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A diverse group of people, including former originators and merchandisers, are working together to build the next generation of grain merchandising technology. What brought them to Indigo in the first place? And what has them most excited for the industry’s digital future? Meet three former grain buyers now focused on helping to increase efficiency of the agricultural supply chain with Market+.
Experience: 15 years as grain originator
Indigo role: Product Manager
Favorite Market+ feature: Live futures feed
Rodney Connor still lives near the farm he grew up on in Dwight, Illinois, which helps to explain how he’s kept the farmer and their perspective so squarely in his mind over a 15-year career in grain trading, origination, and software development.
“My most frustrating days,” he remembers, “were the days that there was a huge opportunity for the farmer to make money, and I couldn't take advantage of those opportunities fast enough.” That’s what has Rodney so optimistic about what Market+ has to offer. Instead of spending time on mundane and repetitive tasks, such as running calculations on freight or entering contracts into an ERP, he sees an opportunity to, “streamline those busy days so that when opportunity arises, everybody can take advantage of it quickly and efficiently.”
Turning an inefficient, offline grain contracting process into a streamlined digital experience “raises the bar for the whole industry,” Rodney says — helping originators and merchandisers both capture more profitable outcomes for their farmer customers.
Experience: 5 years as grain originator
Indigo role: Grower Engagement Lead
Favorite Market+ feature: Contract editing
Setting up users and making them comfortable with Market+ is a priority for Ethan Lamont, a former grain originator who joined Indigo four years ago. There’s plenty of features to explore, learn, and use given that the software covers every step in the lifecycle of a grain contract.
One of the features Ethan’s most excited to discuss, given the possible efficiencies it can bring, is the ability to edit contracts. “It’s totally seamless,” he says. “If you’ve agreed on changing a destination, or changing a price — for whatever reason — you have the ability to do it instantly, right there in the product. And everybody gets notified of the change.”
Ethan knows that farming is not an 9-to-5 job, which means that buying or trading grain from the farmer or between facilities doesn’t operate on standard hours either. That’s the benefit of having a digital system for merchandising. “Market+ really helps to fill the gap for the customer if they’re not able to get an originator on the phone,” he says. “The sale can still get done—whether that’s after hours or early in the morning.”
Experience: 22 years as grain merchandiser
Indigo role: Senior Director of Merchandising
Favorite Market+ feature: AutoHedge
Brandon Bruggeman can’t help but think how different his early years of grain merchandising would have been if he had access to Market+. Shaking his head, he says, “It would have been a huge advantage. This software would have allowed my customers to reach me at any point in the day to trade grain, even if I was busy or away from my desk.”
Plus, the ability for Market+ to tie directly into a grain buyer’s ERP system would have allowed Brandon and his team to focus on buying and trading bushels rather than entering contracts and running reports. And, of course, the ability to automate his exact trading strategy from the moment a contract was entered with AutoHedge would have taken a lot of risk exposure off the table. “Once people get their hands on the product,” he says, “they will see how much efficiency it can bring to their business and team.”
“If you're having a busy day, markets are up or markets are down, and you can't get to all the phone calls, Market+ allows you to interact with your customer no matter what.”