GrainBridge 4.0 – New Cow/Calf and Dairy Management Tools!

The 4.0 update to GrainBridge contains exciting new features that our team is very pleased to unveil. The changes for this version of GrainBridge were focused around expanding livestock management and enhancing both crop and livestock planning tools, as well as further integrating crops and livestock for those producers who manage both.

Integrated Crop and Livestock Management

One of the first changes that will be seen when logging into GB 4.0 is that there are no longer separate tabs for managing crops and livestock; these are now both found under the “Risk Management” tab.

riskmanagetab

Throughout the program, you will find crops and livestock are now managed side-by-side. This is extremely beneficial for operations that raise both crops and livestock, as the breakeven calculations now truly account for all aspects of the business in one location. On the Summary page, you can get an accurate glance at total revenues and how above or below target you are on all commodities.

cropsummary

You can toggle between Livestock and Crop summary graphs to get a more detailed account of  target vs current values. 

livestocksummary

Crop and Livestock profiles as well as cash sales also now share screens. 

profiles

cashscreen

New Cow/Calf and Dairy Management Modules

The most dramatic expansion of the GrainBridge platform is within the Livestock component, to which we added functions for effectively managing cow/calf and dairy operations.

cowcalfdairyprofiles

These new livestock profile types come into the program alongside our new “expenses per head” section, which is found under the Plan alongside per acre and gross expenses. 

expenses per head

Enhanced Per Acre and Gross Expense Management 

 Along with developing this advanced calculator for “per head expenses” for livestock, our team also revamped the per acre and gross expense sections. Expenses for different profiles are now side-by-side in the Plan, and your breakeven prices are updated on the fly as data is added and edited. sidebysideexpenses

Gross expenses and Income amounts can now be allocated in percentage amounts to particular profiles to establish even more precise breakevens on certain fields or particular commodities.

expenseallocation

Custom expenses can now be placed under a particular expense category, allowing further detail and organization when planning and tracking expenses throughout the year. 

customexpense

The updated look for these Plan screens (for all expenses and incomes) also include more graphs for those who plan best when data can be visualized. Clicking the pie-chart icon next to any expense will show that expenses overall allocations across the operation. 

piecharts

piecharts2

As always, we love to hear feedback on our program, especially when we bring in new features. As you explore these changes and new tools, never hesitate to get in touch with comments and ideas- either by commenting on the blog or through contacting our Support Team!

Welcome to GrainBridge 4.0.

What’s New with the Summer 2014 Release

The August 2014 Release for GrainBridge was an update that went live for all customers on August 7, 2014.

New Features

This release was largely focused on improving functionality within the cash sales section of the application. We introduced the ability to establish cash on portions of Basis, HTA and NPE contracts. We also added the ability to attach brokerage positions to cash sales allowing users to view the overall value with both positions combined, all on one screen. In addition, a simple delivery tracking feature was added to manage bushels delivered on a cash sale. The last major enhancement is advanced filtering options within the cash dashboard. These changes and other additions are listed and detailed below.
  • Clean and simple “Add cash sale” screen. The screen for adding a cash sale is now more streamlined. At the bottom of the screen, you will see “Show more options.” This link is where you can expand the view to find and add the Sale Date, Ref ID & notes.1
  • Improved cash sale view mode to reflect the idea of a “cash contract.” 2
  • NEW: Ability to set partial cash on a portion of a Basis, HTA or NPE contract. Previously, offsetting basis and HTA contracts had to be achieved by editing the original Basis or HTA contract and creating a new cash contract. For example, if you had 15,000 bushels of corn on a basis contract and then wanted to put 5,000 on a cash contract, you would have to edit the basis contract and remove 5,000 bushels and then add a new cash contract to put them in.With this release, partial cash can be set on these contracts to better reflect and track your positions. Your cash summary will reflect these changes as they are made; the original contract amount will be shown, but with these changes attached.3
  • NEW: Attach brokerage positions to cash sales. Brokerage positions can be attached to open positions or closed positions.  NOTE- when a position is offset or closed the link or attachment to a cash position is removed because a new position has been created (closed position).  You may want to wait to attach the positions once they have been closed. 4
  • NEW: Track delivery on cash transactions. You now have the ability to track delivered amounts in the cash section. This feature can be accessed via the “View” link on the right side of a cash sale. This process will show delivered amounts, dates, and how much is yet to be delivered.5
  • NEW: cash sale filters.  In addition to the standard filter in the cash list, there is now an advanced filter. This filter allows sorting by one or multiple criteria.8
  • NEW: “Print sale” option to print the cash sale.6
  • Risk Management Report Summary Totals. The risk management report provides a new column with a weighted average for each cash transaction type.9
  • Improved functionality with copying per acre expenses in the Plan section. You are now able to copy per acre expenses from all profiles with the same base commodity. Previously, you could copy expenses from a crop type and year, but not the per acre expenses of an individual profile. With this update, you can choose a particular profile to copy the expenses from. This new functionality is particularly helpful for those managing field-by-field.11
  • NEW: Organization for the Futures and Options: Futures and Options can now be grouped by “Month”.  Notice that Futures and Options are now listed under the “Brokerage” tab on the Dashboard.12
  • Auto-Import of short-dated options:  The auto-import process of short-dated options is currently being integrated by specific firms on request.  If interested please contact support@grainbridge.com for further details.

Schedule and Links for GB Producer Webinars

Listed below are the dates, times, and registration links for all Producer webinars that we will be hosting throughout June and July.

June Webinar Sessions

July Webinar Sessions

GrainBridge Announces Producer Webinar Summer Series

Whenever we bring on a new ag business as a client, our main objective is always a smooth implementation- making GrainBridge a part of your business and getting producers on the system and using it with ease. We do our best from the start to ensure that our new clients have the support and training that they and their producers need. But, what about after the initial implementation? Maybe your business has had GrainBridge for a couple of years now, and you have a pretty decent client base, but is there room for growth? You have a group of farmers that are using a few tools on the system, but could there be tools they don’t even know about? These are valid questions, but these are questions that take time to address. We understand that both the ag business and the producers are incredibly busy throughout the year. You’re planting, planning, trading, , harvesting, marketing, selling, and then learning to use these new management tools on top of everything else? That’s a lot to take on. And that’s why we’re here to give our businesses and producers a helping hand with a summer series of webinars. These webinars will be focused on both exciting and educating producers about the GrainBridge platform. We will be walking through all of the key components of our software- from the planning pieces of setting up profiles, to managing expenses and setting targets, as well as tracking futures and options trades. This will be a great basic education for new users, as well as a brush-up for those who already know how to use the system. This will also be a great opportunity to show off what all GrainBridge has to offer for producers who are not yet on the system. These sessions will take place every Tuesday morning at 8 AM CST and Thursday afternoons at 1 PM CST.  The session itself will be a recorded tour of the system, but a GrainBridge team member will be standing by throughout the session to answer any questions.  

GrainBridge Release – New Features as of 4/15/2014

  1.       CHS Hedging Brokerage Import GrainBridge now supports automatic brokerage importing for clients who use CHS Hedging. This is in addition to our current list of brokerage clearing firms: ADM Investor Services, LIN Group, RCG, RJ O’Brien, Vision, and FC Stone. To learn more about brokerage importing with GrainBridge, visit our online help guide at help.grainbridge.com or call GrainBridge Customer Support. CHS   2.       What-If Analysis for Targets One of the most frequently used and exciting tools from GrainBridge is the What-If Analyzer. You can now run analyses on Targets, in addition to Board Prices, Yield, Insurance, and Basis Prices. This analysis allows a producer to see how lowering or raising their target prices will impact their profitability and alter the rest of their operation. To learn more about setting your target prices in GrainBridge, click here. targets

What’s New with the GrainBridge 2014 Q1 Release

The GrainBridge 2014 Q1 Release was an update to GrainBridge that went live for our customers on March 16.This update consists of many new features, as well as numerous improvements and bug fixes which are detailed below.
  • GrainBridge Offer Management  – Our new offer management system is automated to provide the merchandisers with a simple, safe and secure place to manage customer offers across the desk or the internet.  GrainBridge Offer Management provides the convenience of tracking multiple offers with ability to filter by crop, transaction type, delivery, closest to reach and more.  Offers automatically light up when reached and the buyer has final decision in accepting or denying offers.offermanagement
  • FCStone Automatic Brokerage Importing – For those utilizing our brokerage import tools, we have already been offering ADM Investor Services, LIN Group, RCG, RJ O’Brien, and Vision. GrainBridge is pleased to announce that FCStone has now joined our growing group of brokerage clearing firms.2
 
  • Short Dated Options – By popular request from the brokerage firms that GrainBridge imports from, we added the ability to enter short-dated option trades.  Short-dated options are available for the major crops- corn, wheat, and soybeans.3
 
  • Scheduled Report Delivery – Administrators now have the ability to schedule reports to be sent to their clients and/or to themselves. In the previous version of GrainBridge, admins could push out reports to clients, but each report had to be pushed individually. Administrators may now schedule report deliveries to any selection of clients or groups, and pre-set delivery times for a one-time delivery, or for daily, weekly, or monthly reports. This versatility in automatic reporting can provide greater engagement between admins and their clients with a lesser time commitment for setting up and sending reports.
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  • Improved Risk Management Reporting – Not only does this new release allow for scheduled report delivery, the reports themselves are even sleeker and more comprehensive than before to give the best picture of an operation’s positions and profitability.
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  • “Delivered” Flag and Date Settings for Cash Sales – The cash sales section now not only includes your delivery date, but you may also mark a sale once it has actually been delivered. Tracking if your commodity has been delivered and the exact date of delivery is a great tool for better management and record keeping of your cash sales.6
 
  • “Basis Set Date” Option- For cash transactions where you enter a basis value, you may now add a “basis set date” to track when you set which basis.
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  • 2014 New Insurance Products – With the new Farm Bill, crop insurance has underwent several changes. This new release of GrainBridge accounts for these changes with the new insurance types. Our application now includes RP, RP (HPE), YP, ARP (HRE), ARP, AYP, and APH policies. We have also updated the March guaranteed rates, which can be found in your Insurance section.
  • 8
 
  • Improved Usability on Tablets and Mobile Devices –  This updated version of GrainBridge has increased its capacity to recognize and adjust to a wider variety of screen sizes on your mobile phone and tablet. GrainBridge will automatically accommodate any screen size and is fully functional on both Apple or Android devices. All tabs and features that are available when using the system online are available via dropdown menus on mobile devices.
  • New Support Portal –  GrainBridge is excited to provide our valued users with a newly-created online Support Portal. This Support portal allows users to find answers on an array of topics ranging from basic set up to complex individual questions that can be found in each topic sections FAQs. Our support portal is fully searchable, allowing users to type in questions or keywords, or you may simply browse through the articles for new information. If you have a specific question, we encourage you to ask it via our portal. When asking a question via the portal, our support team and other GrainBridge clients are able to reply to your question publicly, making the answer instantly available to all. This portal may be accessed through the Help Center under the Help tab in the application or at help.grainbridge.com .

New Product Release: What-If Analyzer & Offer Management Tool

New Product release, introducing a new set of risk management modules. Risk Management made simple.
  • What-If Analyzer – Create what-if analysis adjusting yield, price, basis and insurance levels to determine worst case/ best case opportunities.
    • Understand your risk exposer when yields and markets are volatile.
    • Realize estimated value on your unsold grain, futures, options and how it affects your bottom line.
    • Determine estimated “indemnity payment” on current crop insurance program.
  • Offer Management Tools – Manage all offers from one secure site. Track offers in house with option to allow clients to send offers via the internet system. NO Transaction fees.
What-If Analyzer – Powerful tool to help the producer and the agribusiness understand potential risk exposure Grain Procurement – Make procuring grain simple for all your originators or manage all from one location!

Has Your CEO Seen The ROI Of The VOIP?

Ten years ago I switch our home phone service that Qwest provided to a VOIP service, which stands for “Voice Over Internet Protocol.” The VOIP service works the same as the old-fashion phone except it used high speed internet to carry the conversations vs. the traditional phone line. Five years ago I was so pleased with how the home phone VOIP service was working that I subscribed to the service in our offices. This new technology costs a fraction of what traditional phone services cost and comes with many amazing options to help you’re ag business communicate with clients and employees. One of my favorite features are Answering ruleswhich route calls based on the time called, caller ID or the number called. Imagine having a system that routed calls based on the caller ID, let’s say your company has a grain broker that you communicate with often and when he calls, the system automatically routes his call to your desk and cellphone at the same time, this potentially saves your broker, the secretary and yourself time and money. How about that important farm client that you want routed directly to you; they would really be impressed? Click here to read the rest of the article by Mark Frank

Web Meetings: Work Smarter Not Harder

TODAY’S AGENDA 1. Meeting with John Doe in Waterloo to go over grain contracts 2. Meeting with Bob Doe in Valley to go over 2012 grain programs 3. Board meeting in Main Office to discuss new storage facility 4. All company safety meeting at Duncan location 5. Present 2013 Budget to General Manager in Main Office Does this type of schedule look familiar to you? It’s hard to get much done in a day when you are running all over the country. Today, you can become more efficient if you utilize the new communication technologies that provide web meeting services. A Web meeting will work great to conduct your meeting with John Doe, discuss his existing grain contracts by sharing the screen on your computer with him or let him take control and share his screen with you. If you really want to add the personal touch you can even activate the camera on your computer and show your face. Click here to read the full article by Mark Frank

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