This system is saving DuToit a considerable amount of money and has boosted productivity. For fruit growers, the harvest season only has a short window of opportunity when fruit are at their optimal level of ripeness.
“Time is money, and the Time Management Solutions system allows us to be more productive, says Du Plessis. “Before we started using TMS, each group had one or two ‘markers’ who manually wrote down the number of fruit picked by each worker. At the end of the day, someone had to physically add the number of ticks next to each worker’s name. With the new system everything is an automated process.
Time Management Solutions allows us to harvest the fruit faster because we can now deploy the ‘writers’ in the harvesting process. It has also significantly freed up time for our office staff.” Du Plessis notes that in addition to the obvious cost savings, TMS also gives the company the peace of mind that all wages are calculated accurately.
Depending on the size of the business, the TMS system normally pays for itself within one season. “If you ask anyone of our farm managers if they want to go back to the ‘manual system’, they will just give you a wry look,” says Du Plessis. “Everyone is in favour of TMS because it takes away a lot of administrative duties, which gives the farmers the time to do what they do best, which is to farm and also keep their fingers on the pulse.”