Cooperation Manager: Perfected trading system for primary agricultural products!
On our market, there are definitely big developments in terms of high tech innovations in agriculture. Half a year ago, the Cooperation Manager application was launched, which facilitates communication between storekeepers and their subcontractors, thus raising the system of trading primary agricultural products to a higher level.
An interesting piece of information is that Cooperation Manager was included among the 25 most promising startups in the Balkans, while similar systems exist only in developed countries, such as the USA and Canada.
We spoke with Željana Aleksić, who is in the position of Commercialist, about the launch, development and launch of the Cooperation Manager application on the market. She shared with us the answers to all the key questions and problems that arise during the process of trading agricultural products between storekeepers and farmers.
How did the idea for launching the application come about?
A part of our founders has many years of experience working on improving the trading system of primary agricultural products. For several years, we have been working on changes and improvement of the trading process in Novi Sad’s “Product Exchange”. During our work, we noticed that there is a lack of quick and simple exchange of information between storekeepers and their subcontractors. We wanted to improve their mutual cooperation and improve relations. In the past, cooperatives were a place of gathering and information for cooperators, which has been lost in the meantime. Today’s technology may not only restore such a relationship, but also improve it further.
That’s why we created the “Cooperation Manager” platform, a tool with which storekeepers inform their subcontractors in a simple and fast way about all the elements essential for their production and trading (prices, advice for crop treatment and other benefits they offer to their subcontractors). – says Željana Aleksić for the Agricultural News portal.
When was the Cooperation Manager app launched?
We worked on the development of the idea itself for a long time. During 2021, we held countless conversations with potential users, all with the aim of creating a software solution that will best help storekeepers and their subcontractors to improve and facilitate mutual communication. Cooperation Manager was founded as a start-up company 6 months ago, when the application was launched. Our idea is supported by the Innovation Activity Fund and the Startech program (financed by Philip Morris International), which invests in innovative technologies. We are also ranked among the 25 most promising startups in the Balkans. – adds Željana
What possibilities does it bring us?
The application is primarily intended for storekeepers who have cooperation. The essence here is to improve the relationship between the storekeepers and subcontractors. Data and information can be exchanged in both directions, individually and collectively. In addition to the current prices of mercantile goods and raw materials, storekeepers can send information on agrotechnical measures so that agricultural producers can improve production technology and achieve better yields.
What are the main problems of farmers and how can they be solved through the application?
Silos have a harder time getting offers because they use slow channels of communication with their subcontractors, farmers do not have constant insight into offers from their customers, and therefore the relationship between traders and producers is not intense. Through this application, farmers can be informed at any time about the current prices of mercantile goods and raw materials, i.e. with one click they can see what the terms of sale are at their storekeeper, while storekeepers strengthen their relationship with clients (by maintaining daily communication), increase efficiency (using the system for silo and grain management) as well as profit (faster and more efficient communication).
Duško Mijić, director of OZZ Despotovo – Pivnice, shared his positive experience with the use of the Cooperation Manager application.
“Agronom is a company that has experienced intense growth and development since its foundation. One of the reasons for that is precisely our vision of how a serious company should operate and treat all its partners. Of course, everything starts with building a serious cooperation and partnership relationship with each farmer.”
“Our vision of the future and what agriculture will look like in the next 10-20 years made us decide to start cooperation with the Cooperation Manager team.”
“Cooperation Manager is an excellent tool that has accelerated the process of trading and communication with our cooperation partners, and enabled me as a director to have greater control.” Today, when we use our resources more effectively as a Cooperation Manager, we have made the work of negotiations easier, while on the other hand, and what is more important, we have further improved our relationship with farmers.” – says Duško.
Will the application be affordable for everyone?
For agricultural producers, the use of the application is completely free, while warehouse workers are charged for the service depending on the number of subcontractors who use the application. We entered the market with an acceptable price, which is formed in accordance with the needs of the storekeeper.
What are the reactions of cooperators or farmers?
“The reactions of our subcontractors are extremely positive. By using the Cooperation Manager, we made it easier for them to see our offer and enabled them to receive a larger body of information important for their business. Here, above all, I mean the advice we give them regarding crop protection, the application of agrotechnical measures, ways of financing their production, etc.,” adds Duško.
Do you see the application in the foreign market in the future?
Serbia is a significant producer of agricultural products, in which there are a large number of serious companies that have developed cooperation, as well as companies that work intensively on the development of existing cooperation. Already at this stage, some of them have included Cooperation Manager in their offer and are using it intensively. We will mention only a few: Agronom Despotovo Pivnice, Mistral, Albatros, Delta Agrar.
The conditions for other markets, especially if we are talking about the regional market, are completely similar, so our goal is to expand further. Given that a similar method of communication through the application developed by Cooperation Manager already exists in some developed countries such as Canada and the USA, we expect this type of trade to take root on European soil as well