Stakeholders and Drivers of ArchiFarm
Discuss about the Agricultural Production and Environmental Quality.
The paper is a precise analysis of precision livestock management in Dairy farming with more particular regards on ArchiFarm Case study. True to say, the dairy industry operates in a non-conducive environment in Australia and its environs. The same explains why milk producers are under intense pressure by major supermarkets chains in recent durations. In relation, the profit margins are shrinking, and hence farmers look forward to increasing productivity and efficiency of their productions as well as operations. The concept of managing production risk, in this case, is classified as one of the most vital opportunities. Precision Livestock Farming has a primary responsibility of optimizing the contribution of independent animals through the use of advanced technologies (Adams & Ohene-Yankyera, 2014). In this case, the concept of technology is considered vital in the process. Subsequently, every livestock is equipped with sensors which play the role of continuously monitoring the performance of the animal as well as its health. On the other hand, decision support systems and data analysis methods are used to adjust the feeding and also handling of individual animals. With particular regards to the case study, the use of advanced sensor technology that is attached to the animal’s ear and hence provides a detailed analysis of the animal’s current state regarding health. In relation, such levels of advanced health management technologies can relatively reduce the production risk, optimize the levels of quality and quantity and also scale the operations to effectively survive in the large emerging international market with specific regards to Asia (Miah, Kerr & von Hellens, 2014).
The following section will comprehensively tackle the relevant stakeholders and drivers of the farm through analyzing their respective roles and contribution to the success of the ArchiFarm. ArchiFarm has some stakeholders, goals, drivers, and assessment that are relevant to the livestock management task of the farm. The company has implemented standard governance structures with its board based on the CxO roles at the top of the structure. The company’s logistic operations, as well as the client liaison, are components that are handled by the head office located in Sydney (Havet et al, 2014). Regarding drivers, the production site is overseen by a site manager whose prime responsibility is to oversee and direct the operations of the site as a whole. Another responsibility of the site manager is to periodically report production as well as other operational data. The data is analyzed and reported to the head office who in return utilizes the obtained data for planning purposes. Employees and farm workers work hand in hand with the site manager to effectively run the operations of the farm.
Independent sites maintain a proper administration office whose primary responsibility to is conducted HR duties, organizes contractors for maintenance works and site management duties (Gerasimov, et al, 2015). Smaller sites outsource maintenance to contractors while large production site maintains a different maintenance unit. Also, the farm has agreements with local animal feed producers that are in charge of making animal feed supplies to each production site. The feeds come in fixed quantities at regular intervals. The farm also has contracts with some distributors who collect and ship production milk through the use of refrigerated containers by truck for purposes of further processing or commercial purposes. The contract is pre-specified by ArchiFarm, and hence it is responsible for making payment for compensation of the agreed quantity of milk if the product fails to pass the quality control procedures (Klychova et al, 2014).
By the farm’s assessment, ArchiFarm is a large dairy producer house which has three production sites that it operates. The main site is located in rural Victoria is home to over ~2500 cows. The other two smaller ones are located in NSW and have roughly ~200 cows independently. Each site has respective facilities an inclusive of the main shed where all the cows are kept as well as milked, an office building and various storage and maintenance infrastructures.
An ArchiMate is simply a modeling technique or language that is sued to describe enterprise relations (Paustian, Wellner & Theuvsen, 2015). It gives an illustration of a clear set of concepts within relationships between architecture domains and also gives a uniform structure of the contents of the mentioned domains. The following is a representation of an appropriate ArchiMate view that shows the element of relations amongst the stakeholders in ArchiFarm.
Successful managing of livestock farm businesses is one of the key goals of farm owners. In relation, the quality of the decisions that are made by the management team is a crucial component in accessing the relevancy and productivity of the business. Subsequently, this section of the paper will comprehensively address business functions that are relevant to livestock management at ArchiFarm (Van Horn, 2013). One of the key advantages that ArchiFarm has is that the farm has management resources that improve the general quality of the farm’s crucial decisions. With the ever changing trends of development regarding information and technology, it is advisable for management to reevaluate prior decisions to weigh it regarding costs as well as benefits (Paustian, Wellner & Theuvsen, 2015). It is crucial to point out that managing a farm such as the ArchiFarm is a wholesome responsibility and hence farm management is a concept that farm owners identify with. Farm management is simply the decision-making process that is directed towards meeting the vision, mission, and goals of the business as a whole. In connection, just as in the case of ArchiFarm, all the decision by the management team should be focused on the productive allocation of factors such as production land, capital, management, and labor. In a business year, there should be three major functions performed by the management:
Business Functions Relevant to Livestock Management
In planning, the functions involved include defining a related issue, collecting data and also planning for operations. Subsequently, this is defined by the site manager as described in the previous chapters of the text hence indicating that ArchiFarm takes up this responsibility as a vital component (Adams & Ohene-Yankyera, 2014). After the data is analyzed and various options examined, the internal management team considers the best alternative.
The implementation function incorporates implementing the plans created in the previous planning stage. Technically, it involves arranging for purchasing of inputs, training of employees, selecting genetics, preparing financial statements and every other task that is related to financing, production, and marketing.
The final function is the control function which relates to the process of monitoring of key activities of the business. The primary responsibilities, in this case, involves entering data into a management information system. The system is delicate and has so many parts and are normally not integrated (Al-Azmi, 2013). In this case, the MIS is comprised of financial accounting, regulatory records required by different agencies, production records and other records that are personalized to the enterprises of the business. Also, the data that is collected from the MIS should be converted relevant information that aims to enhance the knowledge base of the manager.
Consequently, this aspect is important since the decisions to change the business are settled down on credit to the results of analyzing the information. The information is also not utilized as raw but rather is compared to prior years and also to other in other occurrences to similar businesses (Paustian, Wellner & Theuvsen, 2015). A comprehensive MIS is credited to a foundation for creating the upcoming year’s budget. As most farm owners can identify, budgeting is considered more precise when historical information from the respective enterprise is used to create the intended budget.
It can be argued that the functions of management are a concept that is continuous throughout the year (MacGillivray & Pollard, 2008). Relatively, successful managers have the trait of functioning continuously. This means that they invest heavily on analyzing the opportunities as well as the threats to their business. In addition to analyzing the components, they also aim at making adjustments so as to ensure that they remain relevant as well as competitive in the marketplace hence maintaining a competitive edge over other managers. Just as planning is a continual process, implementation plans are always evaluated using a current economy lens (Paustian, Wellner & Theuvsen, 2015). As a result of information being received from the MIS, adjustments to the original plan are very common and also new tracking systems are on a monthly basis introduced.
An ArchiMate views that show the primary business functions at ArchiFarm and the flow of goods, value or information between them
In several sectors, an inclusive of in agriculture, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) has proven beyond and doubted that it could improve management of enterprises. Subsequently, this is in particular regards to information and knowledge intensive environments. In the contemporary society, a broad spectrum of state of the art computer systems is available that are in support of the whole farm management cycle of monitoring, planning as well as the control process. Relevant examples that can be adopted by ArchiFarm include satellites to create field images, advanced planning, weather sensors, farm management systems as well as decision support systems.
The mentioned components are advantageous because they can operate with high precision. The new technology techniques can also be utilized to realize advanced farm management styles that will automatically contribute to a third green revolution in which the stakeholders are likely to benefit from (Lizzi et al, 2017). This section is of particular importance because it will highlight an ArchiMate view that extensively illustrates the business functions with an in-depth focus embedded on three critical functions that is control, monitoring, and planning. The three components are inter-related in that one adversely affects the other and hence should be treated with equal consideration. Farm management, just as in the case of ArchiFarm is a crucial variable regarding determining the success or the productivity of the organization. In relation, the ArchiMate shaped opinion is a comprehensive review of how the three components interrelate under the umbrella of Farm management.
A business process is simply an activity or a set of activities that aims at accomplishing a specific organizational goal. In relation, Business process management is a vital component is it is a systematic approach used in improving the processes. Consequently, this section of the paper will in an in-depth scope analyze the business process utilized by ArchiFarm in its attempts to accomplish its organizational goals (Garforth, 2015). One of its prominent features is that the Farm has invested in automation technologies specifically in its main production house. This is inclusive of automatic feeding stations for the cattle’s. The feeding stations dispense a custom quality of animal feed to each cattle and also a robot milking station that automatically tracks the yield of every animal as well as adjusts milking times for each animal. However, the process is keen on ensuring that no cases of under or over milking are experienced since it has serious implications (Lemaire et al, 2014). The smaller production houses, however, do not have the privilege of having an automated feeding lots but instead counter this situation through relying on farm workers. The farm workers are responsible for dispensing feed to each animal through the use of tractors. It terms of milking; the farm prefers the older version of an automated milking system (Jang & Kim, 2015). Subsequently, the older version of automated milking system is important since it records the quantity of milk that is obtained from each respective cow that it milks. In contrast to the other version (fully automated) robot installed at the main production house, the milking system must be moved from one cow to the next by the farm workers. After the end of the process, the quantity of the milk that is produced by each animal is exported from the information system and analyzed through the use of a custom- built reporting software tool (Borodin, et al, 2016).
The results from the obtained analysis are used by the staff to customize feed quantities for each animal and also to organize health assessments by veterinarians. Assessment of each animal’s health is done by manual inspection. However, this particular technique is not as effective since animal related problems are usually unveiled once the health issue has advanced to an extent where the animal either losses or yields weight significantly (Kubata, Tyrychtr, Ulman & Vostrovský, 2014). Once a problem is detected, the cow’s feed schedule is adjusted, and a prescribed drug is added. Animals’ records are kept in respective animal’s health records forms. Also, to remain relevant in the industry, ArchiFarm utilizes PLF technologies for health monitoring. The farm is also making arrangements to implement data driven health monitoring in all of its production sites. More specifically, the farm has intentions of adopting sensors that are attached to the cows’ ears for PLF health management. The general plan is to construct and maintain an animal specific health prediction model by automatically and also continuously accessing the readings from the attached sensor in the cow’s ears and use this to integrate with the animal milk production data and also the obtained health information (Alkemade, et al 2013).
For a long term plan, ArchiFarm intends to apply predictive analytics algorithms and data mining to anticipate potential problems before it escalates. Simply put, learning from one of the sites is to be translated to the other two production sites to curb the spread of diseases. Regarding business process, Dairy products in Australia has been considered the fourth most valuable asset regarding agricultural exports. In connection, growth in the Australian dairy industry is heavily dependent on the expanding export market since exports are anticipated to grow over time continuously. The Middle East and Asia, as well as are most likely to benefit from the growth. The best part of it is that the Australian dairy industry systems are becoming more popular and ArchiFarm is on the roadmap regarding the farms that are most likely to benefit from the same.
The following diagram is a representation of an of the main business functions of ArchiFarm with specific considerations on the flow of value and information among important components of the farm. The business objects, named 1, 2 and 3 are representations of the farm’s three production sites. The relationship between the business functions and the process is also illustrated in the diagram as a vital component of the process. The relationship is controlled by variables such as accessibility, aggregation, composition, and realization. Although the flow of goods may not have been captured in the ArchiMate representation, the highlighted process are interrelated and in most occurrences touch on the aspect of flow of goods. The responses are limited to business processes that can be directly influenced by the introduction of PLF hence more comprehensive.
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