Investment Versus Purchase
In business, saving money is important. In the past two years, inflation has been unprecedented, making the cost of business for some borderline unbearable. How do you combat these costs? Investing in something that will save you money by reducing labor costs.
Many people confuse an investment a purchase. Yes, an investment is a purchase, but it is a purchase made with the expectation that the purchase will make profit for you. Investing in automation, such as that offered by 2nd Sight products, can be as safe an investment as you can get. With proven low ROIs, our products help reduce the labor to the point where they pay for themselves in a couple of years. After the first few years, the machine saves you money use after use.
The current reality is not only that inflation and rising costs have made doing business much more expensive, finding people to work has also become difficult. Investing in automation eliminates tedious data entry positions, which in turn cuts down on the number of people your company needs to employ.
Droughts and Heat
After a scorching month of August, it is finally looking like temperatures are settling down towards the end of next week. These historically high temperatures have caused severe nationwide droughts, hitting some regions like California, Nevada, Arizona, and Oregon especially hard. For example, Lake Mead Reservoir in Nevada is only 27% full, which is the lowest that has been recording since 1937. Currently 57.79% of the entire Pacific Northwest region is in drought. These droughts have been a driving force behind increasing farming related costs and loss of crop in these regions. Thankfully, many berry farmers in the Pacific Northwest and South still found success in their harvests despite the tough circumstances during this particularly dry summer.
Nurseries are Picking Up
As fall approaches, our nursery customers are beginning their yearly processes. 2nd Sight’s InstaCaliper tree measuring, counting and grading system helps nursery owners lower their average time for calipering a tree to only 3 seconds. 2nd Sight’s technology uses two break beam sensors to electronically measure the diameter of nursery trees by just passing our caliper head by a tree trunk.
Helping our customers speed up manual work such has hand calipering trees is imbedded in our company’s DNA. Please do not hesitate to reach out to a 2nd Sight representative regarding increasing field work speed and efficiency and regarding organizing your tree inventory record keeping processes.
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Fresh and Delicious
Last week, I was called to the small town of Burbank, Washington, to make some minor FairPick repairs. I couldn’t help but notice the varieties of crops around me; I knew one was blueberries.
Once I arrived at the customer site, I wandered into the customer’s blueberry packing facility where I could see workers sorting, organizing, and packaging the berries. Although the work was intriguing to watch, I realized that I had entered the customer site through the wrong door. Eventually, as I stumbled my way into the main office, I remember looking immediately to my right where I saw some of the most beautiful looking blueberries I’ve ever seen. I tried to not let them distract me. I had some repairs to take care of.
Luckily, after the repairs were done, I was handed a container of those blueberries. On my way home, I immediately dug into them. I have not had that many fresh blueberries in the past and was first awestruck by their size -- some were as big as a quarter. Although the berries’ size was impressive, the taste was out of this world. The nice snap of the skin leading to a soft, sweet, and slightly tart interior was exactly what I craved on such a hot summer day. I may need to do agricultural equipment repair full time.
Buckle Up for the Heat
We have been experiencing a late and abnormally mild summer (for the most part), but now we are in the midst of a serious heat wave. It’s hard to fathom that, here in the Pacific Northwest, we had a freeze as late as May and now have temperatures of over 110 degrees. If you must be outside or in places without air conditioning in this kind of heat, it is of the upmost importance to prepare.
You have heard it before, but it is crucial that you hydrate even when you do not feel thirsty, and you should keep an eye on your co-workers. Heat exhaustion or heat stroke are not pretty and can be fatal. Stay out of the sun, if you can, and wear a hat. It is also necessary to have access to clean drinking water during these times.
I don’t work outdoors, but I am camping outside this coming weekend in this oppressive heat. I have dug deep into every back road of my not-so-creative brain to find a solution that will allow me to sleep in this heat. You may see another product on the market if I figure out how to combat the heat effectively.
Diving Into New Markets
Although our software focuses on assisting agricultural businesses, we have an open mind about helping any business who may find our products useful.
One sector in which we have been developing multiple new contacts is the seafood industry, primarily business that harvest crustaceans.
The seafood and ag industries have a lot in common. They are both seasonal, and they both often pay some employees by piece or weight. These similarities immediately allowed us to understand the various tasks within the seafood industry and how we they can use 2nd Sight software can help them track employee piece wages just as ag does.
Discoveries like this make us ask: what are some other sectors that could benefit from our automation and labor tracking technologies, and more importantly, how can we reach them?
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As harvest quickly approaches for Pacific Northwest farmers, it is vital to ensure that you are harvest ready. It is of the upmost importance to dust off the machines, plug them in, charge them up, and turn them on. If you have new crew bosses and employees who have not used the products yet, I recommend you give them a brief introduction to the machine before they start with harvest. If you need a refresher on how to use the machine or the web portal, a 2ndSight representative can set up a quick meeting through a phone call or via Zoom, which will get you right back up to speed.
Handling thousands of punched timecards can lead to disaster, but we have a solution, and that solution removes timecards from the equation altogether. As many of you know, the labor tracking services such as ours provide an alternative to the dreaded paper timecard. Counting punches on paper timecards often leads to payroll mistakes, and finding the appropriate paper timecard when an employee later questions paycheck information can be next to impossible. Instead, with the touch of a button, all your employees’ hours and working data gets uploaded into a web portal account that allows you to track their hours, overtime, piece wages, and other data at the touch of your fingertips.
Countering Record Inflation
As we all know, unprecedented inflation levels (up 8.6% in 2022 alone!) have been making business more than difficult as the year goes on. Did I mention that this level of inflation is a 40-year high? In addition to inflation driving up costs for products upon which farms depend – fossil fuels, fertilizers, and parts-another major cost increase this year has been cost of labor. So far this year, farm operators have been paying their hired workers an average wage of $17.22 per hour, which is up 8% from this time last year. In addition to skyrocketing wages, new labor laws in many states such as Washington, Oregon, and California are also eliminating the agricultural exemption on overtime hours, resulting in many farms having to choose between paying workers more and getting them for fewer hours.
A solution to this? Automate labor tracking. In today’s situation, every hour, and, frankly, every minute matters. Paper labor tracking and manual time entries should be a thing of the past. The labor alone of manually entering information one employee at a time keeps office workers at their desk for additional hours every week.
Technology may be intimidating to some, but if there is a time to invest in technology and farm automation, the time is now. Our goal is to produce systems that are straightforward and simple for even to some of the least tech savvy folks to use. On top of that, we offer constant customer support with a customer service line.
2nd Sight’s goal is to “Engineer Better Solutions for the Ag Industry,” and our solution to the current large-scale labor inflation is our FairPick and FairTrak automated labor tracking systems.
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