Pyxle safeguards field operations of a global cattle company

Customer: Undisclosed cattle company
Customer size: 500+ employees
Country or Region: Asia Pacific
Industry: Agriculture
Customer Profile
Large cattle and land owner catering to worldwide demand in premium quality meat, with a herd of over 450,000 cattle.
Software and Services
Application support & maintenance
Service desk
Business consulting

Trouble on the horizon

This cattle company has more than a dozen properties scattered across the continent where over 450,000 cattle are bred and grown. This beginning step of the supply chain is crucial for overall success of the company’s supply chain and eventually for its bottom line. Each property therefore plays a key role in the company’s ability to deliver high quality beef to the market. In order to manage this important business function, the business has invested in people, process and systems.

StockIT was one the key field operations systems used for capturing data related to each individual animal, including biological data (breed, genetics, age, etc.), medical history (pregnancy testing, deaths, medication, etc.) and movements (movements within or outside a property).

In 2017 the software vendor behind StockIT made a decision to sunset and stop supporting the StockIT application from March 2018. This presented our client with a serious risk not only to operational efficiency but to business continuity itself.

Failure was not an option

Our client had been using StockIT for several years, with staff and processes well aligned to it. As a result buying an off-the-shelf product overnight was not an option. The only viable option was to develop a custom application to replace StockIT.

However developing a new custom application tailored to the business’ needs was going to take time and careful planning, considering not only the business challenges of the day but also the future business context. In the meantime the company had no option but to continue to use StockIT during the busy mustering season, when cattle are brought to the station and data about each individual animal is captured into StockIT application.

Searching far and wide

The company was in search of a technology partner who could jump into deep waters with quickly, take the over ownership and support of the StockIT application, rapidly digest the system functionality and the cattle domain. In addition our client wanted a partner that could provide support across multiple time zones, with technical know-how at its fingertips and customer service at its heart. Pyxle was able to meet all the requirements and was up for the challenge.

Zoning in on a solution

After a brief discovery engagement with our client to understand the current business setup, use of StockIT application and ongoing technical challenges, Pyxle came up with a proposal to support our client’s continued use of the StockIT application during the business-critical mustering period.
As a result, Pyxle today provides support to the company 16 hours a day x 7 days a week from 4.00 am to 8.00 pm in the client’s working time zone.

How it worked

During the mustering period the staff in properties start their day at 4.00 am and continue to work till 8.00 pm. Standard 8-to-5 support would not suffice. Instead 16 hours daily coverage provided by the Pyxle Service Desk team offshore in Sri Lanka throughout the week would reduce mustering interruptions due to system issues and ensure business continuity.

Pyxle introduced best practices for service desk operations, such as dedicated queue monitoring, service level agreements (SLAs), incident reporting steps and escalation hierarchy. Daily and weekly status updates are being shared with the client’s management to provide visibility and focus where needed. Weekly retrospectives help both our client and Pyxle to understand what has gone well so that it can be continued and most importantly what didn’t go as planned so that improvements can be put in place.

Pyxle Service Desk has now become a one-stop-shop for all StockIT-related inquiries, making both end users’ and management’s lives easier. Pyxle has now expanded its services beyond StockIT application support to include user hardware support. StockIT application runs on rugged devices (special hardware that can survive in harsh property environments), which regularly fail due to the harsh heat and dust in the rural station conditions. Pyxle Service Desk is now responsible for carrying out the initial hardware diagnostics to replace the rugged devices when needed.

Better performance, fewer incidents

Today Pyxle Service Desk has not only managed to support a legacy application that was discontinued by the original vendor but has also managed to improve application performance by identifying the root causes of issues and providing permanent fixes for application bugs.

Within a few months of starting application support services, the overall StockIT-related incident count has gone down by 50%.