• Posted 10/12/2018 8:34pm

FarmTune on Mahanga Dairies

"Dairy NZ told us FarmTune would help us be more efficient. I was skeptical because I thought we were pretty good anyway. I went along trying to pull holes in it, but I guess I’m now a reformed believer," says Farm Manager Murray Bowden.

Having been through the course, Murray is now a reformed believer. Just a few simple changes to the way they were milking is now saving them time every day. 

"FarmTune has helped me become a better manager of my guys, and it’s empowered them to be able to take ownership of what they do, and it’s given us a good platform to have meaningful conversations that sometimes aren’t easy to have."

Milking More Efficiently

One key change Murray introduced to their milking shed was uniformity.

"Milking happens twice a day, and it’s nothing to lose half an hour here and there. But that half an hour is actually important to the guys, whether they want to go to sports, see their partner or family, whatever. If they have to stay here longer because we were being inefficient, that brings the whole team down," says Murray.

“Through the programme we targeted our miking and we were able to see where we as a team were being inefficient. We’re now milking 800 cows through a 54 bail rotary in two and a half hours. That was taking us around three hours because of our inefficiencies,” he says.

“That’s where we gain our time by keeping it the same. When you go through our shed you’ll see all our cups are taped the same way. It makes it really easy and comfortable for the person milking and comfortable for the cow."

Murray Mahanga Dairies FarmTune

Everyone Saves Time

To make lasting changes, it’s not enough to have a good plan. As any manager knows, the challenge is getting everyone else on board.

“When making any changes on the farm, the key is getting everyone to buy in. It’s the classic, ‘What’s in it for me?’ Well, we used to start milking at 4am, and we now milk at 4:30am. We used to be finished at 5pm, but we’re always done by 4:30pm. Getting the guys to buy in was a real success,” says Murray.

Fewer Unscheduled Breakdowns

As well as saving time during milking, Murray has also seen a drop in unscheduled breakdowns.

Everyone has a part to play in our R&M, everyone takes ownership of it. With the routine maintenance, our downtime and unscheduled breakdowns have gone away to pretty much nothing. We use our cow shed provider to come in and do regular maintenance, not just once a year but across the year. They’re here every six weeks. We’re not waiting for parts to come in while the shed sits empty. That just doesn’t happen to us anymore.

The more open minded you are and if you’re open to change, the more you’ll get out of it. It will also benefit your crew maybe more so than the person in charge of the farm. A big part of FarmTune is giving the team a platform.

For more about Murray's experience, and an overview of FarmTune, here's a sheet you can download and take away.

Download FarmTune Overview

Better Communication

I’d recommend FarmTune because it will help empower your team. It will also help you as a manager or a farm owner to open your eyes to new options in non-confronting way.

Because his team feel empowered to make decisions, Murray has more time to get on with what needs doing.

“The key thing for me is that my guys can impact change where they see necessary, but FarmTune gives them a process in which to do it. I’m a believer in it. Because of FarmTune, I know I can leave the farm and it will be run the same way as if I was there, which means I can sleep at night.”

Do you want to empower your staff to make smarter decisions that save you time and money? For more information or to register for FarmTune, contact us today.

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