“The volume of data that Nikki and Kim process every day, I would consider superhuman”

posted on Tuesday, September 6, 2016

“The volume of data that Nikki and Kim process every day paired with the speed and accuracy in which they are required to do their jobs, I would consider superhuman,” said Ben Haberl, Director of Feed and Nutrition, about Nikki Farrell and Kim Wininger, the feed logistics coordinators for Iowa Select Farms.

Rarely do we feature employees two at a time, but in the case of Nikki and Kim they are used to being referred to as “the feed ladies” because they work so fluidly as a team. Together they oversee the movement of 1,450,000 tons of feed each year—65,000 orders to be exact—deploying and tracking the deliveries between 13 different mills to over 600 farms.

“Some might assume it’s routine, scheduled work, but the majority of their job is dealing with random events and working through delivery issues between the mills and the farms,” said Ben. “The amount of information they are required to comprehend and act upon is tremendously high, but there is never a doubt that they can’t handle it.”

Nikki started with Iowa Select Farms in February 2005 and Kim joined her in 2007. “Over the years, the feed office has transformed in several different ways, with changes made to improve our efficiency and service we provide to the farms.”

On any given day, Nikki and Kim are fielding calls from farm managers, supervisors, senior supervisors and feed mills to process orders and answer any questions or concerns that may arise regarding feed and nutrition. “We communicate with the sites and all the managers and supervisors on the phone, via email, via text or through Tools. In so many different ways, so many different things come up,” said Nikki.

With 22 different feed formulations, the process starts with setting up a new lot, identification numbers, feed plan and feed budget in MetaFarms. When the farm managers submit the orders, the system generates the right diet and pounds of feed per pig placed. After they set up the feed plan they process orders coming in from the farms, then place those orders with the mills. Each day they will process 250 orders and split the workload right down the middle. They also take turns fielding emergency phone calls after hours and on weekends, troubleshooting feed delivery challenges throughout all hours of the day and on holidays.

“The IT team has helped us become more efficient, which gives us the ability to respond quicker to our managers and mills and better contribute to our billion-pound journey,” said Kim. Nikki and Kim also schedule feed Vac’s (a feed transfer, where leftover feed is removed from the bins at a farm and utilized at another farm), take on emergency orders and move orders around to make sure all of the pigs have feed and also help the mills get their required load counts.

“They are two of the most reliable and dependable people we have on our team, and our farm managers appreciate how much they help address issues and keep things running smoothly for production,” said Ben. “They can move mountains, and never hesitate to do it to help someone out.” #billionpounds