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Disruptive AgTech Innovation: GSatSolar
Let's Talk Terms
Disruptive and Innovative
It's buzzword time! We often hear the terms innovative and disruptive tossed around in a way that summons Inigo Montoya. Innovation requires problem solvers to take an entirely new approach to solving a problem, or to define the problem in an entirely different way. Disruption requires that solution to create a new industry or otherwise change the way that industry does business on a fundamental level. GSatSolar introduces tracking and business intelligence to an industry that has been starving for the kind of accountability and data intelligence it provides, making it a new product with a rich new value offering.
How did we approach or define the problem differently?
The general purpose of AgTech products has been to increase the efficiency of farming and ranching practices by adding intelligence to existing machinery, or by introducing technology that can replace or streamline processes. GSatSolar expands on the goal of adding intelligence, but not by directly applying intelligence to equipment and machinery, but by increasing the sources of data in a way that was previously impossible.
Better data leads to better decisions, and increasing the data gathering capabilities of farmers and ranchers leads to a feedback loop of increased data intelligence. Most AgTech ventures have been targeting the latter half of that feedback loop, trying to maximize the data that is already available and employ it toward helping farmers and ranchers achieve efficiency goals. GSatSolar, on the other hand, makes the case that for most of these operations, the larger problem is with the availability of intelligence, and the opportunity to solve this problem effectively is in approaching the data gathering technology instead.
A Disruptive Solution
GSatSolar is poised to fundamentally alter the ranching industry in particular by bringing data gathering opportunities to an industry that has no available options. This also presents opportunities for businesses that can leverage this newly available data outside of ranching itself. Considering the ability to create fully transparent supply chains, the way livestock inventory is prepared and sent to market can be modified to more closely resemble other industries. Streamlined integrations between ranchers, buyers, and processors can even result in mitigation of the risks of over-supply and shortages in many markets.
Within ranching, producers will also be able to view insights and assign value and ROI based on individual animals, but also on the herd as well. While each individual animal will remain part of a larger ecosystem, that larger ecosystem of the herd can be tracked as a single asset as well. Herd insights and "herd as asset" data intelligence will help ranchers make even more efficient asset management decisions over time.
New Value: Traceability
Traceability brings a value to livestock ranching that was previously unavailable, allowing ranchers to track each animal for its entire life. In addition to the value of always knowing where animals are located, this increased traceability allows ranchers to fetch premium pricing, mitigate risks associated with loss, and provide supply chain intelligence they've never had, allowing for increased security of contracts.
Farm to Fork
Supply chains in the agriculture industry are fragile and critically important to food stability around the world. Adding traceability to free-range livestock production opens the door to a truly transparent supply chain, where producers and buyers can track available supply in near-real time, opening doors to rolling just in time production management. This technology has the ability to disrupt industry practices that can lead to over-supply and shortages. This kind of farm to fork traceability is completely new for livestock producers, and the extent to which it disrupts that industry remains to be seen.
Certifications are critically important to attracting premium pricing, and are among the main reasons to employ sustainable grazing practices. Labels like Organic, Grass-fed, and others attract conscious buyers, and range-grazing animals that are traceable with GSatSolar will have an easy time securing these labels and the premium pricing that comes with them.
New Value: Operational Intelligence
Smart farms and the technology to connect them to big data systems have received billions of investment dollars in the past decade. As that connected internet of things (IoT) ecosystem continues to grow and penetrate previously lower-tech industries, devices like the GSatSolar solve problems that other technology has yet to accommodate. Tracking livestock is a meaningful innovation to be sure, but there is also much to be said about the GSatSolar's ability to serve as a basic tracking unit for low-cost assets.
Completely New Data Sources
Most of the data that will be collected by GSatSolar units, whether in livestock applications or IoT applications will be greenfield data collection. To date, there has not been a viable tracking solution for off-grid, low-cost, remote deployable assets. This means that the first users of GSatSolar will be collecting the kind of data that has only been gathered by excruciatingly inefficient methods, or by extrapolation of sample modeling. New sources of data inevitably open the door to more efficient business practices, but also have a tendency to create new business opportunities around the availability of intelligence.
Tracking in agricultural operations, whether herds of livestock or small farm assets provides a new toolset for operators to manage their farms and ranches more efficiently. Tracking the location of equipment, for example, can provide high-level intel about the progress of clearing, tilling, sewing, and harvesting operations. Knowing when certain pieces of equipment were last moved or used can also provide insights about the efficiency of that equipment and the availability of different tools for immediate use. Understanding how much area a single piece of equipment can service in a particular amount of time can also help farmers make decisions about investing in additional equipment or training operators to be more effective.
GSatSolar works with GSatTrack, which has a strong API that allows it to integrate with other products and systems. This means GSatTrack has the ability to ingest data from other sources on a farm or ranch and display them all in a single interface. It also means GSatTrack has the ability to create these disruptive integrations with supply chain management software and other visualization tools. Integration with devices other than the GSatSolar and with data systems other than GSatTrack is the lifeblood of GSatSolar's truly disruptive technology.
We love publishing things about GSatSolar. To see other incredible content like the Industrial Design Series, which explains all of the hardware decisions that went into making the GSatSolar perfect for its markets, or to view case studies, videos, and other solutions involving GSatSolar, take a look at the blog. For more information about the GSatSolar, we invite you to read more about specs, features, and applications on the product's official website, and sign up for the newsletter as well.