Like many oyster farmers, Ewan McAsh faced a contradiction at the very heart of his business.
Despite working every day in a peaceful, pristine environment with a slow-growing animal, he was always in a hurry, constantly consumed by the management of his business.
“I would lie in bed and fly over the lease in my mind, continually reeling through where things were and what needed to be done.” On top of growing oysters across 120 locations in a range of age and size grades based along the Clyde River in NSW, Ewan was selling his and other farmers’ produce into restaurants and operating his own oyster bar and marketing company, Signature Oysters.
The businesses helped to share his love for oysters, but each business had travel commitments that were impacting on oyster production, he says because “ultimately I was still the only one who really knew what was going on”.
Searching for a way to take the business out of his head, and into his palm, Ewan partnered with digital strategist Philip Browning to develop SmartOysters.
SmartOysters works as a complete farm management system. Presented in a simple, colour-coded, visual format, it shows farmers instantly where their stock is, at what growth stage it is, and what action needs to be taken regarding any batch at any given time.
Transforming management, it provides staff at all levels with information relevant to their tasks, ensuring standards are maintained. The app also helps with short and long-term planning, through its data analytics, environmental reporting and forecasting functions.
Ewan says in the last months since using SmartOysters, his oyster production has doubled and their quality improved.