Besides the people that help you run your operation, your equipment and machines are likely the most important resource on your farm. They assist with tasks and make tough jobs easier, allowing you to work faster and smarter which leads to increased production. Since they provide such a benefit, it pays to keep them maintained so that they continue to provide that help. You don't want to end up missing your harvest window due to broken machinery! Farmbrite helps you keep records of all your equipment to assist in avoiding that situation; you'll easily be able to track the hours on a machine, its' last service, and even how much the equipment is costing you to operate. You can also set reminders and appointments for your equipment on your calendar, and store pictures and important documents. You now have a single source of truth for your equipment - no more wondering the last time you replaced the fan belt, and then searching for that sticky note you shoved in the top drawer of your tool box 2 years ago. The information you need is all here at your fingertips - even on your mobile device when you're out in the barn working.
This article will provide a high level overview of what you can track with your equipment; click into the links in each section below to learn more about each feature.
Adding Your Equipment
The first step to tracking your equipment is to add it to your Farmbrite system. You'll create the records and provide basic information. If you don't have all the data to add right now - maybe you need to go check the serial number before adding it - you can always update the equipment details later. At this point you might be thinking "what am I actually adding here...what should I be tracking?" and the answer is literally anything you want! We've designed Farmbrite's equipment management system to be customizable and flexible, so go ahead and add those tractors, harvesters, tillers, trucks, trailers, cultivators, tools or even greenhouses, chainsaws, or a snow blower. You own it and want to track it's maintenance and costs? Add it!
Using QR Codes with Equipment
Every piece of equipment that you add to Farmbrite will be assigned a unique QR code. This "Quick Response" code is like a barcode, and will bring you directly to the equipment's record in Farmbrite when scanned with your mobile device. The idea is that you will print out the code and affix it on or near your equipment. When you perform maintenance or need to take a note, you can scan the code with your phone and go directly to Farmbrite to add it immediately. You don't need to record it all in your office at the end of the day (but if you want to that's fine too!); take it on the go and record it accurately right at the time you're working on it. You can even use this to take pictures of your equipment with your phone's camera and archive them with the equipment record. All of the features outlined below are available on your device using this code. Note: an internet connection is currently required for this feature.
Tracking Maintenance Records
Gone are the days of file folders and cabinets stuffed full of receipts and maintenance records - you won't have to search through stacks and stacks of printed documents to figure out the last time the tractor had a tune up! You'll be able to easily create and reference those maintenance records in Farmbrite. Your maintenance records can include things like what service was performed, when it was completed, the current mileage/hours on the equipment, and how much it cost you. That cost can also be automatically added to your accounting records, making it easier to calculate what the equipment is costing you to own and operate.
Accounting for Equipment Expenses
Your equipment costs you money - the repair bills and routine maintenance we just saw above can really add up! You can track those expenses - and any revenue that it brings in as well - with the Accounting features under the Equipment section of your Farmbrite account. You'll record transactions associated with this piece of equipment to report revenue and expenses, which then total to a profit or loss. We would expect that you'll record more expenses than revenue on equipment, as it is likely used to support your farm and ranch functions overall, and not necessarily bringing in revenue directly. Of course, you might rent it out and bring in some additional funds to associate with it to offset some of the costs you incur.
Like the maintenance records outlined above, you'll find that the main benefit of having your equipment notes in Farmbrite is that you'll always know exactly where they are, and how to access them. Combine the QR code feature with this, and you can easily scan your equipment and jot down a quick note for it. Don't lose that genius idea that strikes you while you're out working in the equipment - record it in Notes, and action it later! You can also associate and image and a mapped location with the note, helping the farmhand that you assigned it to know exactly what needs to be done if the note is also a Task.
Whether someone is coming by the work on your equipment, or you're planning to bring it somewhere, you can be sure not to miss the appointment by adding an event for it to your Farmbrite calendar. Like the Notes above, you can add the calendar event as a Task and assign it to one of your staff members. So beyond just remembering that you need to bring the tractor in for maintenance, you can also be sure that your farm worker Chris loads it on to the trailer and gets it there on time.
Storing Photos and Files
We've repeatedly referenced the ease and convenience of having all your equipment records, notes, and events in a single place - and we've provided you one more catch-all area as well. You can upload images and files related to your equipment to Farmbrite, and be confident that you'll always know exactly where to go to find them. Whether your want to store a great picture of the shiny new tractor on delivery day, or scan the receipt and warranty information and store it as a PDF, you'll be able to add these files to Farmbrite quickly and easily. Don't forget about the QR Code capabilities as well - you can scan it with you smart phone and take a picture with its' camera to capture the moment immediately.
You know know the basics of working with Equipment - but be sure to check out all the links in each section above to learn much more! Have more questions after checking them out? Reach out to us and we will be glad to help!