ABS NEWS MARCH 2021

ABS Seed in Solynta

Solynta is a hybrid potato breeding company based in Wageningen, the Netherlands. In 2008, Solynta took up the challenge – and the responsibility – to revolutionize potato breeding. Solynta chose this road because they know hybrid potatoes can enhance not only the livelihood of farmers, producers, and consumers, but also because they believe it will enable a plentiful potato yield in every corner of the world.

In doing so, Solynta dares to push the boundaries of sustainable improvements in food and nutritional security worldwide.  Together with partners around the world Solynta applies their ground-breaking technology and create long lasting impact on global food supply.  Solynta is proud to have ABS as one of those partners.

Over recent years Solynta has grown rapidly and now employs over 70 people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Together they form the persistent team of Researchers, Breeders, Agronomists, and many more at Solynta, who have unlocked the true potential of potatoes.

‘Hybrid True Potato Seeds’ are the result of hand pollination between stable female and stable male inbred lines. The seeds are harvested from potato berries produced on plants in controlled greenhouse conditions. The seeds are called ‘Hybrid True Potato Seeds’ to differentiate them from ‘seed potatoes’ which are genetically identical clones of a tuber. Hybrid True Potato Seed is seen as an effective alternative for potato seed tubers. In developing countries, the small, light, and disease-free seeds can replace bulky, perishable, and sometimes diseased seed tubers. When conditioned properly, the shelf life of Hybrid True Potato Seeds is much longer than traditional seed potatoes. The small size of the seed means it only takes 25 grams of Hybrid True Potato Seeds to plant one hectare instead of using 2,500 kilos of potato seed tubers. Solynta’s Hybrid True Potato Seed varieties are developed by a talented in-house

team of Researchers and Breeders.  These new varieties are then tested globally by Solynta’s expert agronomy team and the best of the best are chosen to be commercialized.

The final product, Hybrid True Potato Seed, is sold globally in a wide variety of containers.  This is only limited by the needs of customers.

In order to anticipate in time, Solynta wants to ensure that the basics of inventory management and delivery are in place and running smoothly. 

Reinout Pennings is the supply chain manager and application manager of ABS in Solynta. The selection procedure for an ERP solution started around the end of 2018. Solynta compared various solutions known both within and outside the (seed) breeding industry.  Programming their own software solution based on several low code platforms was also explored. In the end the selection committee decided to go for ABS for its very rich functionality for Solynta’s specific seed industry processes. The long experience of ABS within the seed business ensures a solution for many potential future bottlenecks. Next to that, as a scale up company, Solynta had the opportunity to align their internal processes to the workflows made available in ABS Seed. 

In September 2019, Solynta started the first implementation sessions with the guidance of Melvin van Dam, ABS Business Consultant. By the end of February 2020, the last training session took place in Solynta’s office. When the Covid-19 pandemic started in March Solynta was just on the verge of going live. Fortunately, both Solynta and ABS were able to adapt quickly and managed to finalize the last preparations virtually. In the first week of April 2020 Solynta went live with ABS Seed! 

The ABS Seed software runs via Amazon Appstream 2.0. AppStream 2.0 is built on Amazon Web Services, so Solynta can benefit from a data center and network architecture designed for the most security-sensitive organizations. It was a strategic decision not to invest in an inhouse server solution to run ABS. AppStream 2.0 allows flexible access for employees to the required software anytime, anyplace and on any device. Using AppStream, Solynta is very agile to respond when there is a need to scale to any number of users or increased capacity without acquiring and operating additional hardware or infrastructure.  Companywide Solynta uses OKTA software to manage and secure user authentication of all the used applications. Its single sign-on service is very easy to use and allows users to log into a variety of systems using one centralized process. 

Reinout’s role within Solynta’s Supply Chain department is to align the sales demand with the supply of the Hybrid True Potato Seeds. In practice: make sure the right hybrid varieties are produced, in time with the best quality possible.  Seed production is done by a close network of external producers that is supported during the scale up process. Once the Hybrid True Potato Seeds are received, tailor made seed processing and several seed quality checks are used to ensure the highest possible end product quality. In the end, Hybrid True Potato Seeds must reach customers globally. After the first field selection of the newest hybrid varieties, the work processes in ABS start. So, first

by Product Management and Sales Forecasting. The following processes of Production Planning, basic material inventory management and Field Inspections including yield estimates also take place in ABS. Upon receipt of Hybrid True Potato Seeds, all physical work related to seed processing and quality control is planned and administrated within ABS. For the delivery to customers, Solynta uses the functionality of the Sales module including shipping docs and invoicing. Finally, the gathered data is used for the analysis of the cost price and gross margin of sales.

During the implementation period approximately one year ago, several processes within Solynta were not in place yet. Therefore, the setup of the correct settings was challenging. Future developments were anticipated while the company was still setting up its processes. Luckily, the key users were trained how to modify these settings. ABS offers so much functionality, that the problem usually is to consider what is needed rather than to discover what is possible One of the key issues is to train new users. The functionalities of ABS are so rich, that it can be quite overwhelming when starting to work with the system. 

Reinout explains the advantages of ABS Seed:

“Before the implementation of ABS, our processes were much more sensitive for manual errors in the handling of our batches. Especially in seed processing, the number of sequential batches is increasing tremendously. Now we always have a real-time insight in our inventory and all quality aspects. The track and trace of shipments is crucial with the exponential growth we are currently facing. Plus, the fact that multiple users can access and edit the database at the same moment offers more flexibility for us all to our work. 

Currently we have 10 users trained to work with ABS. The majority of the team work on the Production, Inventory management, Quality and Sales modules. But as Solynta is growing rapidly, also the expansion of trained users is continuously increasing.

During the coming months we will setup the Sales Forecasting and Production Planning modules. As we are growing very fast at our external producers, the need for mobile applications to update the yield estimates becomes increasingly important.” 

Solynta aims to provide game changing innovations that enable the development of improved potato hybrids, leading to sustainable potato yields worldwide, enhancing the livelihood of producers around the globe. In the coming years we will expand our global customer network. The focus now will be on low and mid tech markets in Africa and Central Asia. This will be followed quickly by the steps into the high-tech chips and fries markets.

ABS Seed: Variety Information out of ABS Seed in Axia

During regular meetings and site visits of productions, Axia’s growers (producers) came up with questions about the crop: “What should the plants look like?” Because a producer receives the seeds from the mother as well as the father, it turned out that they need some background information. Information, to confirm that the plants that are planted in the production field are the same as in the parent line description.

For the production manager, this meant that he had to search for all kinds of information regularly. Afterwards, photos he received from the production fields had to be compared to this information.

Meanwhile data of a species / variety was collected by Axia already, either in ABS or in photo files. The idea was born to add a parent line description or hybrid description for productions when sending the seeds to the producer.

The first step was to design how Axia wants to make this information available to the grower / producer. The next step was to provide all parent lines and hybrids with unambiguous information, but also to take photos for each species in different phases of the growth process. These photos are linked to the correct variety in ABS.

All this has resulted in the print below which is sent to the producer / grower with the stock seeds.

-> print

ABS Breeding: User Permissions+ Module

Last year ABS Breeding has introduced the User Permissions+ Module.

This Module allows the ABS administrator to restrict users’ permissions of your ABS Breeding/Trial or Field Map application. The accessible data can be narrowed down on a very detailed level in the plant menu, as well as the crossing and the layout (locations) menu. The advanced search options, available columns in the finder and the plant form will only show data which the user has permission to see or edit. The User Permissions+ Module can be used to give users from your own company, or from other companies, access to the software, but only for a very limited set of data or information.

The latest news is…

User Permissions+ has now been made available for all fields in all menus!
It offers the ABS Breeding administrator the advantage of customizing the user interface and only show the fields the user needs or has permission to see.

If you would like to have more information, please contact your ABS account manager.

ABS Seed: NEW Training Options

ABS Seed is constantly being developed; every 9 weeks a new Main version is being introduced.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to have an overview of what’s new?

Or, you are working for years now with ABS Seed and you are wondering if you use all the options the software brings to you? Do you want to grow in your efficient use of ABS?

Maybe you need a general overview of all processes that can be supported by ABS Seed?

Please check the ABS Seed Training information on the ABS website www.agrosolutions.nl/training

The following dates have been set:
-Tips & Tricks ABS Seed                   Wednesday June 16, 2021 at 8 a.m. *
-Upgrade training ABS Seed            Thursday September 30, 2021 at 7 p.m. *
-Overview                                         to be planned

(The Netherlands is GMT+2, in summertime)

If you would like to join a training session or you would like to have more information, please email Dorien van Engelenburg at: dve@agrosolutions.nl

We are looking forward to meeting you at an online ABS training.

New Interesting Functionalities in the latest versions of ABS Seed

The following interesting changes have been programmed in the newest versions of ABS Seed:

  • In batch location it is now possible to split the weight of a batch or ‘fust’ over multiple ‘fusts’
  • In sample placement functionalities have been added for cluster sampling. The results of the test from the cluster sample will be populated to multiple batches 
  • It is now possible to save inventory sampling selections. So, the next time you can re-use the same selections
  • You can now also forecast free of charge seed sales in the budget. You can also work with a forecast year, you can select your forecast year for instance from April until April (available since version 10.90)
  • Use of work centers for App’s. Work centers can be set as a default in the App’s. Also prints can be connected to a work center as well as users and machines
  • You can update quality figures per crop in a tree. From 11.50 and up
  • At picking you get a warning that not all lines are fully allocated, via the new “Warn for partial allocation” indicator
  • Now it is possible to link a document on contract header. On contract level you can see if a document is added on header level
  • To simplify overviews when you have a lot of routings, these can be created on a lower level
  • A sales order status can be manually filled in, in the order header. Also, orders can be filtered on a certain status. In the delivery header this status will be copied. 

All changes can be found in the release notes of the respective versions. These are available on the ABS Service desk portal.

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