A new auction market software tool designed to share more management details with potential buyers will be launched in time for this year’s fall run.
ViewTrak Technologies recently announced the creation of an attribute-based marketing tool for auction markets to better promote details of cattle on offer in the ring. The new software module is the first of its kind in the world, to the company’s knowledge, and is expected to add value for both producers and buyers.
“Producers are starting to add attributes to their animals that they want to have the ability to display at the auction market or at the ring,” says Lee Irvine, general manager of ViewTrak.
With more buyers sourcing cattle that qualify for programs such as the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef’s sustainability framework, ViewTrak saw the opportunity for its Auction Master Pro and Market Master software clients to help promote these details at ringside and connect producers to potential buyers.
“A great example is the sustainability programs,” says Irvine. “There was no mechanism at the ring for producers who are selling animals to say that their animals qualify. Or there was no avenue for the producers to talk about their vaccination programs or mineral program.”
When producers bring cattle into the auction market, they will provide the attributes they want to advertise. This could include details such as the operation being certified by a third-party auditing body, vaccination and antibiotic use details, age verification or feeding program information.
“For example, you could have different attributes for your steers as for your heifers, and then when a producer’s heifers come into the ring, those attributes automatically pop up onto the screen,” says Irvine. “It’s no more work for the auction market at all.”
For Market Master clients, ViewTrak is working to help them move from the older, static audience display boards to a new option that allows them to include the additional attributes.
“As those boards failed they need to be replaced, and they’re pretty expensive to replace,” he says. “So one of the things we decided to do was to give our Market Master clients the ability to upgrade their audience displays to TV screens.”
Irvine explained that this new solution has the potential to add value for producers by better connecting them to buyers who want cattle raised with specific management practices.
“How many times in the beef industry have we been told to tell our story,” he says. “Now this is a way that we can actually put those up in front of buyers.”
He is hopeful that instead of bypassing the auction market to get the most value out of different programs and practices, producers will use this marketing opportunity to take advantage of price discovery.
“If you have several buyers standing in the ring, they may get a bit more, and all it takes is two people who want that attribute, and that seller wins. This is all about getting two buyers who want to compete for your animals.”
ViewTrak is a subsidiary of TrustBIX, a global leader in agriculture and food traceability as well as North America’s major supplier of livestock auction market software.