How Citrus Farmers Benefit from Using the Farm Costing Solutions System
Farm Costing Solutions (FCS) is a leader in hardware and software solutions for managing farm expenses. And they are seeing an increase in interest from South Africa’s citrus- farming community. FCS has been tailoring systems to suit individual micro (as few as 5 – 10 workers), small, medium, large and super-large corporate farms (in excess of 10 000 workers).
The FCS system electronically records all labour-related farm activities, including time and attendance, piecework, and job costing. This information is easily available and the system interfaces with various payroll platforms, including FCS’s own dynamic purpose-driven Crest Payroll.
“The FCS system is very user-friendly, and it was easy for our workers to adopt,” said Sarah Lingenfelder, part of the administration team at Sitrusrand, a 1 000 ha citrus business based in the Kirkwood region that employs about 1200 workers during harvest season. Sitrusrand uses FCS to record time and attendance data, as well as costs related to piecework and all other farming activities. FCS has also installed fingerprint access control turnstiles at its packhouse, to log the times workers enter and exit the facility. “Our workers are enthusiastic about the system, because they know their wages are accurately calculated. It limits disagreements later on,” Lingenfelder added. The FCS system is seen by the workers as a beneficial tool (not a policing one).
FCS, which has a 31-year track record, is known for its responsive support. “Farm Costing Solutions has an excellent after-sales service. They are available at all times,” noted Lingenfelder.
“Before we switched to FCS, we manually checked off workers’ names as they arrived and left. This paper-based process led to many errors. FCS is a much more accurate and reliable system for recording time and attendance information,” said CJ Meiring of Meiring Citrus that employs 300 workers during harvest season. They’re based in the Sundays River Valley, and have been using FCS since 2019.
When it comes to keeping track of piecework wages, FCS is also an efficient solution. Under the supervision of a manager, workers swipe their tags against a portable reader once they have completed a specific task. The system then automatically calculates each worker’s wages based on the work they have completed, for example, the quantity of crates of fruit they have harvested.
CJ is also full of praise for the FCS team’s after-sales service: “Our experience with FCS has been very positive. They are professional and know their product inside-out. It is a pleasure to work with them. Whenever we need assistance, they are quick to respond.”
FCS offers tailor-made solutions suitable for farms of all sizes. “This is a system that all farming businesses – small, medium and large – can benefit from,” said Felix Meiring of Wesbank Boerdery, a smaller-sized citrus enterprise that employs about 15 permanent workers, 60 during peak season. “Because of rising wages, labour is now one of the biggest farming expenses. It is becoming increasingly important to carefully manage wage costs,” he added. “I’ve got no complaints about FCS”. Their technical support is excellent. So far, it has only benefitted our business,” Wesbank’s Felix Meiring added.
FCS serves over 700 clients across several provinces, including some of SA’s most well- known agricultural businesses such as Du Toit Group, De Keur Estate, and Boschkrans Farming.
For more information about how your business could benefit from FCS, contact Marilyn at: +27(0) 21 903 0612, mobile phone: +27(0) 72 896 6801, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Article Source: SA Fruit Journal (April/May 2022)