Today’s Farms & Information Technology
There’s no doubt about it: the way we farm has changed drastically since the early days of agriculture. While farming in the fields was once the only way to grow food, today’s greenhouse farms use the latest technology and tools to track and manage everything from a farm’s climate and humidity levels to the trucks our vegetables are shipped on. And as greenhouses continue expanding in size and reach, the need for these farms to use bigger and better tech will also grow!
It’s one thing to have all the latest farming tech at our fingertips, but it’s another to build a strong enough IT team that knows all the ins and outs of that technology. The Nature Fresh Farms IT team plays a critical role in meeting our farm’s day-to-day technology needs. With their expertise and passion for pushing the envelope with new tech tools, our IT team helps us keep growing, packing, shipping, and selling the freshest vegetables possible.
Greenhouse farms that grow, pack, and ship vegetables have many moving parts to manage, but with the help of a talented IT team, farming tech can make every step of the process that much more efficient!
How Our IT Team Supports Our Operations
For any technology that we need to run our business – whether it’s at the farm, in a Distribution Center, or inside our offices – the Nature Fresh Farms IT team is our go-to source for support and guidance. We like to think of them as the first responders who keep all our farming tech, office programs, and supply chain systems running smoothly so the rest of our team can stay as productive as possible.
Growing & Farming Tech
Before farms had access to the tech tools they have today, farmers had to take a more reactive approach to growing food. But the technology we’ve introduced to our greenhouses in recent years has allowed our Growers to become more proactive with the day-to-day management of our farms.
Our Growers use today’s farming tech to control and track things like greenhouse climate settings, watering systems, energy screens, and so much more. And what’s most impressive is that they can do it all remotely! If there is ever a problem with one of these systems at the farm, our Growers gets an alert letting them know there’s an issue or that an update needs to be made. With this system, our Growers can manage the needs of our plants from anywhere in the world—they simply log into the app on their phone and make the adjustments they need.
Greenhouse farming and technology go hand in hand, so no matter what kind of high-tech tools we’re using to grow our plants, we need the support and knowledge of our IT team to keep growing the plumpest, crunchiest, and freshest vegetables possible!
Information Technology & Shipping Support
At Nature Fresh Farms, we not only grow vegetables, but we also pack and ship them to stores across North America. To keep this part of our supply chain running efficiently, we introduced a range of tech tools at our Distribution Centers to give our team members easy access to the information they need.
The Grow-To People working at our Distribution Centers are always on the move, so using smart technology to keep track of all the hustle and bustle happening within these facilities is crucial for the success of our supply chain. Alongside providing our people with reliable access to a range of supply chain software programs, our IT team also set up smart camera systems so our team can track orders as they move in and out of our facilities. With Distribution Center locations across North America, this camera system has made tracking all our shipments and deliveries easier than ever before!
Our supply chain is only as efficient as the tools we use to operate it. But with a skilled IT department working closely with the rest of our team, we can be confident that our vegetables will arrive in your neighborhood fresh and full of flavor.
Other Information Technology Support
Just like any other business, greenhouse farms need a strong team of professionals including Accountants, Salespeople, Purchasers, Human Resources Staff, Maintenance Technicians, and everything in-between to run smoothly. Each one of these departments leans on our IT team to help them complete their day-to-day tasks using the best tech available. Our IT team is tasked with training team members to use their tech tools, but also with supporting them when those inevitable tech issues arise.
Each team that our IT department works with has unique technology needs, so while each member of our IT department has both hardware and software skillsets, they all have their specialties. The best part of having a team with diverse skillsets – in IT or otherwise – is that there are so many more opportunities to help each other learn!
Our Partnership with Dell Technologies
One of our IT team’s most notable partnerships is with Dell Technologies. Nature Fresh Farms first began working with Dell Technologies in 2010, but when our business started to see substantial growth in 2016, we knew we had to develop our relationship with the Dell team even further to keep the momentum up!
One of the most important parts of our relationship with Dell Technologies is that we use their technology to run all our growing systems and farming tech. While PRIVA is the system we depend on to control and track things like our greenhouse climate settings, we need powerful tech support from the Dell team to properly operate these important systems!
Alongside using a variety of Dell Technologies’ classic hardware solutions (including computers and monitors), we’ve adopted many new hardware and software technologies from the tech giant to help scale our operations and manage our business better. Some of our favorite systems include the VxRail, Isilon, and SD-WAN hardware and software solutions.
Dell EMC VxRail
The Dell EMC VxRail solution has transformed how we host our servers at Nature Fresh Farms! Since a server is designed to have many people logging into it to store and access information (versus a single computer that only stores information for one person’s use), VxRail technology has made hosting our business’ many applications a simpler, more organized, and more efficient process. With our farm’s current growth plans, we know more servers are in our future, so having a reliable system for server hosting gives us the confidence to keep expanding our operations without looking back.
Dell EMCIsilon (PowerScale)
From a storage perspective, the Dell EMC Isilon solution has played a big role in optimizing our data storage. The Isilon solution allows us to store unstructured data securely, but it also helps increase the efficiency of our files. And as we continue to grow, Isilon’s future-friendly design will allow us to scale up our data storage capabilities to meet the changing needs of our business!
Dell EMC SD-WAN
For our team to properly manage systems on-site or remotely, we need a powerful networking solution—and Dell Technologies’ Dell EMC SD-WAN solution has done the trick. This solution has given our team peace of mind that our network capabilities will remain flexible, powerful, and secure.
The Future of Technology & Farming
As our farm continues to expand and deliver more fresh produce to our communities, the capabilities of farming tech will grow right along with us. That’s why it’s so important for our IT team to find the best future-friendly tech solutions that will set us up for long-term success!
Making the right investments in tech today will better prepare us for what’s to come with the future of farming. And as new tech is introduced to agriculture – think artificial intelligence, deep learning, and 5G – you can bet our team will be first in line to explore and experiment with the next big thing in farming tech!