Why Ag Retailers Need a Cloud-Based Solution

by | May 8, 2020 | Agriculture, Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Dynamics GP

Agriculture business technology in the field

Bringing Technology to the Field

The ability to have instant access to data anywhere and at any time is exponentially valuable – especially to ag retailers with a variety of locations and employees in the field. If you’re using an antiquated system like Dynamics GP and CINCH to manage your data, you likely struggle with managing remote desktop connections from your variety of locations, which is a headache for both users and your IT team.

When sessions time out, or you lose connection, you can lose valuable data that wasn’t saved or transmitted back to the server to store. You may also experience compatibility or synchronization issues, which can lead to system and productivity downtime.

These headaches, among many others, are a few of the reasons why ag retailers are looking for a cloud-based solution to manage not only the financial side of their business, but also agronomy, feed, scale, grain, equity, and patronage.

With a cloud-based end-to-end solution, each department has access to real-time data and can use that information to make actionable insights to positively impact the business. Let’s address the top five reasons that agriculture retailers are transitioning to Dynamics 365 and Levridge in the cloud.

1. Connectivity in the cab of a combine or in the office

No matter where your employees are, they can have anywhere, anytime access to customer and field information, sales projections, historical data, inventory on hand, and much more. This enables your business to continue moving forward no matter where your employees are located. Employees can also use any device to access the system and are no longer limited to a desktop computer hardwired to the wall. This enables smartphones and tablets to become just as powerful as a traditional computer.

2. Automatic backups and no chance of data loss

There is nothing worse than losing progress when your computer crashes or disconnects without saving to your server. Even worse is when a server is compromised and all your data is lost. Recently, we worked with a professional services company that had a server failure, leading to total data loss. Their backup method had also corrupted several months prior and the backup process was never remedied. This left the company to manually reenter months of data from paper copies that were available. Shortly after, the company transitioned to Dynamics 365 and no longer has to worry about data loss or maintaining servers. With Dynamics 365, all data is stored redundantly in multiple secure servers hosted by Microsoft.

3. Flexibility for seasonal highs and lows

With the cloud, you have complete flexibility to scale up or down your system to meet the current level of demand. During busy seasons, you could easily add more users to help process high transaction levels and payment processing. Then when business slows down, you can scale back on your user numbers and bandwidth. With Levridge your options can change monthly to fit your needs.

4. Insights to real-time data

With a truly integrated end-to-end system, you can take advantage of Power BI, which integrates directly to Levridge, to build dashboards to monitor every facet of your ag retail business. You can make comparisons year over year to determine what changes need to be made in order to meet your year-end goals and you can gain valuable insights into your cash flow and projected quarterly sales.

5. Automatic updates

A new version of Dynamics GP is released every fall, which can require updates to hardware and systems to remain compatible. And while the new version comes at no cost to those current on their annual enhancement, there is always a price tag associated with the actual completion of the upgrade by your software partner or internal ERP expert. Additionally, it may be months until you can actually complete the upgrade while you wait for compatibility with your add-on solutions like CINCH. With a cloud solution like Dynamics 365 and Levridge, you’re always automatically on the latest version without any lengthy or expensive upgrades. Plus your add-on solutions are always compatible with every version of Dynamics 365.

Current Dynamics GP and CINCH users are steadily transitioning to Dynamics 365 and Levridge to take advantage of the long-lasting benefits of a cloud-based solution. Learn more about how Levridge can benefit your agri-business by reaching out to our team today.

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Stoneridge Software is a unique Microsoft Gold Partner, with emphasis on partner. With specialties in Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, we focus on attracting the most knowledgeable experts in the field to our team, and prioritize delivering stellar solutions with maximum impact for your business. At Stoneridge, we are deeply committed to your results. Each engagement is met with a dedicated team, ready to provide thorough, tailored, and expert service. Based in Minnesota, we intentionally “step into your shoes,” wherever you are. We focus on what you care about, and develop trusting, long-term relationships with our clients.

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