How Lenovo’s collaboration with Ahmedabad-based Prompt Group is helping address inefficiencies in the dairy industry
Milk is an evergreen commodity in India. The country is the largest milk producer in the world, providing a livelihood to about 70 million households. In 2018, India produced 186 million tonnes of milk, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and this number is set to scale to 300 million tonnes of milk by 2022, according to Niti Aayog.
A key feature of India’s dairy sector is the predominance of small producers. In 2017, if the average herd size in a dairy farm was 191 in the U.S. and 355 in Oceania, it was just two in India. Yet, due to Operation Flood after the 1960s, India’s contribution to world milk production rose from 5 percent in 1970 to 20 percent in 2018.
The dairy industry, however, is in dire need of innovation. The process of collecting milk from the farmers and accumulating them at rural collection centres may sound easy, but is an arduous endeavour to undertake. Concerns such as milk adulteration, deterioration of the quality of the milk and farmers not getting the right price for the milk they supply, undermine the effectiveness of the process.
To tackle these discrepancies and malpractices, companies like the Ahmedabad-based Prompt Group are driving innovation in the sector via their solutions. The company makes it possible to telecast the live monitoring of the milk collection process from the remotest of the locations.
For the longest time, India has been testing the milk using physical methods, which can lead to several inaccuracies. The Prompt Group is helping solve these challenges by digitising the dairy co-operative movement. Prompt provides innovative solutions for an efficient dairy procurement supply chain with over 20 diverse software applications, products and devices specifically to serve the different stages of the dairy supply chain.
AMCS is Prompt’s comprehensive solution to digitise the entire milk collection system. The integrated, multi-platform software automates milk quality testing and analysis at the time of milk collection. Close to 10,000 AMCS have been installed with 11 lakh active farmers that are availing the system. Its mobile app has also seen 1.8 lakh installs.
The Indiz Ultrasonic Milk Analyzer helps monitor the purity of milk by measuring the milk fat, SNF, added water proportion, milk density to give a complete picture of what the milk contains. Prompt’s iSmart Milk Analyzer is a patented product* which is India’s first smart and indigenous milk testing equipment that measures and records milk fat, SNF, added water and milk density. This milk testing equipment has inbuilt features like power-on-self-test and an app-assisted central online calibration that ensures the accuracy of readings.
Another unique offering, the Farm365 cattle management app, is a farmer’s companion in efficiently managing his cattle herd. All these are served via an efficient and secure centralised database management system named Sankalan through exclusive cloud services which are easily accessible to the dairy industry.
Lenovo emerged as a key partner in the Prompt Group’s extensive digitisation execution. The key requirements of Prompt’s digitisation agenda were three-fold: ease of use, compatibility with their machinery and ruggedness because of the need of operating in harsh environments, with the majority of these locations being rural.
Lenovo desktops have helped in testing various solutions of connectivity of the milk testing equipment. The account team for Lenovo kicked this off with a three-pronged approach over six months that began with testing various solutions to ensure the connectivity and compatibility of Prompt’s milk testing equipment with their desktops. The roll-out post the testing phase was deployed rapidly using a forecasting model for a quicker turnaround for delivery.
The final step in the exercise was relationship mapping with the management team, which was carried out with rigorous follow-ups. This helped establish a long-term collaboration for future needs, with customers having regular interactions with the Lenovo team through a bottom to top approach, i.e., Partner touch point/RCM with the Procurement team; RSM & Director SMB connect with the CEO for a continuous touch base.
The successful implementation of the project is testament to a statement by Dr. Verghese Kurien, "India's place in the sun would come from the partnership between wisdom of its rural people and skill of its professionals."
* - Patent Number – 266880