Grøntprodusentenes Samarbeidsråd (GPS) meets every Tuesday to agree on the week's prices for all vegetables. In the past, it has been a big job to get farmers to remember meetings. Then Ctelo came up with a solution that calls all meeting participants.
“It is brilliant for us with the solution Ctelo has developed”, says Leif Øie, one of the coordinators of Grøntprodusentenes Samarbeidsråd (Green Producers' Cooperation Council - GPS).
The core of what this council does is to establish the right prices for vegetables publicly sold. Øie clarifies that farmers are exempt from the rule that it is not allowed to cooperate on prices.
Teams every Tuesday
“We use Teams every Tuesday, where we unite about a prize, which is announced on Wednesday. In addition, we have expanded the telephone conference in Teams to be a form of collaboration”, he says.
Meetings every Tuesday may not sound like much. But firstly, it concerns farmers working in the fields. Secondly, every vegetable group has its own meeting. Four or five people meet to discuss the price of potatoes, others for strawberries, even others for cucumbers and so on. Every single Tuesday.
In total there are 26 groups of vegetables GPS are arranging meetings for. Thus, over 100 people in different locations meet on Teams during every Tuesday. The meetings can last from fifteen minutes to half an hour. The actual number depends on which vegetables are in season.
“Many farmers start the day by going to work in the tractor. Then other things are quickly forgotten, such as meetings. This means we have spent a lot of time reminding people that they should have been in the Teams meetings. There has been a lot of waiting”, says Øie.
In addition to the vegetable groups, the large grocery chains' vegetable buyers as well as other independent wholesalers will also participate in the meetings.
Ctelo have changed the meetings. Ctelo have developed a solution where everyone going to meetings gets a reminder via Teams-notifications. When the actual meeting comes, the farmers are called first via Teams, and if they don´t answer, the mobile phone rings.
Participating from the tractor
“What Ctelo has developed is absolutely brilliant. The vast majority of farmers have a mobile phone on them. That´s how we get farmers to attend. Most farmers have the Teams app on their phone as well. Many participate from the tractor precisely because of this solution”, says Øie.
“The fact that people get a call gives us a completely different life, and we don't have to wait for people all the time. It also makes the meetings more efficient, and we can do our job of leading the meetings rather than thinking about searching for people”, he adds.
Teams are the core
He says it was the pandemic that made the use of Teams really work.
“We only used phones before the pandemic. Now we combine both Teams and the phone network”, says Øie.
The core business of Ctelo is to utilize Teams to find telephony solutions, whether it is a switchboard, pure telephony, or this system. Here, everyone on the meeting list is called directly from the actual meeting in the system.
Øie observe with satisfaction that farmers now use their smartphones in a better way.
Microsoft recommended Ctelo
“We have developed the use of Teams even more, we create groups and are posting information in the Teams groups, so everyone can see what applies. We can also set up Teams group rooms, where different groups discuss, then meeting in plenary after”, says Øie.
GPS found Ctelo via Microsoft, which recommended the company for GPS in Norway.
“Ctelo continue to develop their systems to make them even better. Those leading the meetings are called as well, which means we don't forget the meetings either. In a sense, the system also manages us. That means we can concentrate on governing the meetings, while the system manages them”, says Øie happily.
“Now that 5G is coming, it will be a revolution. It was a revolution when the internet came, and now 5G is coming. We get interaction about cultivation and developing sustainability. That makes the system an even more important tool going forward”, concludes Øie.