Coastline Family Farms BB #:141488 in Salinas, CA, spent over $20,000 upgrading technology infrastructure and equipment during the pandemic.
Employees received new laptops, monitors, and printer/scanners, and IT systems were given remote upgrades and training for use.
In addition were harvest losses and inefficiencies, altered transportation and shipping costs, and safety upgrades, all of which increased the cost of doing business. But every crisis presents an opportunity, and COO Robert Verloop tries to be even-handed in balancing the monetary burdens with the benefits.
“I am very pleased with our staff, who have done a great job communicating with Zoom, chat, text, emails, and the good old telephone,” he says, mentioning growers who have brought in medical professionals to explain safety protocols and preventive practices. “This has been well received by employees, as there are so many mixed messages about Covid.”
Marc Hatfield, national sales manager for Produce Pro Software, Inc., BB #:164269 based near Chicago, IL, echoes the view: despite enormous costs, the coronavirus has provided moments to be optimistic and positive about the future.
“Many of our customers were hit hard during the pandemic,” he says. “The use of technology has become a pivotal way for customers to sustain their businesses—the more they’ve been able to embrace and adopt technology, the better the result.”
This is a feature from the Applied Technology department of the January/February 2021 issue of Produce Blueprints Magazine. Click here to read the full article.