5 minutes with Phil Bracefield

Braveheart Programme Director, Farmlands.

Farmlands shareholders may have heard of Braveheart – when do the visible changes start?
Braveheart is our business transformation programme, that aims to give Farmlands the infrastructure to provide better service and solutions to our shareholders. It improves our business processes and allows our co-operative to have “one way of doing things” behind the scenes. We have undertaken Braveheart as a series of deployments and Deployment 5, scheduled for July, is our biggest so far. Our people have already started using some of our new ways of working over the past year and a half, such as new tablets that utilise our new software called D365 CE.

What can shareholders expect?
The most important thing about Braveheart is that it adds ‘tools’ to the skill-set our people already have. Our co-operative has existed for more than 55 years because of the people our shareholders interact with on a daily basis. Braveheart provides a new suite of options to give shareholders a complete view of how they work with their co-operative and a simpler, easier experience behind the scenes. As an example, shareholders and customers will receive automated payment reminder letters when their account is overdue (7 days and 14 days post statement due date). These are just reminder letters in case payment has been forgotten. Our shareholders will also be able to pay their account balance early (e.g. in-store) and this will automatically adjust their upcoming direct debit. If a shareholder doesn’t want their future direct debit adjusted, they just need to let one of their local Farmlanders in-store know. There will also be enhancements to the monthly Farmlands statement. These changes provide our shareholders with the ability to be flexible and more proactive with their payments.

What other changes are occurring?
Braveheart focuses on consolidating and streamlining our processes so they are not only future-proof, they create a co-operative that is a best practice, world leading reflection of our more than 68,000 shareholders nationwide. Some key changes relating to pricing and our loyalty rewards programme are:
1. Reviews of our pricing, providing more consistent delivery of our buying power.
2. We are also reviewing our rewards offer to shareholders. An exciting opportunity for our shareholders will be the ability to redeem Choices Rewards Points in-store and having the ability to use those points to pay for purchases.
3. When there are multiple Cards and contacts on a Farmland Account, the primary Account holder will have the ability to choose which Farmlands Cards can earn (and redeem) their Choices Rewards Points.
4. Our shareholders will be able to see their Choices Rewards Points in “real time” through the online MyFarmlands portal, which they can access and register for through the Farmlands website.
5. Choices Rewards Points will be awarded straight away, rather than having to wait for the statement. It is important to note this will also be updated if product is returned.

Will there be any changes to Farmlands shareholder statements?
Yes, there will be. These changes are designed to provide shareholders with an easier to read and navigate Farmlands statement. The biggest difference will be changes to the product codes. Our shareholders that use accounting software and code different purchases will make adjustments in their software set up. Software companies will be informed of these changes.

When do these changes take effect?
We are starting the process from this month (May) but we will be staggering the changes over the coming months. Throughout July and August, we are changing our Point of Sale system at all Farmlands stores. This will be over stages. It is a really exciting opportunity for our teams in-store – they will be able to take scanners with them around the store and into the yard. It’s designed to provide a smoother experience when you shop with us. Some changes have already been made – for example, the authorisation process when you shop at a Card Partner has been changed, which will improve the speed of transactions for a lot of shareholders. As with any change, our Farmlanders are learning to use the new system and process. We have a fantastic team that are participating in training in-person, online and in-store. We ask our shareholders to please be patient as our teams get the hang of the new process – the end result will be an improved, consistent experience, no matter where you are and what store you visit. We are excited that Deployment 5 is nearly upon us. It builds the platform to set us up for future success and improve the value every shareholder receives from their co-operative.

Are there any actions shareholders need to take when these changes take effect?
There are a few things shareholders can do that will make all the difference.
The easiest way to do this is to remember to bring your Farmlands Card with you when you visit us in-store (so your shareholder number and other account details can be brought up instantly).
If shareholders do not have a physical Card, a Card number will be generated against the Account. That is so all shareholders can earn and redeem Choices Rewards Points.
The other change has been around for a while – we will soon be closing our old BNZ bank account, so all shareholders will need to ensure they have made the switch to our ASB bank account.
The new account number is 123244001284500.

Braveheart for shareholders

  • Statements that are easier to read and navigate.
  • Reviews of both pricing and rewards.
  • Ability to pay balance in-store, with direct debits adjusted automatically.
  • ‘Real time’ Choices Rewards Points balances.
  • Shareholders can also expect to hear more from us in the coming weeks