Walkthrough participating in the Building Horticulture Business Capacity ProjectBENJAMIN HAMILTON

The Building Horticulture Business Capacity (BHBC) project provides an opportunity for horticultural producers to partner with Planfarm business consultants to analyse the business on an independent basis — afresh set of eyes.The goal of the project is to build your business's capacity to understand the complex components that drive farm business profitability.

Working with the members of your business, we'll analyse these components and provide insights to enhance the business's resilience and success.

Building Horticulture Business Capacity lead, Bryn Edwards and Planfarm’s Bronson Gledhill, recently developed a YouTube video to answer the Frequently Asked Questions about the program. Following is an excerpt of some of the questions addressed.

BRYN: How long does the data gathering process take?”

BRONSON: “It is dependent on a few variables. It depends on the level of access and the organisation of the information. If the information is readily available, it could take as little as 15–20 minutes!”

BRYN: “Great; could you tell us a little more about how the process works?”

BRONSON: “Initially, a Planfarm representative will come to your farm to have a discussion on how the process works. From there, a Planfarm consultant will be assigned to you; they will come and visit to collect the simple pieces of information such as: your name, your basic business details, introduction to your accountants, bookkeepers. Very general information to begin with, then, with permission, access your cashbook so we can begin to assess the data.”

BRYN: “So, what is required with the cashbook?”

BRONSON: “For the data gathering we will need access to production information, which includes; your areas, your crops, your total amount of produce each crop grows (either kilograms or tonnes), your water usage information stats (to access your water use efficiency), your cashflow summary to look at your transactions, information of those transactions through a general ledger, and some balance sheet information so we can access the position of the business (anonymously). These are all really simple to compile if you have the information readily available, if not a Planfarm consultant will work with you one-on-one”.

“The power of looking at this information is knowing how the production relates to the profitability and success of the business.”

BRYN: “Now, I know we have had a lot of conversations with hesitant growers about Planfarm having access to their cashbook; would you like to talk about that?”

BRONSON: “I completely understand the hesitancy around allowing Planfarm to access the cashbook and sharing that information. However, our business is built purely on confidentiality. So, there is no way that information will be distributed outside of Planfarm.”

“The benefits of sharing this information are: there is no benefit from the growers end to pull the information out (as it is time consuming and confusing). We make the analysis easy for the grower. We only extract the information to present back to the owner of the business the information was extracted from.”

BRYN: “What if someone isn’t so comfortable about allowing you access to their cashbook, how does it work?”

BRONSON: “There are ways to work around it. However, it will require some one-on-one consultation and work out of gathering the reports, which adds time to the process, and it doesn’t yield as detailed reports as they could have been.”

BRYN: “So, there’s the production information, ideally access to the cashbooks to speed the process up, is there anything else?”

BRONSON: “Not in particular. One of the key benefits I have found working with growers is the introduction with the grower’s accountant or bookkeeper, so everyone is on the same page. Quite often accountants can have a perception that Planfarm is trying to take their client. That’s not what we are aiming for, we want to work with the accountants. We look at the production and how that relates to the financials, the accountant looks at the financials and how that relates to the tax requirements. Both are individually helpful, and both assist a grower and an introduction allows
us to discuss with them the benefits of both parties.”

BRYN: “Is there anything else you would like to tell our members?”

BRONSON: “From a data gathering perspective, the sooner we gain access to it, the sooner the end reports are returned to the growers, and the sooner Planfarm can benefit you”.

“I understand that without a one-on-one discussion it is hard to see the value. However, the growers that have participated have begun to see some massive results from the analysis. Growers in the program are now excited to see the data as it comes out! If you can get past the initial concerns, then you will really see the benefit the Building Horticulture Business Capacity program can provide!”

BRYN: “One final point is we will ensure you are comfortable with the process before you agree, but the best thing to do is get straight on to it to avoid a lengthy process! Planfarm is very flexible and accommodating to growers needs.”
If you want more information on the process or want to join the project, please contact Bryn Edwards on 0417 409 821
or bryn.edwards@vegetableswa.com.au
or Bronson Gledhil on 0497 822 681 or bronson@planfarm.com.au.
For more information on the project, please visit: https://buildingwahorticulture.com.au/