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AGI buys ag business management software muscle

Affinity Management's Compass to become AGI SureTrack component

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Grain handling equipment maker Ag Growth Industries (AGI) plans to level up on its SureTrack farm management software platform with a deal for another Canadian player in the same business.

Winnipeg-based AGI announced Thursday it has bought all outstanding shares in Oakville, Ont.-based Affinity Management Ltd., developer of the Compass brand of farm and agribusiness management software, among other business management tools.

Affinity, which was founded by Neal Dilawri in 2007 and built up through partnership with chemical firm BASF, today has 18 employees. Dilawri will now take a “senior leadership role” working on the AGI SureTrack platform and provide “vision and guidance” going forward, AGI said.

The Compass product line, which today serves over 8,000 individual farmers across North America, includes an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system for growers and ag retailers and an agronomy tool, AGI said.

The ERP system “provides full accounting functionality, including management of accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll and inventory tracking.”

The Compass system, AGI said, “also acts as a central data repository and portal which allows for the sharing of information with a grower’s trusted advisors, including agronomists, accountants, lenders, and insurance providers.”

Affinity’s staff also includes accountants who provide bookkeeping services to the company’s grower customers, AGI said.

The Compass product suite is “highly complementary to AGI’s current offering and will be a key component of the full AGI SureTrack platform.”

The SureTrack platform, formerly known as Intellifarms, includes the SureTrack Farm system for use by farmers and the SureTrack Pro system for use by processors, merchandisers and grain buyers to source product directly from farms.

The platform is meant to bring together data from “across the farm, providing our customers with the ability to manage their crop production, manage their overall business, and market their grain based on content and robust traceability,” AGI CEO Tim Close said in Thursday’s release.

Compass, he said, “takes AGI SureTrack to the next level, adding comprehensive ERP capabilities for AGI dealers and agriculture retailers, and significantly adding to our offering for farmers.”

In an update Thursday on its fourth-quarter financials, AGI said it has “demonstrated the success of its AGI SureTrack subscription model” in 2019, by “increasing retail equivalent sales by 70 per cent, despite capacity constraints and a challenging U.S. ag market.”

In 2020, the company added, “that growth is expected to continue as AGI builds on existing relationships with processors, merchandisers, grain buyers and producers throughout North America.”

Investments in sales, marketing and technical resources for AGI SureTrack are meant to “address capacity and accelerate the future pace of new user additions, thereby increasing our recurring revenue stream and adding significant equipment cross-sell opportunities.”

Financial terms of AGI’s deal for Affinity weren’t disclosed in Thursday’s release, except to say the purchase was “funded from the company’s operating facilities.” — Glacier FarmMedia Network

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