IDS has a solid reputation for data analysis, aggregation, and transformation along produce supply chains.
Combined with MTI’s extensive expertise in sustainability, this collaboration forms an excellent team to refine and bring this new tool to the industry.
“We are excited to partner with MTI and CropTrak on a supply chain solution that supports growers,” expressed Diane Wetherington, CEO of iDecisionSciences. “Our joint efforts will enable the seamless exchange of sustainability insights across the entire supply chain and help ensure that consumers are well-informed about the ongoing sustainability initiatives to produce their food. As with food safety, sustainability is an ongoing journey that we all acknowledge as crucial for safeguarding the availability of healthy food in both the present and the future.”
The MTI, IDS, and CropTrak collaboration has accelerated CropTrak’s commercialization timeline for a survey-focused application to support growers, suppliers, and retailers. The solution will automate and streamline various manual steps involved in data gathering, input, aggregation, analysis, and interpretation.
The solution will also facilitate real-time data collection for growers, which will help them be prepared for survey requests and utilize the gathered information for informed management decisions. Among the software’s benefits will be the capability for aggregators to engage in peer-to-peer comparisons, fostering positive change, collaboration, and sharing best practices within the industry.
Measure to Improve is currently conducting a limited software release to a select group of existing clients. The tool is scheduled for public release in 2024.