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New mobile application to assist in feedlot cattle selection

The software development team at AbacusBio is developing a mobile application for the largest meat processing company in the world – to assist their cattle buying team to purchase cattle for their feedlot business.

JBS Australia is Australia’s largest feedlotter, with capacity for around 150,000 cattle on feed at any one time on their five feedlots located in Queensland and New South Wales.

Their estimated feedlot turnoff for 2014 was around 395,000 head, meaning thousands of feeder cattle must be purchased weekly to restock feedlots.

JBS buy cattle almost exclusively directly from farmers using their team of cattle buyers spread across the Australian eastern seaboard, rather than through saleyards.

JBS records the performance of all cattle passing through the feedlots, and uses that data to calculate a Vendor Selection Index (VSI) for each vendor.

Vendors have an overall index on carcass value, plus indexes for marbling, average daily gain, and saleable meat yield based on prior performance of cattle in JBS feedlots.

VSI scores are used for a variety of purposes, including inventory management and turnoff optimisation.

The JBS purchasing team recognises the need to maximise the extraction of value to the business from VSI data in selecting cattle that best meet the current needs of the feedlot business.

“Being able to access a Vendor’s VSI data in a mobile application when on a vendor’s property improves the relationship between JBS buyer and vendors, and has some really helpful features,” says AbacusBio IT consultant Mark Teviotdale.

“One of the great functionality features would be the ability to provide a comparison analysis of VSI performance across different vendors on the fly – which helps to better guide cattle purchase decisions,” Mark adds.

Feedback can also be readily provided to vendors on the performance of their animals.

“It’s a win-win situation for both vendors and JBS in terms of working together to ensure best quality in their animals – which will also strengthen their business relationships ultimately,” AbacusBio consultant Neville Jopson says.

To facilitate its uptake, the application will be designed to run on the new Windows 10 operating system.

“This means that JBS buyers will be able to access this application across all their mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops; buyers can use whatever device is most convenient or productive for the task at hand with the experience of the application remaining the same across any device,” Mark says.

“The ever-evolving technology means that we can now make business processes so much more efficient and accurate – giving businesses an edge over the others.”