Agrilogic was a successful Agricultural Insurance Provider (AIP) in a highly competitive market with extremely thin margins. Their business relied on two large and complex applications used by internal business users and external partnering agencies for agricultural insurance and reporting — AgAdvantageTM and AgriLogic MapsTM. One of their primary responsibilities was to submit accurate and timely acreage reporting data to the federal government in what is a heavily regulated industry.
The new Farm Bill from the federal government mandated that all paper-based acreage reporting had to be digitally submitted by year’s end.
We had less than 12 months to digitize a paper process that required entire storage rooms to manage. Agents printed out hundreds of pages per producer that had to be manually faxed and entered into the system twice – once by the agency and once by the business. The process also required extensive travel by agents and producers which was often more than a 100 miles each way. Furthermore, the current mapping application required a dedicated team of internal processors to process thousands of reports each year, as the system was too difficult for agents to use.
The existing mapping application that handled the current process was difficult to use and poorly engineered. It was built by a third-party vendor and had been modified with a presentation level in an attempt to provide more usability. Because the mapping application did not share data with the processing application, a separate internal processing team was needed to enter duplicative data for partnering agencies.
Built by a third-party vendor our current mapping application was difficult to use and poorly engineered. This required an entire internal processing team to enter duplicative data for partnering agencies because the processing application and mapping application did not share data. The business was in a difficult position and unsure of how to meet the demands of the federal government by the mandated deadline.
With a general understanding of the problems faced by the business, agencies, and producers, a cross-functional team comprised of design, engineering, architecture, and a GIS developer gathered for an all-day ideation workshop to explore the problem and possible solutions.
We identified all of the personas involved throughout the process, listing their unique needs and challenges faced by each inside and out of the applications.
We then mapped out the journey from end to end, aligning the team on where specific personas were affected at each touchpoint. We noted inefficiencies and opportunities to add value to the process. Our team also aligned on all of the things which might prevent us from optimizing a solution, and worked to resolve each, one-by-one.
Once the team was aligned on the personas, process, and challenges, we began to explore options and solutions to improve process efficiency and technological hurdles.
After narrowing in on a plausible solution, we quickly prototyped a solution to test with partnering agencies.
The result was a simple, intuitive, touchscreen, and mobile-ready application layer to the existing mapping application that allowed producers and agents to process acreage reporting and obtain a signature on location. The information was automatically added to the processing application through an API and immediately ready for digital transfer to the federal government.
The outcomes for the business, agents, and producers were profound, reducing the six-step process down to one. The new solution reduced burdens on the business, agencies, producers, and met the federal mandate several months ahead of schedule. This also cut the time to process acreage reporting by over 50% and resulted in a remote and near paperless process for agents and the business. Additionally, the total effort was less than 5% of the cost to build a new application.