Like most agriculture companies, Central Prairie Co-op relies heavily on technology to help make their day-to-day operations run efficiently. The problem? They simply lacked the expertise to implement the new technology. Gilmore Solutions was able to take over that burden by helping them stay connected to their multiple locations, provide improved technology systems, and increase efficiency – all without Central Prairie Co-op being forced to hire in-house IT staff.
Central Prairie Co-op was formed on March 1, 2014 by the merger of the Farmers Cooperative Elevator Company of Nickerson Kansas, and the Farmers Cooperative Union of Sterling, Kansas. The cooperative consists of sixteen locations, providing a full-range of services including grain storage, self and full-service fuel facilities, feed milling, animal health products, bulk propane and fuel sales and delivery, and full-service agronomy sales and application.
Merger Challenges and Solutions
Management faced a multitude of challenges in forming the new Co-op through the merger, and many revolved around identifying and implementing the right technologies to support the new organization. Gilmore Solutions was able to provide the resources and capability to plan, coordinate and implement all the necessary upgrades on the required timeline.Gilmore Solutions was able to step in and alleviate these pain points, allowing Central Prairie Co-op to focus on the core business elements of the merger. With a professional staff having over 50 years of working knowledge in the IT industry, Gilmore Solutions brought the skills of an entire team, focused initially on strategizing with Co-op staff, service
providers and critical software vendors to determine what areas of the IT infrastructure needed improvements. From there, as the plan was developing to support a successful merger of technology systems, Gilmore Solutions staff worked seamlessly with all stakeholders to successfully implement these upgrades on time. David Cornelius, Controller at Central Plairie Co-op, also noted that, “Prior to Gilmore Solutions, when we tried something new, it was hard to implement to the other members because I didn’t fully understand it myself and I was the one responsible – so new trials were very rare.”
Continued Beneficial Partnership
The conclusion of the merger signaled the beginning of an even stronger relationship between Central Prairie Co-op and Gilmore Solutions. Securing, managing and supporting technology systems is an ongoing necessity, and Central Prairie Co-op relies on Gilmore Solutions to keep these systems running. They also hold consistent strategy meetings to discuss the needs of the business, understand new technologies, budget and plan to implement the right solutions to help Central Prairie Co-op remain competitive.
Chris Schneider, Director of Business Development at Gilmore Solutions, added, “It’s a true partnership. We’re collaborating and discussing options and solutions that fit their needs to help them get where they are trying to go. It definitely requires a high degree of trust and we work hard to build that with each of our clients.”Summary and Call to Action
Hiring Gilmore Solutions was an essential step in Central Prairie Co-op’s ideal of staying on top of today’s technology.
“Change isn’t always easy, but with Gilmore Solutions it was extremely easy and seamless. Security continues to play an important role in our day-to-day business, and Gilmore Solutions helps us stay on top of it and makes us aware of the risks we face.” When asked what the single biggest reason to recommend Gilmore Solutions, David highlighted the “friendly support staff.”
“Working with Gilmore Solutions is more than just calling them up when we have an issue – they are an integral part of our company and play a big part of helping us get where we want to go.”