Utilize these QMS basics to run a safer and more efficient operation.

Secrets to successful Agronomy QMS implementation

Just as a skyscraper is only as sound as its blueprints and a story is only as good as its author; agronomy operations are much the same. They only perform to the standards and expectations which have been specifically aligned with their company’s goals and purpose. Of course, there are best practices and regulations to abide by to keep any agronomy operation clicking in an efficient, safe, and lawful manner.

Figuring out these details alone can be tedious and tricky. Luckily, Nationwide customers have access to a proven and employee-friendly way to navigate the intricate and multi-faceted issues that all ag retail chemical and fertilizer operations face today. From safety to operation efficiency, the Agronomy Quality Manual System (QMS) from Nationwide is designed to help you build a reliable and trusted foundation from which your future can grow.

What are the benefits of Agronomy QMS?

  • Defines business objectives
  • Sets specified quality and safety requirements
  • Sets clear objectives for each Agronomy role
  • Promotes greater employee awareness of agronomy operations safety
  • Enhances communication among employees
  • Produces product quality
  • Promotes greater customer satisfaction

Agronomy QMS utilizes the skills and experience of your employees and the risk management expertise of Nationwide. The main idea of this exercise is to stress the crucial nature of effective communication and the role it plays in the sustained success of any agronomy operation.  Agronomy QMS brings a defined and documented approach to communicating to employees what is required and expected.

Effective custom application of agricultural chemicals makes it imperative for agronomy operations to specifically define how specific work activities such as field map preparation, preparing chemicals for loading the sprayer, delivery to the field and pre-spray conditions evaluation are to be performed. QMS defines the attention to detail required to produce the desired service standards and to further influence employee actions to complete tasks per specified quality and safety standards. 

The main components of Agronomy QMS include:

1. Quality manual. This top-level document provides the framework for defining your business operations, internal control systems, quality processes and procedures and more – essentially providing the foundation for your company’s operational success.

2. Work instructions.  These templates will help you define how specific agronomy operations and processes such as confirming sprayer settings, delivery to the field, pre-spray conditions evaluation, managing sprayer inventories, and field application, are to be performed per your company policies.

3.  Forms. These ready-to-use forms, such as crop genetics and chemical compatibility as well as the custom application success checklist, will help agronomy teams communicate and document key application information with internal and external customers.

4. Standards. Application equipment and nozzle verification standards templates provide a convenient reference to verify and document application performance.

Creating a quality manual is a crucial first step to implementing your QMS. A quality manual is documentation of a company’s quality policy, performance objectives, business operations, sales and management relationships, internal system checks, resources, production, internal control systems, supplier selection and purchasing controls, and managerial responsibilities that relate to producing high-quality goods or services. Without one, it’s hard to establish and maintain a work environment that has a safety-first priority, is focused on the customer and fosters an environment for continuous improvement.

Once your quality program is defined, work instructions, forms and standards can be developed for your agronomy operations by utilizing the skills and experience of your employees and Nationwide’s risk management expertise. These three key QMS components will serve as guiding documents for achieving the quality standards and expectations defined in your quality manual.

It’s important to keep in mind that every site and operation is different. So, what works well for one does not apply or work for another. Only once you are familiar with your own practice and purposes of your company can you implement instructions, system checks and forms that will work to help reduce the chances of a large misapplication loss.

Of course, there is no definitive way to eliminate all agronomy-based exposures and potential losses. By maintaining and continually improving your QMS, you will be ready to anticipate any potential plant or field issues and be better prepared to train new and prospective employees with approved process and safety standards. Ultimately, a successful QMS program provides a framework to achieve key agronomy business goals, such as increased custom application profit and efficiency, increased farmer retention and profitability, and enhanced safety and environmental protection.

Available only to Nationwide members, please consult the Agronomy QMS eModule for updated and comprehensive information on constructing your own effective quality management system.

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