Farmers take stock with SMS
Established in 1987, Unigrain is a leader in the grain trading industry and offers a range of services to thousands of farmers around South Africa. Specialising in storage, grain carriers, grain logistics and trading, Unigrain has successfully integrated modern technology, including SMS, with an age-old farming method to provide farmers with comprehensive broking services.
How do they use SMS?
As a broking member of the JSE (Safex), Unigrain offers a comprehensive hedging service, giving farmers peace of mind and protecting them against the uncertainty of fluctuating commodity prices. This means the farmers can budget more effectively because they are selling their produce at a guaranteed, future-dated price. To do this, Unigrain relies on constant communication with the relevant farmers.
Using the BulkSMS Web App, SMSes are manually sent to select groups of farmers at three different times in the day, at 10am, 11am and 12pm. These SMSes comprise the stock prices for that day (and time), so the farmers can decide when to price their stock.
According to Hendrik Bester, Compliance Officer, the reason for using SMS as opposed to any other form of messaging solution is that SMS is reliable and available on every mobile phone. "Many of the farmers won’t have access to their e-mail throughout the day, and phone calls are too time-consuming. We do business with a lot of farmers and this is the best and fastest way to let them know what is happening on the stock exchange,” says Hendrik.