Captain of West Coast Eagles tackles WoolQ

Captain of the West Coast Eagles Shannon Hurn with WoolQ Field Officer Andrew Dennis at Shannon’s parents’ property ‘Springhead’ at Angaston in South Australia.

Shannon Hurn, captain of AFL team West Coast Eagles, recently went home to his parents’ property in South Australia to help out at shearing time. While there, he saw WoolQ being used for the second time at the property and scoring some pretty big goals.

Shannon Hurn, captain of the West Coast Eagles, came home recently to help out with shearing at the property owned by his parents William and Sandi Hurn. ‘Springhead’ is located in the Barossa town of Angaston, South Australia, more than 2,500km away from the West Coast Eagles HQ in Perth.

“It’s great to be back home in the shearing shed and it’s fantastic to see technology finally entering the wool industry,” Shannon said.

WoolQ Field Officer, Andrew Dennis, was assisting in-shed. “The Hurns are using the WoolQ eSpeci for the second time with zero issues. With more than 2,000 users and 18,000 bales, the eSpeci has been well and truly field tested,” Andrew said.

The eSpeci is an alternative to the current paper speci and allows woolgrowers and their classers to accurately and efficiently capture in-shed data at the time of shearing. By capturing this data electronically, not only does it reduce errors, it also enables easier sharing of documentation and a richer collection of information from multiple contributors.

William Hurn is a woolgrower and a classer. “I think you’re always going to have concerns in taking up new technology,especially at the start of shearing when there’s so much going on,” he said. “But to my surprise, the system is really easy to pick up and fast to use. Everything’s pretty logical.”

Andrew Dennis has been helping woolgrowers adopt the WoolQ eSpeci.

“Growers do express concerns about learning something new at such a busy time. I’m sympathetic, I know what it’s like in the shed, especially at the start of shearing. But I’m happy to report that all the growers I’ve helped have saved a lot of time having things done digitally,” Andrew said.

“I know the software could be perceived by growers as adding time to tasks. But the eSpeci doesn’t complicate things; in fact, I have seen it simplify the process in all sheds.”

Once the eSpeci is complete, it can be simply uploaded and sent electronically to your broker and can be easily shared with any other key contacts you wish. This electronic record of data will be stored in your own, secure dashboard on WoolQ and will enable rich and easy analysis of your clip specs, comparisons versus prior year(s) and much more.

‘Springhead’ is a mixed farming property. “We don’t have a big clip, so I started the eSpeci on the last day,” William said. “Ten minutes after weighing the last bale, the speci was sitting in the broker’s system. I’m really impressed with the level of accuracy and efficiency WoolQ has brought into the shed.”

Andrew says most people get comfortable with the eSpeci pretty quickly, regardless of age.

“I recommend to woolgrowers that they don’t start the eSpeci until the second or third day. At that point, you’ve got the shed running smoothly. It doesn’t take long to catch up and you have time to work through any speed bumps,” Andrew said.

“You don’t even need the internet at the shed. Once it’s set up, the eSpeci works without a connection. You only need to connect after shearing to send the data. You do this when you get home.”

The WoolQ team supports woolgrowers with adoption through presentations and in-shed assistance. But first, the WoolQ team recommends talking your broker. Brokers can help woolgrowers get set up on the platform. The majority of brokers have now been enabled to accept the eSpeci directly into their systems.

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