The Machinery Price Catalogue is an electronic tool designed by the Rural Support Service of Latvia (RSS) to make purchases of machinery and equipment for farmers more simple and convenient. The Catalogue facilitates the beneficiaries' procurement process for the purchase of machinery and equipment. For beneficiaries, there is no procurement procedure required and it is now easy to choose the appropriate machinery for the farm, evaluating its capacity and pricing. The approach also reduces time spent for the Rural Support Service of Latvia specialists to evaluate a particular project.
The Machinery Price Catalogue was designed by the Rural Support Service of Latvia (RSS) in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Latvian Rural Consultation and Education Center (LRCEC) and the Association of Machinery and Equipment Dealers. The purpose of this innovative tool was to make purchase of machinery and equipment for farmers more simple and convenient. The Catalogue is available as an electronic tool at the Rural Support Service of Latvia website and is linked with the Electronic Application System (EAS). The Catalogue facilitates the beneficiaries' procurement process for the purchase of machinery and equipment in the sub-measure “Support for Investments in Agricultural Holdings” for transition period 2021 - 2022 and simplifying the control functions of the Rural Support Service of Latvia.
Its main advantage is the reduced time spent by farmers to complete the project application, as well as the now easier selection process of appropriate machinery and equipment for the project implementation. Besides there are potentially less errors in the preparation and verification process of cost-supporting project documentation. The methodology of machinery and equipment inclusion in the Catalogue is available in the Rural Support Service and Latvian Rural Consultation and Education Center websites. There is also a detailed methodology with “step by step” actions available in the site of Electronic Application System.
What Makes Your Project Innovative?
In addition to the above-mentioned benefits the Catalogue allows farmers to find out the current market prices, which have been appropriately evaluated based on various internet resources, foreign machinery catalogues, internet advertisements where new machinery is sold, as well as on factory updated prices according to their catalogues, price sheets and production costs. Creators of the Catalogue evaluate submitted offers and place them in the public part of the system. In cases where equipment is not found, farmers can contact dealers of this equipment. Accordingly, the seller creates his offer and then places it in the Catalogue after evaluation. Each technical unit has a description, a set, according to which you can choose the one you like the most or the most necessary for performing the work. It is therefore not necessary to call the dealer, as it can be seen when choosing the technique.
What is the current status of your innovation?
The innovation is now up and running. The Machinery Price Catalogue is fully functional, customers, equipment dealers and experts are able to use the Catalogue where all data and current information is displayed. A detailed methodology with a "step-by-step" procedure for selecting equipment in the Catalogue is fully available in the Electronic Application System. The Rural Support Service of Latvia has not stopped at implementing the innovation, but continues to improve the electronic tool. Additions and enhancements are constantly developed in the Catalogue. It is planned that it will be possible to use the advantages of the Catalogue also in other investment measures in the future.
Collaborations & Partnerships
The project initiative came from the Rural Support Service of Latvia and its specialists were in charge of designing the technical features of the Catalogue. All the work was done in close cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Latvian Rural Consultation and Education Centre and the Association of Machinery and Equipment Dealers.
Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
The Rural Support Service of Latvia took into account ideas and suggestions of its clients, as well as organized discussions with farmer public organizations - Farmers Federation, Agricultural Organizations Cooperation Council, etc. Also various non-governmental organizations have submitted their thoughts about possible functionalities of the Catalogue.
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
The implementation of the Machinery Price Catalogue has significantly reduced the amount of work required for implementation of European Union co-financed projects for traders, buyers and controllers. The process is incomparably simpler, fully transparent and clear for all involved parts. But main winners of the innovation are clients of the Rural Support Service of Latvia – the purchase of machinery and equipment for farmers is more simple, fast and convenient.
Challenges and Failures
It was a challenge for the Rural Support Service team to design this innovative tool – the Machinery Price Catalogue - so that it would be functional and easy to use, as well as to understand, detect the principles of how this electronic tool should work. The implementation of the project required training of employees and change of their mind-set, so that implemented solutions were customer-friendly. Great effort was made towards information work for clients – various seminars, webinars, presentations and face-to-face consultations were organized.
Conditions for Success
A professional and innovation-oriented team of employees with a common goal - a client-oriented approach - played a major role in this success and idea of creating the electronic tool. Also the management of the Rural Support Service of Latvia showed its significant impact on setting strategic goals and motivating team members.
This innovation and the use of technology demonstrated by the Rural Support Service of Latvia can be used by any other institution. Customer motivation and education, as well as the openness of the employees, are important. It is essential to remember that all the technologies are meant to make every day life for people easier and more convenient.
Main goal of the Rural Support Service of Latvia (RSS) is to achieve a full digitization of its services, so that no more paperwork is involved and all exchanges of information takes place only in electronic form. One of the key principles RSS always takes into account, when developing something new, is to listen to what their clients want. And the best approach on how to introduce new services and tools for customers, is to do it gradually - step by step.
- Implementation - making the innovation happen
17 November 2023