Livestock Improvement

Livestock Improvement’s AB Technician service is a network of over 1200 technicians who artificially inseminate New Zealand’s dairy herds.

Technicians perform over 2.6 million inseminations per year, during the six to eight week period of the spring mating season. Livestock Improvement AB Technicians inseminate the cows, recording data about each insemination. This data used to be recorded on paper, form.  During the mating season the number of forms being manually entered into the National Database each day was enormous and required a large staff of data entry operators and related personnel.

LIC identified that they could improve upon the manual data entry system by implemeting an automated data capture system. Some of the benefits they were looking for included improved accuracy of mating data, increased speed of data processing, and reduced costs of data processing.

After rigorous testing and evaluation, the Psion Workabout hand held computer was selected as the new data collection device for the “DataMATE” project. Pocket Solutions was commissioned to design and develop a software program to run on the Psion Workabout that would automate the collection of mating data information. This program would include numerous facilities not available with a manual system, including extensive error trapping and parameter checking.

The DataMATE system (installed 1998) now allows the AB technicians to simply enter the mating information into the Workabout, and then at the end of each transmit the data automatically by modem back to the LIC national database.  Now fully deployed with over 1200 Technicians throughout NZ, the DataMATE has set a new standard in remote data capture in the farming sector.

Benefits to LIC:

  • Error rate reduced from 33% down to under 2%
  • Data throughput (Matings) reduced from 10 days to just over 24 hours
  • Technicians get paid faster; farmers get invoiced sooner
  • Cash flow radically improved

“Pocket Solutions have developed and written the DataMATE program to meet our needs of recording farm Matings. New Version updates have been produced on time and within Budget. Pocket Solutions have serviced DataMATE for the last 8 years, providing an excellent and timely support for the Software.”

Greg Schwarz, Regional Artificial Breeding Operations Manager, Livestock Improvement

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