Case Study 1: NK AGRI, Agriculture x kintone
About the Company
Let’s start with a quick background story about NK AGRI.
Founded in 2009, the company entered the agricultural industry looking to provide safe and reliable agriculture production. Interestingly, upon establishment there was not one person who had knowledge and experience in agriculture and so, you could say, the company started from scratch. Within four years NK AGRI increased their production by 30%. Furthermore, the company kept its sales losses to an impressive 0.04%. Behind this success was a sensor-driven IoT system built on top of kintone. The company produces and sells vegetables as well as being involved in the research and development and distribution of functional vegetables.
kintone x Agriculture
To get an idea of the whole story, we asked NK AGRI’s representative director Mr Yoichi Mihara. Since NK AGRI holds contracts with various plant fields across the country, every one of its employees are required to go on business trips regularly. Sometimes Mr Mihara is even required to take long trips just to be able to sign documents and provide approvals. After being recommended kintone by a friend, Mr Mihara decided to make use of kintone’s services to reduce the cost of making unnecessary business trips. While the original reason for introducing kintone into his business was to reduce costs, the service proved useful in other core areas of his business.
One such area was in managing produce. A sensor was implemented where the vegetables were actually being grown and connected to kintone’s service. The system was designed for data such as in-house temperature, water temperature and the progress of the vegetables’ growth to be automatically recorded on the system at regular intervals. With no employee having any background knowledge in agriculture, it was important for NK AGRI to be able to efficiently manage and learn about the ideal environment for their vegetables to flourish. This was also useful in remaining up to date with the status of produce being grown in remote areas which were a hassle to access. After a while, the company was able to predict production rates of its vegetables for up to several weeks ahead!
Mr Mihara says that by using kintone, his company was able to approach agriculture in a new and different way to how others have done so in the past. He says that kintone is preferable because unlike other software programs, kintone allows its apps to be customised easily and quickly to suit unique needs.
For NK AGRI, kintone is handy in that information can be shared efficiently from anywhere at any time. Each employee from different departments can easily attain updated information, even when out on business trips. The comments feature provided by kintone also ensures communication between employees is easy and transparent, providing for a stronger team and efficient business.
Where to Now?
NK AGRI continues to be committed to providing fresh produce to ensure a healthy lifestyle for all its consumers. While for the meantime its sensor system is only being utilised in greenhouses, it is looking to extend this to outdoor areas and even overseas. It wishes to further integrate kintone into its business while increasing accuracy and reliability.