AgGateway 2020

Driving Digital Solutions

By AgGateway Chairman Jeremy W. Wilson
 (Excerpts from Jeremy’s presentation at the Annual Conference)

It has been an extremely busy year at AgGateway. That’s because this has been our year to turn the idea of a new AgGateway into a reality. We started 2019 with an imperative from you, our membership. Our assignment was to establish AgGateway as the go-to source for digital agriculture. To do that, we knew we had to re-organize this association. We had to refresh our structure, so that we are more agile, and so we can foster cross-sector thinking and solutions.

I am extremely proud of the hard work that has gone into this process, and the Strategic Board is confident and excited with our plan moving forward.

We distilled our thinking on the reorganization into a single phrase, “Driving Digital Solutions.” That’s our theme for 2020. You’ll see it on the Annual Report, and you’ll hear it in how we talk about AgGateway in the year ahead. Thanks to our reorganization, we now feel positioned to drive the digital solutions that will get agricultural businesses where they need to be in terms of digital connectivity.

Global Scope

The first big change behind our reorganization is that now we are truly global in scope. In January AgGateway will consolidate with AgGateway Global Network. The two organizations have been closely affiliated since AgGateway Global Network was established a few years ago, but the time is right to bring those efforts under a single AgGateway umbrella.

We feel strongly that all our members will benefit from AgGateway being a global organization. AgGateway will encourage multiple regions around the globe to implement standards – and importantly – to implement standards in a consistent manner. We will also be able to leverage synergies between regions. So, we can take resources and lessons we learn in one place and apply them somewhere else. That makes implementation easier and faster everywhere. Even if you only do business in the United States, you will benefit from this consolidation, because we can all learn from how things are being done in other countries, and we can build from, and benefit from that knowledge.

If you want to know more about what’s going on with AgGateway Europe and Latin America, check out a shortlist of some of their project work in the Annual Report.

A global approach also strengthens our collaborations with the many multi-regional groups that help drive digital solutions. This includes the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), GS1, the Open Applications Group (OAGi), and others. We already have fruitful working relationships with many of these organizations. Going global will only make this stronger.

Our New Structure

The second major change starting in January is our new organizational structure (see graphic in the Annual Report). A great deal of thought and member discussion went into the new structure. I think the result you’ll see very quickly is that AgGateway is more agile, more creative and more productive. That means we’ll be driving digital solutions for your business.

Instead of the sector-by-sector groups (Councils) we had before, this structure allows ideas to germinate and grow across sectors. For example, members involved in Seed, Crop Protection and Precision Ag can easily meet up to discuss an idea and get it in motion. Once an idea is born, the new Portfolio Management Center helps foster the development of that idea through Working Groups, where they become new digital resources for the industry. Then, the Digital Resource Center ensures that new resources are easy to access and kept up to date.

Thanks to the Portfolio Management Center and Digital Resource Center, all members will be able to quickly find information on the current status of AgGateway initiatives and resources, in all AgGateway global regions.

Staff and Administrative Support

The last major change I’ll mention is our staff and administrative support. To align with structural changes and support our mission, the board has approved very strategic increases in our staff contractors. We’ve put more support at those critical points where digital resources are created and maintained. The result: your business will be able to put great digital ideas into action more quickly.

Our new Portfolio Manager will head up the Portfolio Management Center. In 2020 you’ll meet our new Content Manager, who will make sure our digital resources are easy to find and easy to implement. And we’ll also bring on board a Technical Writer. At the same time, we’re increasing our administrative and accounting support to more realistic levels. These are big changes, and they’re exciting changes that answer your call for an AgGateway organization that can truly serve your needs and deliver on our mission.

Our gaps weren’t just in human resources. We also needed to shore up our Digital Resource Development Process. I’m proud to say we accomplished that this year with a new process and Patent Policy that will encourage more industry involvement. In 2020 we’ll also put in place a new Association Management System that will sharpen our member communication and management.

As you can see, we’re making a large, necessary investment in AgGateway. The transition will be phased in throughout 2020, and I think you’ll like what you see. We’ll be able to get digital improvements out in the field more quickly, which means you can provide better products and services within your business, and to your partners and customers. In the long run this is a big win for agriculture and ag-related industries. Because we all know that going digital is essential to our growth and success. This is a commitment we must make. For efficiency, for sustainability, for productivity.

Thank you for your continued support and engagement!