The Challenge

Modern-day farming is a high-tech industry and the modern-day farmer is a dynamic operator in a global market. As with many other industries, digitalization and increased automation loom large, even if most transactions are still handled face-to-face in the regional offices.

Avena Nordic Grain Oy is the leading trading company in grains, oilseeds and feeding stuffs in Finland, operating in domestic and international markets. Their online service Avenakauppa.fi enables Finnish farmers to monitor grain prices in real time and arrange their sales and analyses online. With both a generation change and the digital revolution looming on the horizon, Avena realised they needed a more responsive online service. It would have to serve all customers, work in all devices and facilitate more advanced user services. It would also have to be fully scalable and easy to expand into the Baltics and beyond.

 

The Solution

To ensure that any changes matched the true needs of the client, the project began with end-user interviews of both Avena employees and the farmers themselves. With that, the scope began to take shape. There would be a completely renewed customer path through the service, an overall upgrade to the look & feel of the online site and finally new back-end systems. Options for localization and country-specific feature palettes would be built into the system from the start. Nordcloud drew up the user interface designs, which were then validated with the client and implemented using React for maximum reusability and modularity, in line with Design Systems methodology. Content control was outsourced to a Prismic service so that the administrators could focus on the essentials.

Initially, some things proved hard to estimate, like the exact workload of including multiple languages and region-variable feature sets, or the exact cost of running a cloud service as different parts incur cost by different methods. Nevertheless, both issues were managed and costs proved lower than expected, proving Lambda-based service to be the right choice.

 

The Results

At the time of writing, the renewed avenakauppa.fi is up and running in Finland. Launch in the Baltic States is in the works and the project has been moved from development to Nordcloud’s Application Management, which is well-suited for transitioning a product between an active development project and incremental day-to-day development. By all accounts, the new avenakauppa.fi is a fresh-looking cloud-native online service and end users report the data they are looking for is both easier to find and much better presented.  And since avenakauppa.fi is API-based, it can be integrated with other third-party services as farming as a whole continues to become more and more automated.

 

About the company

Avena Nordic Grain Oy is the leading trading company in grains, oilseeds and feeding stuffs in Finland, operating in domestic and international markets.