Each year, Wallin Farms employees spend several weeks manually entering scale tickets from the year’s harvest into Excel. After my encounter with the process, I realized it could be automated with the use of scripting languages like Python and OCR engines like Google Vision.
So, I created a tool called SnapScale that turns images of scale tickets into Excel reports effectively reducing weeks' worth of manual entry to hours’ worth of photography.
To streamline the use of SnapScale within the company, I created a website so employees can use the tool at any time, anywhere.
- Take photos of your scale tickets.
- Upload the photos to SnapScale.
- Wait for the following information to be extracted and recorded into an Excel report:
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- Download the Excel report.
Several years ago, my brother came to me with an idea for a mobile app that tracks the inventory levels for bins and bags throughout their southwest Nebraska farming empire.
At the time, I was still in school at UNL and getting my feet wet with software engineering; I just wasn’t ready for the task. But now that I’ve graduated from university and have completed several side projects and internships, I believe I’m ready for that task. And since I’m already developing SnapScale and the wallinfarms.us website, I might as well begin development on CropCache and integrate it alongside these systems.
Here’s our vision for CropCache:
- Bins/bags (caches) are created with total capacity and current capacity amounts.
- When scale tickets are processed by SnapScale, the amounts are automatically subtracted from their respective cache.
- Caches can be viewed on a dashboard or map with their capacities displayed as a pleasant graphic.
Now that we have two potentially useful tools—SnapScale and CropCache—we need to unlock that potential with easy access for employees.
Websites are the most easily accessible form of application because they can be accessed on almost any consumer device such as a computer, phone, or tablet. Since our employees are always on the move from field to field and cache to coop, they need to be able to access these tools on their mobile devices.
Mobile and desktop apps are great, don’t get me wrong. But websites work on either device and only need to be built once. Thereby reducing the development time and cost, while still providing the same value.