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Customer Stories - Fuel

Case studies of how farms and businesses have found success with Yagro. Click on a story below to read more:

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Albanwise Farming

Albanwise Farming acts as contractor for its own and neighbouring farming operations spread over 9000 hectares in Norfolk and Yorkshire. They used to use a buying group but after hearing about Yagro decided to give it a try. Jono Darby manages their North Norfolk operation and uses Yagro to order their fuel and AdBlue. 

"We order around 200,000 litres of fuel a year, so every penny we save is £2,000 extra on our bottom line.  With the difference between suppliers’ prices often around 4p/l, we’re potentially saving up to £8,000 a year by getting the cheapest price.

"We could get the same result by ringing round the 7 or 8 suppliers available to us but my time can be better spent elsewhere."

Fuel, for tractors and driers, constitutes a large portion of our fixed costs, so it is important we find the best price with minimum fuss. With Yagro we can quickly place orders for the products we need and compare quotes from all the suppliers in our area, in just a few clicks.  We could get the same result by ringing round the 7 or 8 suppliers available to us but my time can be better spent elsewhere instead of sitting on the phone for hours, repeating myself just to get a price. You also can’t always get through to suppliers as their phones are busy, so you either have to keep ringing or not get a price off them, both of which will cost either in time or possibly missing out on a good deal.


"Walking past our Ad Blue tank I saw it was looking low, so I got my phone out, logged into the app and ordered some more right there in the yard."

The beauty with Yagro is it only takes me a few seconds to create a request. I can crack on with my day, then come back, spend a minute reviewing the quotes and place an order. Just the other day I was walking past our Ad Blue tank and saw it was looking low, so I got my phone out, logged into the app and ordered some more right there in the yard.

 
"With Yagro being completely free and so easy to use why wouldn’t you use it? I can’t think of a good reason not to!"

With us ordering diesel roughly 10-12 times a year it’s feasible to think we’re saving around two days’ worth of effort on the farming side. When we add in the 15 or so orders a year of domestic kerosene for the wider estate, we’re looking at a week’s worth of admin time saved. In the grand scheme of things these may not seem like big numbers but with Yagro being completely free and so easy to use why wouldn’t you use it? I can’t think of a good reason not to!

 
"Yagro’s tech has helped us enormously already but we’re still working with them to develop further solutions."

The team at Yagro are hugely helpful as well, always being on hand as a source of advice and not just for fuel. The combination of them being independent, having great product and market knowledge, as well as a close network of commercial and professional farms means they’re a reliable resource for contacts and best practice. Yagro’s tech has helped us enormously already but we’re still working with them to develop further solutions to drive even more time and cost efficiencies."

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“It’s the time savings that we love, and it’s a great communication tool. There’s not just me here on the farm, so sometimes I order things, sometimes it’s my brother Tom or father, John. Great thing with Yagro is that we’ve all got the app, so we are all linked together digitally and know the score. I tend to do all of the requests and then will work out with Dad and Tom which is the best deal to go with based on our activities on the farm, price, terms, etc. But we can all do this remotely. It’s one base that everyone can see, like a hub. It just saves so much time! Click, click and we’re done, just makes life so much easier. And I’ve been telling everyone about it! It’s fascinating to see how dynamic the market and suppliers are, I actually get quite excited when the quotes come through!

We’ve saved serious amounts of cash, and I reckon I save about 2 hours per order, which adds up to about 2 weeks' worth of time" 

We’ve saved serious amounts of cash, and I reckon I save about 2 hours per order, which adds up to about 2 weeks' worth of time since we started using it this time last year. We’re a super busy farm, so to save time is worth a fortune to us. It’s ideal all year round, but it really comes into its own in the summer. We’re flat out on farm, but still need to be buying keenly, so to have a tool that can save us time as well as money... well, it’s just brilliant.

"We’ve never had anything like this before, it’s brilliant."

And I also really like to be able to look back at my history. To have the information at my fingertips and look back as a reference. We’ve never had anything like this before, it’s brilliant. Helps us make better decisions and keep our costs down.”

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Flawborough Farms 

Flawborough Farms are a large multi-site arable farm based in Notts. Their ever-expanding operation brings increasing complexity, so an innovative approach is key to ensuring continuous improvement. Coordinating fuel for their multiple sites was a challenge, but since using Yagro they’ve managed to save week’s worth of time as well as money. Tabs Hawthorne is one of the partners, here’s what she had to say:

Lockerley Estate

Craig Livingstone, is Farm Manager at Hampshire-based Lockerley Estate and is also a Finalist for Farmers Weekly 2018 Arable Farmer of the Year. To save time he used to deal with just one supplier but since joining Yagro he's managed to save 3% on his bill all while spending even less time on fuel.

"I met one of the Yagro team members at Cereals who gave me a demo of how it works and I was amazed how easy it all sounded! As a farm manager, I always need to ensure we are buying competitively. It’s our margin we are giving away for every £1 we buy over the market value. Cost control is key in every decision we take.

"We now spend less time getting quotes from 7 suppliers than we did from one"

Before joining Yagro, we used to use a single fuel supplier as it took us too much time to ring around the suppliers in our area. Using Yagro we now spend less time getting quotes from 7 suppliers than we did from one and have noticed savings of 3% on our bill by ensuring we get the best deal every time we order. It all adds up and over a year it’s a significant amount of cash!

Another big advantage of using Yagro is the level of transparency we get. In just a few clicks we get to see the whole market and compare suppliers’ prices and delivery windows. This gives me the confidence I am buying well on behalf of my landowner.

"I can’t fault Yagro. We’ve never been let down and the team there are first-class"

I regularly recommend Yagro to friends and peers. The hurdle they sometimes come up with is “when we run out of fuel at harvest my supplier always gets it to me the next day”!... But in all honesty, I can’t fault Yagro. We’ve never been let down and the team there are first class- Personal, approachable and working for the farmer! They are always on hand to help out, whatever I may need."

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Brixworth Farming

Ian Matts is Arable Director at Brixworth Farming; a large and forward-thinking farm based in Northants. While looking for a better way to order is his fuel than through his Buying Group, he came across Yagro and managed to find more control and connect with new quality suppliers, get better prices and save days worth of time. Here’s what he had to say:

"We started using Yagro about a year ago, and I was unsure about moving to a new way of doing things just before harvest, but it has been brilliant. We used to use a buying group for the majority of our purchases, but I wanted to have more control over our spend on farm, without the hassle of having to ring round suppliers. I met the Yagro team at Cereals in 2017 and they showed me how it all works, and helped explain some of the intricacies about the fuel market and how to get the best deal. It made a lot of sense, and I’m a keen to utilise tech, so to combine this with sound business principles seemed like the right move for us at Brixworth. And it turns out we’ve bought better than the group anyway!

"What I like about Yagro is that its tech allows both us and our suppliers to find a deal that works best for both parties."

We’ve got a large tank, and I tend to order 17 or 18k L each time, as this helps bring efficiency and scale. What I like about Yagro is that it’s tech allows both us and our suppliers to find a deal that works best for both parties. Having full visibility and choice of supplier and the deal we want is great. It’s not necessarily always about the cheapest supplier, but also timing, terms, delivery date etc. And the fact that Yagro is free really helps!

"Full information and understanding is key to us running a profitable farm."

We do a lot of benchmarking on things like labour and machinery, and I’m so used to being able to measure and analyse things. What’s great is that with Yagro I can now have full visibility of the market and my spend, and now have the same level of control on my fuel as I do with the rest of my business. We have regular management meetings, so full information and understanding is key to us running a profitable farm. 

The team at Yagro appear to really understand the market and are always on hand to help out. I believe we need more tech like this in farming to monitor, benchmark and manage if we’re going to meet the challenges in an uncertain future."

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Sentry Farming

Sentry is one of the largest farming companies in the UK with over 16,000 hectares under cultivation throughout the country. They have built a strong, sustainable faming business based on a forward-thinking and professional approach to both business and farming itself. John Barrett is Director at Sentry Norfolk, here's what he had to say: 

“At Sentry we regularly review our farming practices to stay ahead of the curve, especially in this volatile time for UK farming. As a large farming company with many sites, it is essential we have best business practice across all farming operations. 

We came to know about Yagro through Agri-Tech East and watched them from inception in 2016, keen to see how a new player in the industry would get on and differentiate itself. On behalf of our landowners and investors, we needed confidence that Yagro’s technology and business model would work.

With this confidence, the first step was to meet the team and understand their mission and philosophy. We immediately followed this by benchmarking our fuel buying against Yagro’s independent market data. The analysis showed that using the Yagro Marketplace for our fuel buying was an obvious way forward. 


"We wanted a unified best practice that all our farms could use – and that saved us time and money."

Before Yagro, our farms bought fuel in different ways; some through buying groups, others shopped around, and some had sole supply relationships. We wanted a unified best practice that all our farms could use – and that saved us time and money.

We approached Yagro with a tough challenge: provide Sentry a system that enables best practice, that doesn’t take up any of our time, and saves us money as individual farms as well as a Group...! 


"The result is fantastic and all Sentry farms now use Yagro as standard."

The result is fantastic and all Sentry farms now use Yagro as standard. Each farm manager has their own Yagro platform, digitally connected with all suppliers in their area. They have complete control over suppliers, quotes, delivery windows etc. Our manager find the best deal at a local level, while our head office, landowners, and investors, have the confidence of a fair, transparent and value adding process.

Every farm operates autonomously, while the Yagro platform brings us under the same Sentry brand, code of practice, and values. This allows us to use our scale, and to generate efficiencies where ever possible. Each farm has their delivery locations on their Yagro account, and invoices are channelled directly to our head office in Suffolk. We do less paperwork on farm knowing that our accounts department has remote access to all the information they need for invoice reconciliation at the click of a button.


"We’ve already saved nearly £4,000, and on track to save around £45k over a full year. ."

Has it saved us money? Yes, and plenty of it too! We’ve already saved nearly £4,000, and on track to save around £45k over a full year. What’s difficult to calculate is the time saving: some of our farms would spend a couple of hours on the phone ringing around suppliers just to get a price. Now, technology does it all for us, and we can focus on the value-adding aspects of farming, knowing that Yagro’s independent tech tool is working on our behalf in the background.


"Some Sentry farms have now fitted independent tank monitors from Yagro, with alert levels to trigger automatic requests through the Marketplace."

Having adopted the ordering process, some Sentry farms have now fitted independent tank monitors from Yagro, with alert levels to trigger automatic requests through the Marketplace. This ensures we don’t run out of fuel during a busy harvest, and don’t unnecessarily stress our suppliers’ logistics. So now, a process that could take us hours, takes less than a minute! We estimate this at £10k of labour savings. 


"If you farm near a Sentry farm and want to join in on the savings, be sure to get in touch with Yagro to get your farm all set up."

Taking things one step further: on my own farm in Norfolk, I’ve teamed up with neighbour Jamie Key from R W Key. Historically we would order fuel individually, but knew we could probably be better if we coordinated our buying. We just didn’t have the time! Yagro have developed their system to combine our ordering for us. By combining to fill 18’000 or 36’000 litre trucks, we both get the best deal in the market, with economies of scale we couldn’t reach individually. At £200 of saving per delivery it makes complete sense. Get it right and this could be another £65k per year of savings! If you farm near a Sentry farm and want to join in on the savings, be sure to get in touch with Yagro to get your farm all set up.


"With savings north of £120k per year to be had, it’s a no-brainer.”

We are excited to continue development with Yagro, building more technologies to help us on farm, and it is great to be at the forefront of tech in UK agriculture. With savings north of £120k per year to be had, it’s a no-brainer.”


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Smith Means (Strutt & Parker)

Richard Means is Director at Strutt & Parker heading up the Farming Department in the Eastern Region. As Director of Smith Means Ltd; his own farm in West Norfolk, he's always looking at innovative new ideas for the business and is keen to drive efficiencies and optimise returns for both clients and the home farm.

“Historically, we had purchased diesel from various suppliers and most commonly through a buying group. Moving to Yagro for fuel purchases was a positive decision allowing us to achieve market-leading prices through an easy-to-use platform for placing and tracking orders. We already had experience of the platform from purchasing pesticides through the site so were familiar with the process and its functionality.

“Using Yagro we can be assured that we are getting market leading prices, in just a few clicks.”

Due to the nature of the fuel market, the supplier with the best deal regularly changes at any given time and on any given day making it essential to compare all of them each time we order. Yagro gives us confidence that we are aware of the full range of prices every time in just a few clicks. We create a single request and then we get quotes from all suppliers in about the same time it takes to just call one.

“Deliveries have been on time as agreed, in the right place and no issues at all.”

The decision to start using Yagro for the fuel purchases came at the start of this harvest to coincide with our peak requirement. This seemed to be as good a time to test the service and to be fair, it has worked very well. Deliveries have been on time as agreed, in the right place and no issues at all.


“Using Yagro, we estimate to have saved circa 4%; a reasonable figure over a whole year.”

In addition, by using Yagro, we estimate to have made a 4% saving on fuel costs which over one delivery isn’t too much but is a reasonable figure over a whole year. As a KPI for my farm, we currently sit at 104l/ha diesel usage per annum and I will be looking to try and achieve a figure below 100l in due course. Any savings we can achieve using Yagro will help us as part of our overall strategy to reduce fuel costs. to maintain an effective strategy for purchasing our fuel.

“Yagro is one of the tools S&P uses to help deliver significant savings to members.”

Strutt & Parker runs an independent buying group for its agronomy and management clients to help them minimise input costs. Yagro is one of the tools S&P uses to help deliver significant savings to members.

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