The Ohio Soybean Council and The Ohio Soybean Association have a long standing history of engaging local and international communities to promote soybean farmers in Ohio. They do this through a variety of ways but one of the more visible is through the distribution of checkoff dollars. In our initial meetings a board member for the Ohio Soybean Council stated the problem well… “I need to be able to manage the distribution of millions of dollars of checkoff funds from my tractor, in the middle of my field, in the middle of the night, without a WiFi connection. Can you build us a custom project management portal that can do that?”
The Ohio Soybean Council oversees millions of dollars of special projects to enhance the profitability of Ohio’s Soybean farmers. Their original web portal was built on a custom implementation of Drupal and had outlived it’s useful life. Switchbox was brought in to build an updated custom web portal in Ruby on Rails to reduce the time the team of project managers and board members spent overseeing the distribution of their funds. The current site was limited in printing for the web, had problems with many of its reports and was generally suffering from UI and UX problems on new browsers. The board members also had to have a high speed internet connection to use the web portal which was not realistic during the planting and harvesting seasons.
Switchbox worked with the team at the Ohio Soybean Council to evaluate their existing Drupal intranet and to complete a series of interactive wire frames that could be reviewed by the staff. After these wire frames were approved our team of developers built out the web portal using Ruby on Rails, responsive HTML templates and a PostgreSQL database. Careful attention was paid to providing an easy way to collate necessary data for board members so they could access the data remotely. Each user role was presented with a specific view of the data they needed to make informed but fast decisions. The entire team was able to collaborate on the website instead of via paper. The final product was launched on time and within budget and was an instance success.
All prior projects were imported into the new system allowing the team to move forward without any downtime while the websites were switched. The new user interface allows simple tasks such as approving or denying projects in bulk and doing mass exports of projects within seconds compared to days of manual time before. Staff are able to spend less time on paperwork and more time working with vendors. Switchbox has continued to support the website as well as to enhance several other manual processes.
Dollars managed in 2015
Developed in 3 months