Grow IT – July 2022

Welcome to your Winter issue of Grow IT.  We hope your harvests are fruitful and that you can take a few minutes out to catch-up on the news…

We’ve got a fully-packed newsletter for you – enjoy!

Sharon and the ABC team

We’re Invested!

We’re very pleased to announce that we’ve partnered with Jenkins Group Limited. Jenkin’s core competencies are specialised printing, distribution and technical service in the fruit and produce industry, and comprises Jenkins Freshpac Systems, J-Tech Systems, Globalpac Technologies, CR Automation and now, ABC Software.  ABC offers a complementary capability to the Jenkins Group, and Jenkins investment supports ABC’s plans for significant growth across New Zealand and Australia.  It’s a fantastic fit with well aligned business models, complementary cultures and shared values.   

Above is the J-Tech team with ABC at the Hort Connections event in Brisbane – we think you can spot Sharon and Alison pretty easily!

Events – lots of them!

It’s been an eventful few months – we had a great time at Hort Connections in Brisbane in June where we joined 3000 delegates for a key industry conference and exhibition. Key topics included: leveraging farm data with your customers, state of the industry panels, environmental issues affecting growers, bio-security, and future farming. In between conference sessions we were busy networking with delegates in the exhibition area – proudly sporting our new ABC shirts.  

Above you can see us (L – Alison, R – Sharon) with a rather flat Chris Hemsworth!

Events coming up

We’re back to Australia this month attending BerryQuest22 on the Gold Coast between 25-28 July.  This event brings together the berries community in a three-day event showcasing the latest innovations including growing techniques, research, packaging, export development, biosecurity, labour and marketing. We’re looking forward to networking and understanding more about what’s happening in the industry.  We’re also hoping to catch-up with our Aussie berry clients – so if you are attending get in touch and we can catch-up over a coffee (or a berry smoothie!). 

All the details here:  


And, back in New Zealand, we’ll be attending the Apples and Pears Conference – NZAPI – in Nelson on 24-26 August.  The conference theme is Adapting to New Horizons and explores how the apple and pear industry can meet new horizons that have arisen over the last two years.  There will be presentations and discussions on growing our industry globally, strengthening our sustainability pillar, technology partnerships and telling our story to the world. 

We’re looking forward to mingling with colleagues and partners and listening to industry leaders.  If you are planning to go, come and find us – Sharon and Alison will be attending, we have a small exhibitor space with cake and a competition, it would be great to say Hi.  Did we mention there will be cake? 

All the details here: 

 What’s New?

NFC Readability

The team has been working hard behind the scenes and we’re excited to let you know the ABCgrower Mobile App can now read NFC tags.  You can continue to scan worker cards or search for workers by name but now have the option to scan NFC tags.  If you have existing NFC tags, cards or wristbands, or are considering heading this way talk to us for more information.

App for Apple

The ABCgrower Mobile App was originally developed for Android because the scanners use this operating system.  But you’ve told us that on some farms you prefer Apple to Android, and you’re keen to use the App on your iPhones. There’s been a few hoops to jump through, but we are excited to announce an intended release date to the App Store of 31 July! 

Hot Topic – Productivity

Average productivity is a key component of the changes to the Australian Horticulture Award legislation. In order to determine average productivity, you need to know which workers are competent at the specific task. You need to know the time those competent workers spent on the task. And you need to know the quantities those workers did. When you have all that information, you can determine the average productivity. Now you need to put each worker against that average to determine if the worker is below average, or average and above. For those average and above, you should be paying them the 15% uplift. 

This can be a big ask when managing via spreadsheets. The person doing all this data collection and manipulation, is not doing the job they were doing last year. Who is doing that job? This is where good software tools come into play. Let the software handle the legwork of crunching the numbers and presenting information for decision making. Use your key staff in the roles you hired them for. Automation is the buzz in the horticulture industry. Software tools such as ABCgrower for worker productivity is automation. 


What would it mean to your business if you can see productivity every day? What decisions would/could you make? What opportunities does it create? Productivity is a fixed formula of quantity over time. What you do with this information, however, is a choice each farmer can make. Some ideas: 

  • Reward high performers 

  • Know your key workers and who to retain 

  • Motivate workers using comparisons on what other workers are achieving 

  • Identify poor performers, and act 

If you have questions, get in touch here.


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How to set pay rates in bulk

Work smarter, not harder

Paying your workers by the hour?  Any worker who is to be paid by the hour must have an Hourly Rate or Pay Grade set against their individual record.  Sounds painful? It doesn’t have to be. You can set Pay Rates and apply Pay Grades in bulk.  It really is as easy as ABC.

Tell me how?

If you’re using Pay Grades make sure these are setup first via Settings > Pay Grade.

Go to Worker > Worker, use the filters and Search for the workers (you can filter the list further in the next step).  Then click Create Pay Rate.

Enter the Effective From Date and the Hourly rate, or if using Pay Grades, tick the box and then select the Pay Grade from the dropdown list.

Select the workers you want the rate or grade to apply to and lastly, hit Create!

How to assign worker names in the field on the ABCgrower Mobile App

What’s in a name?

Another goal has been achieved in our relentless pursuit for information automation – you can now assign Worker Names in the field on the ABCgrower Mobile App!

Why is this useful?

Where you have a bunch of new pickers arrive (excuse the pun), you can have a handful of worker cards with unique identification numbers loaded and ready to go.  Scan the card on the App, enter their name, handover the card and they can get picking!

How do I do this?

First up, create and print Worker Cards via Worker > Worker > Bulk Create on the website.

Then, on the App, tap Download Settings > Workers.

Scan the Worker Card via the new Worker Name function and enter the worker’s name.

The information will be sent to the website when you upload Data.  Worker names remain editable on the App until they’re uploaded.   

To add more information, such as payroll numbers or to assign pay rates, do this via the website in the usual way.

I’m interested, how do I get it?

Where you have a bunch of new pickers arrive (excuse the pun), you can have a handful of worker cards with unique identification numbers loaded and ready to go.  Scan the card on the App, enter their name, handover the card and they can get picking!