What is Benchmark?
Benchmark has been operating since January 2010 and can be accessed by all advisors or veterinarians through internet upon making an account. Each and every Lely milking and feeding robot produces data. This data is extremely valuable, not just for farmers, but also for you as an advisor. Supplementing your knowledge with these actual data will enable you to serve your farmers even better.
Why use Benchmark?
Benchmark is the ultimate complementary tool to help you advise your customers. This farm-specific data, generated by T4C is the perfect instrument for analysis and monitoring. In addition to specific farms you can also create comparison groups. For example, let’s say there is a group of high-producing farms within your customers. Why exactly do these farms have such high yields? Because you know these farms personally, you will be able to analyze this and share best practice with other farmers. What’s more, you will also be able to compare these farms against the national average. How do your customers perform compared to the national average? You can monitor your customers’ progress and advise them proactively. An example we have made is the average milk yield per cow per country throughout 2012 in Figure 1. You could monitor this within your own group and act proactively whenever necessary.
If we take October 2012 as a reference, more than 1066 farms worldwide were active on Benchmark in 30 different countries. There were 430 active advisors with 524 friends. At the time of writing Great Britain had the highest density of Benchmark users with a coverage of 60%.
One of the FMS advisors from the UK says ‘all my clients are on the Benchmark, and I encourage them to compare their farms. I display and monitor their performance weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly.’ This way the FMS advisor can monitor changes and set milestones. And even more important, he or she can monitor to see if the milestones are reached.