Defining Grain Processes for Agricultural Software

By Jack Corum | May 18, 2018

Without a doubt, the most interesting occurrence for me in working for Levridge is the opportunity to help create a new modern agricultural software package for the agricultural industry. My specific expertise regarding the software package deals with Grain Accounting. We are creating a comprehensive package that will benefit all commodity markets in handling their record keeping. I look forward to meeting new and old customers and working towards meeting their needs.

My past work history in the industry has led me to the opportunity with Levridge. I spent 14 years working in a local grain cooperative and was employed for 26 years with two different software companies specializing in agriculture before coming to Levridge.

Now that I’ve introduced myself, I’m going to jump into my first blog topic and discuss how my team and I define grain processes. Our first task has been to document all the processes that take place in handling commodities. This first round was defining these processes. We are all experienced in the commodity trade world but it is surprising the number of processes we run into to do commodity accounting.

If you would try to sit down and list, step by step, what it takes to move commodities through the system, it would astound you.  If you start with the inbound process and consider just purchase contracts, there are so many options and variables to be considered.

To just consider the contract types you start with:

  • Cash
  • Basis
  • Minimum Price
  • Futures Fixed
  • Price Later
  • Grower (Acreage)
  • Spot

These are just the basics. Do we include Average Price Contracts, Accumulator Contracts, or Minimum/Maximum Contracts? I’m sure there are some others that I haven’t covered. After a lot of years doing this, it continues surprises me how it’s a continual learning process.

Each contract can have its own pricing and delivery variables. What about the commodities? Do we allow multiple commodities on the same contract or just substitute commodities? Do we allow pricing variations or the ability to build a price from identified factors?

That’s just part of the purchase contract processes we are considering. We are going through the same routine to identify processes for:

  • Scale Tickets
  • Scale Interface
  • Settlements
  • Payments and
  • Deferred Payments

From there, the importance is identifying all the update options when these processes are taking place, while also considering the regional variations that are different.

This is all part of building an industry class commodity accounting system with the flexibility to be used in multiple business lines and multiple regions.

Let us know if your interested in learning more about what we’re building!

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