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PenPal Features & Benefits
PenPal is the most efficient way to measure and monitor pen performance
PenPal Benefits
PenPal provides an opportunity for field representatives and dairy advisors to easily track pen based dairy performance. Just some of the benefits of using PenPal™ are listed below:

Summary of Benefits of PenPal™:
(See complete information below)
  • No Handwriting - Data is Entered with Dropdown Menus and Stylus Taps
  • No Equipment Required Beyond A Handheld Computer and the Internet
  • System Setup Can Be Controlled From The Handheld
  • Data Can Be Uploaded Directly From The Handheld
  • Uploaded Data Is Stored and Available At Any Time By Internet Access
  • Automated Report Generation Using Industry Standards
  • Built-In Trend Analysis Capability
  • Dairy Performance Can Be Benchmarked Against Other Dairies
  • Built-In Example Score Images On The Handheld
  • Built-In Goal Setting Capability
  • Built-In E-mail Alerting System
  • Data Access Across Advisors Fosters Team Approach
 
No Handwriting - Data is Entered with Dropdown Menus and Stylus Taps
An underlying concept of PenPal is streamlining data entry. Our philosophy is dairy advisors should spend their time interpreting data, not collecting it. With that philosophy in mind, we designed the PenPal system to have no handwriting involved, to have minimum typing involved, and focus on clicking controls with a stylus. Our goal was for advisors to use PenPal on farm while walking through a pen of cattle. No ink pens that won't write, papers that get wet, or clipboards that fall in the manure! All data, with very few exceptions, can be entered with a few clicks of the stylus. Even cow identification fields may be captured using radio frequency identification (RFID) from an automated tag reader.
 
No Equipment Required Beyond A Handheld Computer and the Internet
The PenPal data collection system on the handheld device is designed to eliminate the need for extra equipment such as clipboards and paper. Just walk through a group of cows and score them as fast as you can tap the stylus. The handheld software automatically updates it's screen with the number of cows scored and basic statistics such as the average score and percent of cows with undesireable scores. When you're done scoring, open the Browser tab in PenPal and upload your data instantly. The automated analysis system on the web server saves even more time by generating detailed graphs in a matter of seconds! No more entering data into a spreadsheet to make graphs! Just walk to the barn, log onto the Internet from the desktop computer, and PRESTO, your graphs are there!
 
System Setup Can Be Controlled From The Handheld or Website
The PenPal handheld software has a built-in Internet tab that allows the handheld to communicate and synchronize directly with the user's account on AgriMetrica web servers if a "live" connection is active. A live connection is either a wireless connection, a cellular phone signal for smart phones, or a synched connection to another computer (desktop or laptop) with an Internet connection. In this manner your list of dairies and their pens, adding or renaming pens, creating a new account, and uploading data may be conducted from the hand-held device or from the browser-based website easily and seamlessly.
 
Data Can Be Uploaded Directly From The Handheld
Given a live connection to the Internet, you can upload your pen scores from the handheld directly to your account and have the analysis performed nearly instantly. By the time you walk from the pens to the office, your graphs and analysis are waiting. No having to create graphs in a spreadsheet! PenPal's trend analysis technology has calculated whether there is a significant change and marked it on the SPC chart. If you don't have a live connection, data is saved and may be sent later when a connection becomes available.
 
Uploaded Data Is Stored and Available At Any Time By Internet Access
Once data is uploaded to our web system, it is stored for at least 3 years (and longer retention is available). During that time, any uploaded data can be retrieved or included in an analysis from any computer in the world that has Internet access. This allows comparison of data over time and allows seasonal comparisons (e.g. this summer versus last summer). Data is available for anyone granted access to that dairy which may include the veterinarian, the nutritionist, the banker, the milk processor's field staff. Access permissions are controlled and managed by the producer.
 
Automated Report Generation Using Industry Standards
Once data is uploaded from the handheld device to our web server, it is automatically processed into a collection of graphical analysis tools included histograms and process control charts. This greatly reduces the dairy advisor's time to prepare reports and allows them to focus on interpretation. It also allows different advisors to compare findings across different dairies.

Every attempt has been made to follow accepted industry standards when generating reports. All of the calculations and scores used in PenPal are based on the latest standards published in the dairy scientific literature from organizations such as the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA), the National Mastitis Council (NMC), or the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP). This assures that our users are following accepted guidelines and maximizes the value of our benchmarking system when comparing across dairies.
 
Built-In Trend Analysis Capability
The PenPal system automatically analyzes trends in your pen based scores against your dairy's own historical performance using Statistical Process Control (SPC) technology. This trend analysis technique has been used in the manufacturing industry for more than 75 years and can detect whether changes in your dairy's performance are normal "background" variation or the start of a true change (problem). Values that are within expected limits based on historical performance are colored as blue dots while values that are unexpected are marked with red squares. When unexpected values are detected, automatic e-mail alerts are generated (see more about alerting below).
 
Dairy Performance Can Be Benchmarked Against Other Dairies
PenPal's Benchmarking System allows you to compare your farm's results against aggregated results of similar farms. If you have ever wondered 'How do my results compare to other farms like mine', here is the answer. The Benchmarking System automatically compares your rank relative to other dairies using PenPal and can be customized to compare against dairies of similar size, region, and cattle breed. For each parameter, farms are compared not only on average performance, but on how consistent their performance is.
 
Built-In Example Score Images On The Handheld
PenPal's handheld software includes an Images tab that has built-in example images of the different scores possible in PenPal. This is a great educational tool for people just getting familiar with pen-based scoring systems on dairies as well as those that need a refresher on what a given score looks like. This helps to reinforce standardization across different users and allows our benchmarking system to provide the highest value.
 
Built-In Goal Setting Capability
The PenPal web analysis system has industry standard goals built-in, but includes a feature that allows each user to set their own goals for each performance parameter if desired. Goals appear on the PenPal histogram graphics as horizontal lines. This allows individual dairies to measure their progress toward herd specific goals.
 
Built-In E-mail Alerting System
PenPal includes our Email Alert System to help you identify production issues quickly and take corrective action early to avoid costly problems. Each time another value is uploaded, your dairy's performance is automatically re-evaluated for possible problems. You can configure the system to generate custom alerts based on parameters you specify. In the event a value is outside your specified limits, the Email Alert System will send advisory e-mails to you and your selected team members.
 
Data Access Across Adivsors Fosters Team Approach
PenPal gives you the ability to grant (and revoke) access to the ParlorPal system and producer data for consultants, veterinarians, nutritionists and others. Imagine your specified consultants helping you, monitoring your results, even when they are not on the farm. And... when they make an on-site dairy visit, they will be better armed with knowledge of your test results. PenPal's Consultant Access System helps protect your data by alleviating the need to share your log-in information with others. As the producer you have complete control over who has access and who does not. AgriMetrica takes security very seriously with extraordinary measures to protect your data and privacy.
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