Providing independent business systems advice to agricultural companies

Case Study - Agriculture





Case Studies



7Y Machinery Ring


Machinery Rings are a relatively new concept within the UK and provide farmers and agricultural businesses with the ability to reduce their overhead costs by rationalising their investment in specialist machinery and labour. A Ring is formed by a group of local farmers who provide an inventory of equipment and resources that they are willing to provide to other members. This information is entered on to a database by the ring administration function. Ring members requiring work to be undertaken contact ring administration who search the database to find a farmer who has the relevant equipment and labour currently available. Ring administration organise the service contract between the two parties and in return earns a commission from both the supplier and the demander. All the accounting paperwork is generated by ring administration, who are also responsible for payment and collection. There are currently 21 rings in England and Scotland a majority of whom were using a bespoke system.


IT systems strategy. Preparation of a functional specification. Identification of bespoke developer.


1 UK location, 4 employees, 1m+ turnover.

Scope of requirements

Member and resources database, sales and purchase invoicing including self billing, sales ledger and VAT accounting, cash handling, on-line banking, management and financial reporting, inter-ring trading of services and commodities.


Functional weaknesses - a new common system was required which addressed the weaknesses of the existing system.

Rapid business expansion - a number of rings were about to experience rapid expansion and the existing system lacked the required functionality.

Large data volumes - a large amount of data is maintained and management perceived that better use could be made of this information.

Communication between rings - the structure and organisation of the existing system did not aid cross communication between rings.

Dated legacy system - the existing Ring system was character based and looked dated in comparison to modern software with a GUI (graphical user interface) interface.



A strategy was defined for the development of a new system and a functional specification prepared. Assistance provided in identifying a potential supplier who would develop the software.

Contact Details:

Microguide Corporate Computer Consultants, 82 Shortlands Road, Kingston-upon-Thames, KT2 6HE

Tel: 020 8549 7152

Fax: 020 8549 8112

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