As the world's leading manufacturer in the field of "Crop Science", Bayer defines its role as going beyond mere sales. The chemical and pharmaceutical company informs its customers online via various portals about how to label and use crop protection products correctly. Bayer has commissioned the TIMETOACT GROUP to set up these portals. It was not until the beginning of 2020 that the IT experts rebuilt "Dresscode" (dresscode.bayer.com) and "eBagTag" (e-bagtag.com) from scratch and gave them an even more customer-friendly design.
Bayer AG is the world leader in industrial agricultural economics. Through the targeted use of seeds, crop protection products and digital technology, the Group aims to help meet the global food challenges.
"Please wear suitable protective clothing!" - Most pesticide manufacturers do not usually say anything more on the packaging. But nobody knows exactly what is meant by this. Depending on what you are doing and how you do it, however, you need different protective clothing. Spreading a pesticide between man-high tomato plants in a Dutch greenhouse requires completely different precautions than when you are sitting on the potato field up in the tractor with a cabin, where a pair of gloves will do.
The goal: Professional and safe application (of PF agents)
"Even today, farmers still deal with this issue in very different ways," says Margot Boergartz, Stewardship Manager in the Crop Science Division of Bayer AG. The task of this department is to provide farmers with the right rules of conduct and to explain how which substances are correctly and properly applied or used. "We organize training courses, work to develop better application equipment - from tractors to sprayers - and design packaging with clear labeling," explains Margot Boergartz. The goal is always the same: users should have as little contact with the chemical as possible in their daily work.
Depending on the type of plant, cultivation method and country, the use of pesticides intended for this purpose varies greatly. And to always demand maximum protection is usually completely exaggerated. For most products it is completely sufficient to wear gloves for safe application. For these reasons, Bayer provides farmers with "Dresscode", an online portal that provides information at a glance about what protective clothing is needed for which product. There is also a link to Bayer's YouTube channel, which features short instructional films on how to put on and take off protective clothing correctly.
One click to the right dress code for the farmer
Already in 2014 the TIMETOACT GROUP developed the portal for Bayer; in early 2020 it was technologically redesigned with Angular as the framework and operated on a docker container with node.js. The site is now responsive and has additional functions, such as the creation of favorites and a code generator for easy integration of the application on third-party sites. Furthermore, an offline version of the portal is also being worked on.
In a web mask the farmer enters in which environment he treats which plants with which agents. The result is a detailed description of where to dress in which way - a tailor-made dress code. The protective clothing is not sold via the portal, it is used purely for training purposes.
In most countries, Bayer does not sell its products directly to farmers, but through distribution partners. The "Dresscode" app, which is now also available on cell phones, is particularly helpful for these crop protection dealers. In a sales talk with the farmer, you can use the app to explain to him which of the new products he needs protection for and for what purpose. The dealer then prints out the recommendation or sends it to the farmer as an e-mail, who then hangs it up in his or her product warehouse. At the same time, this increases the sales of the sales partner, because "The goal is," says Margot Boergartz, "that as many as possible, but at least 80% of the dealers who sell our crop protection products, must also offer protective clothing in their product range.”
Portal is available worldwide
The portal is currently still mainly used in Europe, but it is available worldwide, without registration and can be used by everyone. The recommendations can vary from country to country; in some countries, for example, an apron is mandatory. In order not to make it too confusing, the easy handling of the portal was one of the main requirements of Bayer AG for the TIMETOACT GROUP. The selection of Bayer products is therefore related to the respective country and only the crop protection products registered for the respective country are displayed in the menu.
The TIMETOACT GROUP has developed yet another portal for Bayer, which accesses the same database as "Dresscode" and was also technically redesigned and modernized in 2020. "eBagTag" is all about product packaging. Every product - whether crop protection products or treated seeds - needs a bag tag with the product data for the packaging (the "label"). This tells the farmer what he should bear in mind when using the product and that he is using the treated seed responsibly. From product to product, and depending on where the seed is exported, the requirements for the label can vary considerably. Both the stewardship requirements and the respective national registration requirements must be met in it.
Country specific labeling
Bayer sells its seed products to breeders worldwide. They treat the seeds and then resell them. It is therefore their responsibility to label the treated seeds correctly. With "eBagTag", the seed producer is able to put the correct catalog of requirements for each target country directly on the label. He specifies in the portal which seed culture he has, which Bayer crop protection product he wants to treat it with and in which country he wants to sell it. As a result, he receives the label, which he can print out depending on the quantity required. Margot Boergartz: "For a long time, we provided seed producers with these labels. However, this caused very high costs. We printed labels for every possible combination of seed and crop protection products, which were then often stored away in large stocks at the growers without ever being used".
On-demand printing saves costs
In the developed portal, breeders have all the latest information at hand. They can compile and print out their own labels on-demand in exactly the required quantity.
"We are very satisfied with the support from our IT partner. When there are techical questions, you don't need to call support. Communication via Jira tickets is quick and straightforward."Margot BoergartzStewardship Manager Crop ScienceBayer AG
For almost seven years Bayer AG has been relying on the development and hosting services of the TIMETOACT GROUP. "We are very satisfied with the support from our IT partner", says Margot Boergartz. "You don't have to constantly phone after the support if there are technical questions, the communication via Jira tickets works fast and uncomplicated". In weekly telephone calls, the partners exchange information on current topics. The modernization of the portals was also initiated in these rounds and then implemented quickly. It enables Bayer AG to provide its customers with even better information about the use of its own products, thus strengthening customer loyalty.
The Crop Science Division of Bayer AG is one of the world's leading agricultural companies and is active in the fields of seeds, crop protection and pest control.