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AWEX

Australian Wool Exchange transforms shearing sheds

Smartphone app and cloud platform knit a smarter solution

SYDNEY – 9 April, 2019 – The Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX) has worked with Microsoft partner MicroChannel to develop and roll out a smartphone app and cloud-based system to replace slow and error prone manual reporting.

To ensure the integrity of the supply chain, wool can’t be processed until the paperwork associated with each fleece and mob is complete, and a National Wool Declaration is issued.

There’s a lot at stake; in 2017 Australian farmers sheared 74 million sheep, producing 340 million kilograms of wool, worth $3.1 billion according to AWEX.

In order to streamline the process, and reduce the risk of error, AWEX worked with MicroChannel to develop WoolClip.

Leveraging Microsoft Azure, WoolClip is a web and smartphone application that allows registered users the ability to create, capture and manage inventory data arising from the wool harvesting process in a shearing shed.

The smartphone app allows AWEX’s 17,000 authorised wool classers to enter data directly from the shearing shed – even if they don’t have internet access. By providing the data immediately there is a reduced risk of error or oversight which can slow the wool processing down.

When connection is possible all the information collect on the WoolClip app is synched and secured to Azure.

The app and cloud-based solution ensures that on-farm data can be made available efficiently to the first receiver in the wool supply chain. It also establishes a traceable system for wool bales as they progress through the system and boosts the overall information integrity of the wool industry.

According to Mark Grave, CEO of AWEX; “The project management and relationship between AWEX staff and MicroChannel was a standout. The relationship and the understanding fostered allows both organisations to proceed with confidence.”

Developed by MicroChannel using Xamarin, WoolClip takes advantage of the fact that although most wool classers won’t have a computer in the sheds with them – the majority will have a smartphone in their pocket.

Ross Smith, CRM and Marketing Automation Practice Managerfrom MicroChannel said; “The app has been developed to make it simple to record data immediately and accurately. From WoolClip the information can be synched up to the Microsoft Azure cloud when it’s possible to connect to the internet.

“The information is held securely in the cloud with access provided to authorised users to ensure the efficient processing and monitoring of wool in the supply chain. We always say Australia was built on the sheep’s back – well now we’re taking that to the next level and helping to make the industry more efficient and accountable, with the provenance of wool made clear all the way from the sheep’s back right through to the completion of processing.”