Refining with Fire

By Chris Crutchfield, AgGateway Member Services

I recently watched a television show with my son about the life of a blacksmith. At one point, as the blacksmith was making a horseshoe, it looked like the horseshoe was completed and would do the job, but he stuck it back in the fire. When it was glowing white hot, he started beating on the iron once again. My son asked why he was still working on it since it looked done, and I told him the blacksmith was improving the product by heating the iron up, to make it easier to work with.

This analogy hits home with the Ag Industry Identification System (AGIIS). We have a working system that meets the needs of the ag industry. I would compare AGIIS subscribers to the fire. These are users that understand the purpose and functionality of the system. By using the system day in and day out to obtain industry identifiers for business purposes, they can identify improvements that can be made.

So far this year, five of the seven enhancements implemented were recommended by AGIIS subscribers. These enhancements were not bugs or issues with the system, but rather were areas that could be enhanced to improve the subscribers’ experience, increase productivity, or streamline processes. One of the enhancements was a modification to the Entity Search criteria on the AGIIS website. This enhancement provided users the functionality to find the correct GLN for an entity in a single search instead of performing multiple searches. Another enhancement was a tweak to the GLN Bulk Matching process. This added “Doing Business Name” as one of the criteria considered in the GLN Bulk process when determining whether an entity was an exact match or fuzzy match. By making this change, the percentage of exact matches increased, which resulted in fewer manual reviews of fuzzy matches by AGIIS subscribers.

These are just a few examples of the improvements that have been made this year. For a complete list of AGIIS enhancements -- both those made this year and in years past – check out the AGIIS Enhancement Section on the AgGateway website.

This is just the beginning; We are in the process of improving the AGIIS duplicate detection on the AGIIS website and web services. These changes are a result of subscriber suggestions and proactive analysis of current processes such as the annual de-duplication. These improvements will be implemented later this year. Change is one thing that is certain, and it is our job as an organization and an industry to prepare and evolve our processes and systems to meet the challenges of change.

In the blacksmithing process, the fire makes the iron easier to work with. Engaged AGIIS subscribers have the same impact on unique identification: They generate ideas for improvement, and they make the challenge of change easier to manage.

If you have any suggestions for improvements to AGIIS or other AgGateway resources, please contact AgGateway Member Services at or at (+1) 866-251-8618.

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