Designers: Tony Parker, Gallagher Product Development Team, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
Manufacturer: Gallagher, Hamilton, New Zealand
Extensive international customer research revealed key problems with EID capable Weigh Scales:
• A large percentage of farmers have limited computer technology skill and know-how, although they are becoming increasingly confident in the use of smartphones and tablets.
• Farmers wanted a very robust, easy to install product that could be used at various weigh sites around the farm, as well as on the kitchen table or home
• Farmers found connecting additional devices like drafting systems and load bars daunting and complicated.
• Existing units were used either: mounted on animal crates, crushes, stock yard races or for fast set up on top of drums or barrels at remote sites.
• Farmers wanted easy access to plugs and sockets for quick connectivity setup as well as good protection for socket heads that reduce or eliminate the need for multiple screw cap covers.
• They are typically used sporadically by farmers, so it is easy to forget how to use critical functionality within the device, which is frustrating and time consuming.
• Extracting and transferring information from scales and linking it to other computer systems was difficult and often avoided.
• Many farmers only use 20% of the functionality because of complexity.
The TW design needed to further develop existing Gallagher product brand motifs, form language, and graphic treatments to communicate the strategic attributes of desirability, usability and functionality. The design intention was to project a farm tough, performance aesthetic with user friendly appeal across all touch points and intuitive access to software functionality.
Design, development and testing concentrated on resolving the above challenges. A particular focus was to ensure that the user interface was intuitive and gave the farmer confidence to use the full functionality of the product. The Gallagher team adapted cues from smart phone navigation, ensuring easy operation without the need for an instruction manual.
CONNECTIVITY AND FUNCTIONALITY
TW1’s software is designed to connect simply and quickly to load bars and readers regardless of what brand they may be. Connectivity is now crucial on all farm devices, and TW-1 offers a significant advantage over competing brands with its ability to connect to Gallagher’s own Animal Performance Software (APS). This enables easy access to animal information and simple data analysis giving farmers an immediate understanding of individual animal and mob performance. All data recorded in the field can be directly uploaded to the APS software, eliminating
double handling of data.
Gallagher Dashboard App, on smartphones, tablets, or PCs can access data from the Weigh Scale using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Dashboard provides a quick view of crucial animal data, whenever and wherever needed.
DESIGN AND MANUFACTURE
The development of the TW series was a four year journey. The product series was designed, developed and manufactured in New Zealand.
INTERNATIONAL MARKET STRATEGY AND LAUNCH
The TW product range is in the process of being launched into all key weighing markets including EU, USA, Canada, NZ, Australia, Africa and South America. Considerable market research was conducted in these “traceability” markets where EID use for cattle is mandated and EID capable weighing systems have been widely adopted.
The reaction from customers has been outstanding and they have expressed delight with the TW Series design, its ease of use and capability. Payback on this investment is anticipated to be less than 3 years as a result of increased sales from this superior design. The products desirability, usability and functionality, are strategic factors forecast to drive Gallagher’s increased market share and overall market growth for the Weigh Scale category.