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Black Box Co cloud based beef production software system - Award for Innovation 2022 Entry

Black Box Co is a cloud based software system that analyses and visualises beef production data from right across the supply chain. We ensure each segment of the supply chain receives the key pieces of information required for them to make meaningful decisions and achieve more successful and sustainable decisions. Our products for the lot feeding industry include internal analytics dashboards that tie together feedlot, carcase and MSA performance as well as a feedback system to enable feedlots to seamlessly supply data to suppliers of their choice.


Using these dashboards feedlots can easily visualise and analyse performance by lot number, contract number, supplier, price, breed, induction date and weight. This information is linked to carcase performance and allows analysis across MSA specifications as well as company specifications to allow the identification of lost opportunity, dollar value and feed intake. This ensures feedlots can quickly track down when and where to buy cattle from that add to their bottom line.


Black Box Co has entered this innovation into the ALFA Award for Innovation 2022, proudly supported by Integrated Animal Production. The winner will be announced at the ALFA BeefEx22 Conference in October. Read on to find out more about this innovation within the feedlot industry.


Tell us, how is the innovation original/innovative?


Our product is a tool for feedlots to easily identify their high and low performers across feedlot performance, carcase and MSA. Building off of the data collection systems already used in the lot feeding industry (e.g. ELynx, Possum Gully) we visualise the data collected and highlight key information required for better management and decision making so that it can be easily accessed and analysed. This solution saves the extraction of information from multiple reports required by existing systems and improves the feedlots understanding of each supplier, as well as provides insight into supply months in advance. The visual dashboards are easily interpreted by everyone from stock hands, to manager and CFOs.


This tool also enables feedlots to seamlessly provide feedback to suppliers of their choice. Our Feedlot Feedback combines performance in the feedlot with carcase performance and can be linked back to the animals on farm data by the producer, enabling them to make informed genetic and management decisions. For example producers can accurately forecast when animals will reach optimal weight for feedlot entry, view hospitalisations and compare breeds. This decision making leads to a more consistent supply of higher quality animals and better supply chain management. This product will allow the sharing of information up and down the supply chain to provide insight into cattle available to the market ahead of time. With data available across the supply chain we have begun working on predicting feedlot performance from weaning, this will benefit both producers and feedlots by increasing supply chain efficiency and cattle availability.


So, how does it benefit the Australian Lot Feeding Industry?


Our product is assisting the lot feeding industry to make better decisions around the animals being fed relevant to their performance. The feedback system allows producers to better understand how their animals perform on feed, right down to the genetics they're investing in, resulting in management and genetics decisions that provide higher quality and more consistent performance in the feedlot and abattoir. Our system is driving improvements in animal performance to increase sustainability and productivity of the lot feeding industry, enabling easy comparisons of animal handling and environmental conditions, feed conversion, animal values and many other performance metrics.


Examples of the benefit:

Analysis of our database indicates that a 1% increase in ADG (2.0 to 2.02 kg/head/day) on a 100 day grain fed animal. In a feedlot that turns over 25,000 cattle a year, capturing even 30% of this potential increase results in an increase in revenue of $120,000 annually. This is an example looking at just one of many performance and profitability metrics that can be analyses using Black Box.


When seasonal and market conditions are tough, Black Box enables feedlots to make informed purchasing decisions by selecting the best lines of cattle from those available.

Historical data from our system demonstrates that consistent feedback over time can achieve an increase of ADG of up to 20% and improve consistency by 25% Tightening and shifting the bell curve:


And how does it integrate into Australian Lot Feeding operations?


Our product is currently being implemented across a number of leading Australian feedlots for both internal analysis and feedback. Our product ingests the raw data already collected by the feedlot as well as the carcase & MSA information provided by the processor to quickly analyse and summarise animal performance by lot number, vendor, source PIC, Contract, induction date and weight, carcase and MSA traits as well as price. We have the ability to pull the data in through APIs, furthering the ability of our system to save users time.


Black Box’s product offering has been developed working closely with the lot feeding industry and all of our developments are based on industry feedback.. Because of this our product is constantly evolving to ensure we continue to meet the industry's needs with new developments including gross margin and feedbunk data. Balck Box Co provides one place for all levels of the business, from breeder and livestock buyer to CEO, granting them the access to the insights they need to make practical and profitable decisions. Our team is based remotely across Australia and available 24/7in order to serve our customers and ensure they get the most out of the product. This allows us to provide on farm visits and ongoing support through the implementation and ongoing use of Black Box to ensure the user creates maximum value in their business.


How Feedlots are using our system:

  • Monthly reporting

  • Internal data audits - monitoring accuracy and identifying gaps in data collection to improve consistency.

  • Quickly identify what is and isn’t meeting contracts

  • Analyse carcase performance by abattoir, or contract number and identification of lost opportunity/discounts

  • Easily identify top 10% of their suppliers

  • Identify performance and hospital % by supplier

  • To seamlessly provide feedback to suppliers of their choice at the touch of a button

  • Interpret MSA & Carcase Feedback quickly and with no manual manipulation required

  • To save time analysing data without having to pull up to six different reports using other systems.


For More Information Contact:

Georgia Dale, Business Development Manager - Black Box Co 0498135738 | georgia@blackboxco.com.au


About the ALFA Award for Innovation

All BeefEx exhibitors & sponsors with an innovative product or service are encouraged to enter the Australian Lot Feeders’ Association’s (ALFA) Innovation Award – designed to acknowledge excellence in innovation from companies supplying and servicing the lot feeding sector.


With thanks to our sponsor, Integrated Animal Production Pty Ltd, for their support of this Award.


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