Newtownabbey company FarmWizard Ltd is on target to more than double its turnover thanks to sales of its innovative web-based agricultural software, developed with R&D support from Invest Northern Ireland.
The company has invested around £600,000 over the last three years in the development and marketing of its FarmWizard herd management solution. The only system of its kind in the UK, FarmWizard enables farmers to remotely monitor cattle herds, reducing time spent on paperwork and greatly increasing the achievable margins on livestock.
In the last year the system has been adopted by the largest beef and dairy farms in Scotland and external sales now account for a quarter of all turnover. The company was also recently a finalist in the prestigious UK-wide British Computer Society Awards in the Web-based Technology and BT Flagship for Innovation categories.
Carol Keery, Invest NI’s Director of Innovation, Research and Technology, said: “Invest NI has supported the development of FarmWizard from an early stage. This has enabled the company to bring to market an innovative system which can significantly enhance agricultural management operations and which is starting to deliver real commercial success.
“Invest NI, through its new Grant for R&D, offers financial support and practical advice that makes it easier than ever for local companies to take forward innovation-focused projects.”
Creator of the FarmWizard system and company Managing Director Terry Canning says: “With a background in agriculture and extensive experience in IT, I developed the idea of a web-based herd management system after implementing efficiencies on my family’s farm and talking to other farmers about their administration processes.
“FarmWizard, developed with strong backing from Invest NI, gives dairy and beef farmers the ability to access information about their herds from any computer and even whilst on the move using PDAs and mobile phone technology. Feedback from users has been extremely positive and our marketing campaign, combined with excellent word-of-mouth referrals, has seen sales soar in the last 12 months.”
Mr Canning added: “Invest NI is now helping us to further refine FarmWizard. We have just released a version which incorporates leading edge RFID technology to enable quicker and easier identification and processing of livestock. Our next aim is to further increase the functionality of the system whilst also enabling greater compatibility with existing common software applications.