This family owned and operated Queensland Feedlot has a licence to feed 10,000 head, run in conjunction with an adjoining irrigation property. It is located 30km south of Miles in Queensland. As an industry leader, they have often been at the forefront of implementing new and innovative cattle feeding technology and cattle management systems.
The Feedlot’s telecommunications were operating on an unreliable satellite data service that was sporadic and delivered an unsatisfactory internet service to the offices and staff. Productivity was severely hampered due to unreliable speeds and frequent dropouts. Due to the unreliable satellite services for the homesteads, there was also business functions, which were moved off-site, increasing costs and reducing system performance.
This project featured construction of a Fixed Wireless Wide Area Network (WAN) link to connect their well-established feedlot to high speed, reliable carrier grade internet. The solution delivered a dedicated 40Mbps download and 40Mbps upload service, with no limit on usage across two separate connections, to each adjoining property. The two separate links have the ability to flex speed profiles which enables each site the ability to use up to 40Mbps dependant on other usage at any one point in time. The installation of fixed wireless links throughout the property enables remote monitoring, access and management capabilities, providing a platform for improved asset management, livestock control and condition monitoring. Distributing these services across the entire properties provides this Queensland Feedlot with the ability to invest in innovative technologies to improve their business.
Due to the rural location of this property, the ability to send telecommunications to site is challenging with a lack of available sources of connectivity. A new point-to-point fixed wireless service was installed to connect the feedlot to MarchNet’s fibre backbone in Miles. Once the high speed broadband is delivered to each site, it is then distributed via a point to multipoint device utilising 360° antennas providing coverage for the entire property. This device provides stable coverage across large service areas by forwarding the signal to subscribers installed at each specified location where Wi-Fi is required.
Accessing live up-to-date information from their weather station for example allows this Queensland Feedlot to react very quickly to changing conditions. The impact of not foreseeing a substantial rain event will affect the amount of feed that goes to waste the following day. Remote access eliminates best guess decisions through access to accurate data. Incorrectly forecasting a weather event can result in up to 40 tonnes of feed going to waste. Using $40 per tonne as an average, this can result in a $1,600 feed wastage result in a single day of operations.
The new service has also provided the ability to access cloud-based software and storage, which has huge benefits for ease of access to documents, procedures etc. This eliminates the requirement for physical storage of documentation and record keeping, increasing efficiency and providing greater access to information for all users. The ability to adopt future cloud based applications or services is now available to this Queensland Feedlot.
The introduction of high quality, reliable telecommunications has allowed this Queensland Feedlot to increase their workplace health and safety significantly. The implementation of a Safe Ag Systems online solution for managing Workplace Health and Safety is currently underway. The ability for this Queensland Feedlot to induct workers and contractors, scan QR codes when using machinery on-site to access Safe Work Procedures before operating, identify when services are due, take photos of hazards and sending them directly to the office, report incidents or near misses, and an online message board are just some of benefits that this service can offer. This solution was not available using pre-existing communication infrastructures.
Having quality and reliable connectivity available to staff living and working on-site provides an incentive to potential staff in the recruiting process. This Queensland Feedlot’s two properties are located within a close proximity to a number of competitor businesses, which all access the same pool of resources for staffing etc. The ability to staff with families and children who are reliant upon access to reliable communications for schooling, for example, becomes available. Apart from the benefits in hiring new staff, access to quality, reliable communications ensures that existing staff’s needs and requirements are being met, which is expected to improve staff retention. The estimated average cost of hiring and training new staff is $30,000, which does not account for intangible safety and distraction costs.
Feedback from this Queensland Feedlot around remote access to private networks has been very positive, noting increases in efficiency and staff productivity. The WAWIFI network enables this Queensland Feedlot to:
- collect data as it happens rather than manually entered periodically
- collect data that was previously not being captured
- access the collected data from anywhere on-site and/or off-site.
This results in better operational decisions and reduced errors. Issues can be identified earlier and resolved immediately, rather than post data capture.
By investing in the latest technology this Queensland Feedlot have guaranteed safer working conditions for staff, more efficient outcomes and commitment to their future through innovation.
If your remote operation is currently experiencing poor, limited or no communications, get in touch today and find out how the MarchNet team can bring you quality, reliable and affordable telecommunications.
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