New innovations help to run businesses more efficiently

Agricultural purchasing group, Anglia Farmers (AF), is helping its members to run their businesses more efficiently with a number of new innovations. These time saving breakthroughs, combined with a specialist support service, mean that members can spend longer in the field and less time in the farm office.

AF checks and processes more than 35,000 invoices per month on behalf of members and a new system – eAccounts – which is integrated into the AF interactive member’s portal for the first time is the latest development of a system which enables members to manage their accounts online more easily.

Not only does the new system make it easier for members to view, process and edit their invoices but it makes it even easier to import them directly into Farmplan accounts packages. New functionality includes bulk invoice editing and allowing for more than one user to edit invoices at the same time, the ability to delete old account codes and saving changes as you work.

AF digital services manager Samantha Barrell said: “eAccounts is a major step forward in helping members to simplify their accounting.”

The AF interactive website, which has recently been re-launched, also provides quick and easy access to member’s accounts, including real time order information, invoices and industry updates. The website is fully responsive, enabling members to easily view it on smartphones and tablets as well as laptops and PCs.

Discussing AF interactive, Samantha said: “The website provides a clearer way of seeing what your invoice is likely to be each month and also gives you a breakdown of invoices by business unit, product or supplier. This allows members to pull off reports of their spend quickly and easily, saving them time and helping them to run their business more efficiently.”

Another way in which AF is helping members to run their businesses more efficiently is AF Tankscout, which reads individual fuel tank levels and sends this via GPRS technology. Not only can the information be conveniently accessed on AF interactive but it allows the AF fuel team to save registered members time and money by monitoring their tank levels on a daily basis and topping them up at opportune times.

“We purchase fuel for members at low points in the market and ensure tanks are always topped up at an agreed level, which avoids them having to worry about running out of fuel. This can be particularly useful at busy times, such as harvest,” explained AF fuel manager, Spencer Hill. More than 250 of the devices have been installed since the system was launched in March 2013.

A further step forward for purchasing through AF is the AF Charge Card. The group has a growing number of more than 4,500 suppliers and the AF Charge Card, which is serviced through Barclaycard, enables members to purchase items from any non AF supplier using a chip and pin facility within an agreed credit limit, which is then shown on their AF account.

“The AF Charge Card simplifies accounting because more of member’s purchases can now be placed in a single place with AF,” explained AF Charge Card manager, Stephanie Hills. “Other advantages to the card include levy free purchases on fuel and certain stores as well as special shop discounts.”

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