Employee Onboarding Guide
Table of Contents
ApRecs Overview 3
Basic Tasks in ApRecs 5
Products Overview 6
Account Types 7
Trust Connections 8
Phone Training 10
ApRecs, a (( centricity )) product, is a secure communications platform for agriculture. It makes it easy to create compliant recommendations and even easier to keep records that drive real-time market reports. Information flows safely across the food chain; privacy and security are maintained throughout. Overall, the software is designed to help growers and packers stay compliant with chemical regulations.
Meet the Team: (all emails are valid at both @aprecs.us and @centricty.us)
Drew Zabrocki - Owner and CEO, Wearer of All Hats and Knower of All Things
firstname.lastname@example.org extension: 4900 Cell: 509.860.1494
Sarah Zabrocki - Owner and Accounting, Collector of All Money
Judi Kuntz: Relationship Manager
email@example.com extension: 4060 Direct: 509.295.4060
Sawyer Werner: Service Expert
firstname.lastname@example.org extension: 4072 Direct: 509.203.4072
Development Team (New Jersey) (most communication should take place in Podio)
William “Mac” Dyer: Lead Developer - email@example.com
Brandon Gurwitz: Design Lead and Inventory specialist - Brandon@simx.com
Michael Prigozhiy : Reporting expert - MIchael@simx.com
Sergei Sokolov: - firstname.lastname@example.org:
Andrei Afanassenkov: - Andrei@simx.com
Other Key Players
There are three main types of accounts in ApRecs, field advisor (FSO), grower (GRO), and packer/shipper/processor (PSP).
The Field Advisor tells the grower what to put on his crops. This is called a recommendation. Often, the Advisor works for the chemical company that also sells the grower the chemicals he recommends.
The Grower… grows the food. They love to farm, they don’t love paperwork, or technology. Be patient with them.
The packer/shipper/processor sells the food for the Grower. The PSP requires the growers Records in order to make sure the food they are shipping is compliant with where it’s going. Example: Whole foods, Canada, Japan, Walmart… they all have different rules about what they allow on their crops. If you’ve sprayed a product called Chilean Nitrate on your cherries, you can’t sell that food to Canada.
The easiest way to start learning how to operate within ApRecs is on a grower account. If you go to https://aprecs.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/categories/360000035252-Grower you can begin to read guides detailing how different processes work in ApRecs.
In a grower account, there are a few main pages:
Dashboard: A general overview of recent records (a document that details a completed chemical application) and recommendations (a document that details an advised chemical application). It also shows the weather and some quick links to other pages within ApRecs.
Recs: Split into two tabs: Records and Recommendations. Records are created by the grower after he/she applies the chemicals (also called products) to their crops. Recommendations are usually created by the FSO from their own account. However, in some cases, a grower may create one as well.
Reports: Provides a way for growers to access detailed data in spreadsheet form. They can pull information for themselves, or full records to send to their Packer or Auditor.
Roles: Allows grower to assign their employees tasks within ApRecs.
MyFarm: The basic setup page. This is where the grower enters all of their information about their locations (main crop areas), fields (subcategories of locations where certain varieties of a crop are grown) and crops. Additionally, the grower also inputs all of their equipment they use to make applications (apply chemicals to crops) and the people who actually do the application.
Inventory: Allows growers to keep track of their chemicals supply levels and produce inventory reports for Audits (and order more when one gets low with Advanced Product Management)
Costing*: Provides a way for growers to access detailed data about their expenses in spreadsheet form. *only included in Advanced Product Management
A good way to get familiar with all of these pages is to simply do a little exploring through the software. Additionally, check out that link and start reading some of the help articles. It’s ok if they don’t fully make sense right now.
How to Complete Basic Tasks in ApRecs:
In order to better understand the system, you should learn how growers complete some basic tasks within ApRecs. The first task is to fill in and understand how the MyFarm page works. A great explanation can be found in the video here: https://aprecs.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360003028752-Locations-and-Fields-My-Farm-Setup-Video
The next task is creating and completing a record:
Creating/Completing a Record
Whew! That was a lot of stuff. I would recommend completing a few of these records so that you get the process down. You can play around on the Stage server (our test platform) without affecting any live data. Ask Mac for a login if you don’t already have one.
The next thing to do is to check out the help page again and continue to read the articles:
As noted earlier, products are basically just the chemicals growers apply to their crops. They have lots of different names, application methods and uses. Currently, ApRecs fetches its products from an online database called CDMS. Additionally, we add products that customers request. Adding products is a relatively straightforward process. Here it is explained:
Additionally, there may be times when a customer requests for a product to be labeled as organic. This is an easy fix that requires only a little searching as explained below:
(Make sure you find a certificate, never just change a product to Organic without checking!)
Making Products Organic
How to create a grower account
Guide to a PSP Account
Info needed to create a PSP account
Field Safety (FSO):
How to create an FSO account
Trust Connections Explained:
Trust connections can basically be summarized as pathways between two different accounts, i.e. a grower and a packer, that allows them to share confidential information. This is a big concern for many in agriculture since lots of growers fear that their proprietary methods could be leaked to other growers (if you’ve spent a lifetime making sure you grow perfect, consistent fruit, would you want to share that unnecessarily with others?) As a system admin, you can create and edit trust connections for growers, packers and field advisors:
Create/Edit/Add Trust Connections
Zendesk is a software that allows companies to easily process and respond to customer support tickets. By now, your account should be set up and you should be seeing ApRecs support request tickets in your email inbox. Simply clicking the link in one of these tickets will bring you to the ticket page in Zendesk where you can assign yourself the ticket if you know how to answer it. A few test tickets will be sent your way before you answer any real tickets. Remember, when answering tickets, the help articles are your greatest friend.
Podio is mainly used for reporting bugs and keeping track of tasks and projects between us and the development team in New Jersey. To report bugs, suggest tweaks, or discuss any other item found within ApRecs, follow this guide:
In the team board, you can view your own and other team member’s current tasks and how far they along they are. You’ll keep track of your projects on your Cards, and update their status every Friday before leaving.
Insightly is a CRM mainly used for storing customer info and documenting sales pipelines. on the ‘Opportunities’ page, you can see how far along each customer is in their billing cycle. The ‘Organizations’ page is a database of all the current, potential, and previous customers. The ‘Contacts’ page is a database of all the people working within the aforementioned organizations. Clicking on any of these people or organizations allows you to edit their information. Selecting the checkbox next to their name allows you to do things like export them to MailChimp (an email marketing service).
Each customer has a Relationship Management lifecycle. This means that for an entire year, there are pre-set tasks for each of them, based on when they are set to renew. You’ll have ‘tasks’ assigned to you for each step of that cycle. These can include calling, emailing, or in person visits to make sure a customer feels supported and everything is working for them all year long. We never just want to reach out to a customer right before we ask them for renewal money!
Answering the phones is a primary task in this job. It is important that ApRecs employees are highly trained and skilled in responding to customers questions promptly and accurately. To get started, you will listen in on other employees fielding customer support calls. Pay attention to the way they talk and address the customer. Next, you will begin answering voicemails. Voicemail allows more time to research and develop a solution to the problem before having to directly address the customer. Finally, you will start to answer real calls from customers. Remember, it is ok to put the customer on hold or transfer the call to a more experienced employee while you are still learning.
Please read over this Customer Care guide:
Answering Basic Questions
There is usually a basic flow to answering questions over the phone. Most likely, the person calling in is a grower. First, identify the problem. If you are sufficient in ApRecs, you will probably be able to answer it. Problems like “ApRecs isn’t working?” usually require a little more digging. Start by checking what browser they are using (make sure it’s not Internet Explorer). Then, ask about things trying things like enabling pop-ups and clearing the cache. Finally, if all else fails, you may have to share screens with the customer in order to diagnose the problem.
Now you’re ready to go! Welcome to the team!