Guide to Seed Production and Inventory Management Software

The seed business is competitive, dynamic and changing. Seed producers have witnessed a transformative era with dramatic changes in the competitive landscape, software, yields, production machinery, supply chain changes and shocks, with more changes to come! Artificial intelligence, genetics, new advanced treatments, farming methods and more.

Strinos has been in the industry for over 50 years, helping seed producers adapt and succeed during these times.
New Technologies Have Vastly Improved Agricultural Production
Yields For Major Crops
Yield index (1930=1.00) smoothed
Graph base layout
Source: Agricultural Statistics, NASS, USDA, various years.

The #1 factor that has boosted crop yields and farming efficiency is seed improvement. Genetic advancements in plant varieties account for 50 percent or more of the total increase in yield for each of these crops.

Technology Adoption Will Continue to Escalate
North America and Europe are leaders of agtech adoption, with Asia Lagging.
Currently using or planning to use at least one technology in the next two years*
Farm-management software top
Farm-management software and remote sensing most
popular use cases
North America
Farm-management software most
popular use-case
South America
Remote sensing
most popular
Farm automation
and robotics
most popular use-case

*Asia includes China and India: Europe includes France, Germany, Netherlands, and Spain: North America includes Canada and the United States: South America includes Argentina and Brazil: (n = 5,675)
Source: Farmers’ Global Insights Survery, McKinsey, May 2022: McKinsey analysis

European and North American farmers lead global agtech adoption. Significant adoption of technologies is already behind us, with more coming.

AgTech Funding
Includes pre-seed, seed, venture, corporate and private equity funding of venture-backed companies.
Total Invested
Number of Deals

2021 was a record year for agtech, with nearly $5 billion invested in the sector in 440 funding deals to VC-backed startups, according to Crunchbase data.

The Imperative for Seed Management Software

The days of keeping mental notes or pen and paper are over. Choosing the right production and inventory management software has become an increasingly important business decision in the modern era. Successful seed businesses need to be efficient while also strengthening customer relationships, areas where your software can help you make a meaningful impact.

With efficiency and customer satisfaction as the objectives, your software decision should come down to four primary criteria:

1. Purpose-built with advanced inventory management and lot tracking unique to the seed production.

Seed producers have unique and often complicated lot tracking requirements that their software provider must be capable and experienced in providing.

Take for example a seed producer that sells seed used on the side of highways. For highway-side planting, the primary considerations are usually erosion control, minimal maintenance, adaptability to potentially poor soil quality, resistance to pollutants or salt, species native to the geographic location, and aesthetic appeal. The seed variety selected for this project is a specific multi-seed blend of grass and flower seed, in a 70:30 grass:flower seed ratio. This seed producer treats the seed by coating the seed with a specific coating used for highway-side applications, bags them and sends them to the customer.

This same seed producer also has many other grass seed products sold to a variety of other end markets with different blends and treatments. A key component in the production process is the ability to provide proof and reference to a completed production activity.  A key example of this is visible through a Species or Blend Lot Tag.  Beyond providing useful information to the end-client, legally binding detail must be displayed, specific to geographic location.  Seed composition such as Purity, Germination %, Origin, Noxious Detail, and Analysis Date must be easily generated and adhered to the finished product.

Seed Producer Inventory Management

Lot tracking can be complicated, but it is critical for your business and your customers. Your sales team needs to know what you have on hand at all times, your customers (and you) need to know that they are getting what they paid for. Moreover, you don’t have the time or the budget to have the large ERP providers customize their inventory management application for your use case or have one built from scratch. These advanced inventory management capabilities need to be ready-built for the seed industry.

2. One source of real-time information for all areas of your seed business.

It is important that all users across different departments of your business are able to use one software platform, with one source of truth.

Current inventory (and all treatments, mixes, coatings etc.), incoming orders, the sales pipeline and billing are all connected. Your sales team needs to know what is on hand, what is coming and when. Then when it's sold, billing should be a seamless handoff from sales. When the month comes to close, the current status of inventory, and all transactions should be easily captured for input into your accounting system.

Using multiple systems, spreadsheets or trying to make small business accounting software like Quickbooks or Sage work for your purposes will result in wasted time from staff doing duplicate work in multiple systems, asking around when the information should be available readily, needing to double check the status of sales, orders or inventories and still making costly mistakes due to human error. Moreover, with all the data in one place, reporting/dashboards can be easily accessible and leverage cross-department data.

Data should be viewed as one of your business’s most important assets. The ability to collect, consolidate, and leverage data from a single source will allow you to make educated business decisions impacting planting, purchasing, harvest, production, and selling.

One source of real-time information

3. Easy-to-use and accessible seed software on the go.

Legacy software programs were not really meant for humans - they were designed and built by engineers with little user input and accompanied by a user manual. The user experience and interface was an afterthought. These days, users expect to intuitively understand how to use software with minimal training. Great software has engineers working closely with user experience designers or product managers that not only care about the functionality, but how the user interacts with the product to maximize its useability. You should expect nothing less from your seed software.

A difficult software product has hidden costs. Increased training and retraining costs, troubleshooting and idle time while support requests are being investigated and responded to, and inaccessible features that maybe only one person in your company is even capable of using, to name a few. Intuitive, user-friendly software minimizes user friction. Common issues are pre-emptively ironed out, users can navigate complicated processes one step at a time, and if it's your first time using a specific feature, it may be slower the first time, but you get it without having to contact support.

Moreover, in the seed business, if you are in the seed warehouse, you need the ability to open a tablet using a web app and make an inventory update while on the go. Many features are difficult to make available on mobile devices due to their complexity, but many are not, and those should be available to users while you are out of the office. Cloud based and a user experience that is good on and off desktop should be an important factor in your decision.


4. Responsive, professional support for all seed professionals.

During the busy season, small issues are emergencies. You need a team that has your back and truly cares about your business. It's not just about the software. It's important to choose a software company that understands the seed business, understands their software, is patient with you and your team, responds to requests promptly, and improves the software over time to deal with the concerns and improvements you’ve suggested. In the best case scenario, your seed software team should act as an extension of your company. Ask their customers what their experience has been, that is typically the best way to discover if you’ve found the right solution.

Responsive support

To close, it's important to reinforce that efficiency and customer satisfaction are the top objectives in determining which seed software is right for you. This objective is best met by considering the four primary criteria covered in this Guide.

When selecting seed software, make sure it is:
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Purpose-built with advanced inventory management and lot tracking unique to the seed production.

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One source of real-time information for all areas of your seed business.

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Easy-to-use and accessible seed software on the go.

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Responsive, professional support for all seed professionals.

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