Chatting with Ritzville Warehouse Company
Ritzville Warehouse Company is located in Eastern Washington, along the Idaho and Washington border. The agribusiness receives about 20 million bushels a year on average, primarily in white wheat. In 2018, Ritzville was looking for ways to answer the “easy”, frequently asked questions for their customers, such as:
- “How many bushels do I have in my account?
- “What is the price of SWH wheat today?”
- “Where is that scale ticket at?”
In addition to providing simple information for customers, Ritzville knew they needed a tool that would be extremely user friendly to prevent any headaches from customers trying to access the information. Accessibility and ease was a priority.
Pat Yerxa is a grain merchandiser at Ritzville who also handled the internal IT operations as well. His search for the digital solution for his operation and customers came to an end when discovering Bushel’s product offerings. “What Bushel did, compared to other vendors we looked at, was integrate account information and integrate it over across multiple entities. Bushel stood out to us pretty dramatically in regards to the most value-added way of answering some of these simple questions so that we’re not consumed with them. Our customers can answer them themselves and get it much more quickly.”
Although Ritzville started out with something to ask those basic questions, they found additional value in settlement and ticket information. Now the elevator can provide permissioned data to relevant crop insurance or accountants much faster. Push notifications send out alerts and save time and hassle on things like contract payment status and changed location hours.
Additionally, with eSign, contract turnaround time has shrunk from days to minutes. It provides better transparency and clarity to the business regarding contract status.
“We do get a pretty good return rate, but there’s still this unknown factor of did they sign it? Did we get one back? Where is it at? Who’s really kind of keeping track of that? Where in esign, I mean, we can see when we submitted it for their signature, when they signed it, and returned it back to us. I mean, there’s a better auditing trail in that regard for sure,” Yerxa said.
Overall, Yerxa said the products and service he gets from Bushel help Ritzville continue to innovate and connect with their growers in new ways. Relationships become stronger and conversations run deeper when many of the informational questions can get answered in real time.
“I felt more like a partner than a customer with Bushel. When I do have a problem, I can go to the Bushel team to help solve the problem and they address it. They’re working forward. They’re working with us. I never get the feeling that they’re tolerating us, like we’re just some pesky customer complaining about something all the time. We’re going down this path of innovation. They’re trying to make these changes in the industry, and they’re taking us along with them,” Yerxa said.