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Digital Marketing and Grain Delivery Records

Marketing grain effectively and profitably is more complex than ever before. There are many ways to track these decisions and commitments, but there are advantages to a digital system of these records such as the one presented below:

  1. They can be in one place.
  2. They can be aggregated, sorted, collated for better alignment with delivery records.
  3. If digital, they can facilitate the analysis of profitability and help to sort the returns from growing the crop from returns in marketing decisions.
  4. They can be used to keep your “status” up to date to inform your best next decision.

Grain deliveries could also be tracked in many ways. Of course your buyers or grain recipients also have record systems and will provide reports from their perspective. This Airtable database doesn’t offer instant interoperability with those systems, but with the system described below, you will see your data in a tidy and clear format to facilitate reconciliation.

To help you track decisions and deliveries, a template (or example database for you to duplicate) was assembled. The idea is that you will duplicate and customize this so you can obtain and generate and secure your marketing and grain delivery records digitally in a simple manner.

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This template is based on Airtable, which is a cloud database platform that offers free services plus additional features for a fee. We believe it will be a rare instance for your Grain Marketing and Delivery Records to require the paid level of service.

Don’t let “database” scare you … these are just lists, essentially.

Since many are new to Airtable and may also be new to digitizing contracts and delivery records, we have generated a series of five short (about 35 minutes total!) videos that walk you step-by-step through the process of getting the templates, customizing them to your own needs, and getting your tidy tables of data downloaded to your own computer.

We encourage you to watch Part 1, which demonstrates the simple forms (like the one illustrated here) and illustrates the types of records you will have. You will see that the reporting can readily be done on a smart phone (or computer) literally in seconds. If that seems applicable to you, and we believe many will find this to be true, Parts 2-6 explain all you need to know to have streamlined, digital, and private yet downloadable and sharable records.

You will want to watch these training sessions in the proper order the first time for them to make the most sense. You may want to refer back to particular section as you duplicate and deploy this template for your operation. Be aware that this set of 6 videos will not cover all features of Airtable, but covers all you need to know to take the Digital Marketing and Delivery Records template we have assembled and customize it for your operation.

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Part 1: Brief demonstration of the Airtable forms and results (11:46) | https://youtu.be/5VoPYfJDZHk

Part 2: Duplicating the base (copying the template) and controlling access (3:55) | https://youtu.be/yBMzi-lHJu4

Part 3: Explanation of some Airtable features built into the contracts aspect of the template (4:30) | https://youtu.be/JG1GjXIqdfU

Part 4: Explanation of some Airtable features built into the deliveries aspect of the template (2:59) | https://youtu.be/Qu-mrErH4ZQ

Part 5: Customizing your lists and sharing the forms (8:59) | https://youtu.be/qXwU-KTj6IQ

Part 6: Export your data (5:44) | https://youtu.be/Amblxih5Y_E

If you prefer to work with your data in spreadsheets, Part 6 demonstrates how to get the data into your software of choice so you analyze and aggregate with Pivot Tables or with basic list and data actions like sorting and filtering.

Finally…here is the link to the database template. After viewing those orientation/training/demonstration videos, you should be able to duplicate, then customize and deploy this for your operation.

DIGITAL GRAIN MARKETING AND DELIVERY RECORDS VIA AIRTABLE

See also a related post and template regarding Digital Field Records.

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