FBS User Conference speakers and registration, Empirical Creativity,July free webinars,Windows 10 drivers.
Not rendering correctly? View this email as a web page here.

 FarmSMART                                                       June 2016 

In this Issue:

Register Now for FBS User Conference

Guest Speaker Roster

Data Mining Workshop

User Conference at a Glance

Summer Events Calendar

Empirical Creativity

July Webinars

Q&A:  Windows 10 Drivers

Visit our Website


Stay in Touch

Farm Management Software Blog Button  
View our profile on LinkedIn
Follow-up Links
Click here to learn about the Pork Profit Center Dashboard


Dear Friend,

Thanks, clients, for stopping by our booth at the World Pork Expo!  We enjoyed catching up on the latest changes to your operations, and many of you saw a "live" demo of the Pork Profit Center Dashboard.   We're in the process of following up with everyone we visited with, but in case we haven't made contact yet please drop us an email (sales@fbssystems.com) or call 800.437.7638.

Meanwhile, in this month's FarmSmart:

  • Register now for the Connect 'i6 FBS User Conference.
  • Download conference brochure and register online.
  • User Conference guest speaker roster.
  • Data mining workshop.
  • Opportunity Accounting:  Empirical Creativity.
  • July free webinar schedule.
  • Link to recorded webinars.
  • Windows 10 drivers.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        SDG


Registration is now open for the 2016 FBS User Conference.  This year's theme,"Innovate, Integrate and Interrelate," will feature a new format to enhance the sharing of ideas and gaining of practical experience.  New opportunities include:

  • Pre-conference Data Mining Workshop (see story below)
  • Keynote on applying best practices from manufacturing
  • "Pop-up" user groups based on specific interests
  • FBS Integration Partners panel and tabletop exhibits
  • New dates that don't conflict with the Farm Progress Show
Along with the new we will continue these popular features:
  • Study the latest crop and pork cost of production benchmarks
  • Choose your favorite software and accounting topics at the breakout training sessions
  • Select one, two or three-day registration packages
  • Enjoy the rustic ambiance of the Stoney Creek Inn on the Mississippi Riverfront
  • Network and relax on the Celebration Belle prime rib dinner cruise

Click here to go to Connect 'i6 website website to register, download a brochure and reserve your hotel room.   Hurry!  Early Bird discounts end on July 15th.

 User Conference Speaker Roster

 Here's an overview of the FBS User Conference guest speakers and their topics.


After 33 years in corporate manufacturing, financing and IT, Kent is innovating in his family livestock and grain operation in northwest Iowa and will present our keynote address.

Kent Mogler "Applying Lean Manufacturing Processes to your Operational Decisions, Farm Accounting and Analysis Reporting."
Co-owner of Swine Management Services, a data processing bureau and consulting firm that benchmarks 1.5 million sows and 18 million hogs.
Ron Ketchem

"Are You Just Average???”


Principal at PDT Consultants, which focuses on innovation through process improvement, data utilization and user-centric technology in animal and agriculture industries.


Phil Lawler  "Operationalizing the VFD Process.”

Product manager of integrations for Conservis, Gary works with cloud-based applications and third party software providers to create linked systems.

Gary Therens  "The New Level of Financial Integration"

President of Russell Consulting Group, Moe specializes in risk management, H.R. management, business planning and feasibility analysis.

Moe Russell  ”How Low Can You Grow?”

Past president of the National Pork Producers Council, John is a business analyst and consultant with Latta, Harris, Hanon & Penningroth, LLP& Penningroth, LLP.

John McNutt  "2015 Crop and Pork Cost Benchmarks"

Minecraft.jpgPre-Conference Data Mining Workshop

You've accumulated a vast quantity of data within FBS.  Now it's time to generate meaningful reports and analysis so we're offering an hands-on Data Mining Workshop beginning at 1:00 pm,  Monday, August 22nd, one day prior to the FBS User Conference.   This will be an intensive session in which you will working with your own data files, and will be limited to the first 15 companies that enroll.  Topics included:

  • Financial statements--report level, template and column options
  • Crop and Feeding Cost Analysis--templates and column options
  • Consolidated Cost Analysis--mastering the "monster"
  • Drilling into the Standard Cost/Vendor Monitor Report
  • Smart Feeder User-Defined Reports
  • Adding graphs to FBS reports
  • TransActon Plus User-Defined Report
    • Utilizing the "audit trail" data fields
    • Creating "pivot tables"
  • Exporting to Excel
  • Unlocking the power of Report Generator 
  • Automated batch reporting
Click here to register online.

Connect 'i6 FBS User Conference at a Glance

When?  Tuesday, August 23-Wednesday, August 24


Where? Moline, Illinois, on the Mississippi Riverfront
Who? FBS users, prospective users, consultants, integration partners and media.
What? Learn from industry leaders how to innovate and integrate as you interrelate.
How? Register by clicking on this link.  Save by registering by Friday, July 15.

Opportunity Accounting:  Empirical Creativity

Jim Collins’ and Morten Hansen’s Great by Choice seeks to discover “why some companies thrive in uncertainty, even chaos, and others do not.”   The “10X” companies (which outperformed the general markets by a factor of at least 10) embraced seemingly paradoxical behaviors:

  • Fanatical discipline
  • Empirical creativity
  • Productive paranoia
  • Level 5 ambition

The second behavior—empirical creativity—is a key component of “Opportunity Accounting,” our management theme this year.

Collins and Hansen puncture the myth that innovation is the key to success, that successful companies “swing for the fences” with radically new and different innovations.  There’s certainly a threshold you have to maintain to be a contender in your industry, but according to Collins and Hansen once you’re above that threshold, “innovation doesn’t matter much.”  What does matter is applying discipline to innovation through empirical experience. 

bullet.jpg cannonball.jpg
Fire bullets  then cannonballs

They describe that process as “firing bullets, then cannonballs” using the example of a warship with limited resources (gunpowder) that calibrates with bullets before firing a single cannonball to sink the approaching enemy ship. 

Business "bullets" are described as an empirical test aimed at learning what works and which meet three criteria:

  • Low cost (the size and cost of the bullet grows as the organization grows)
  • Low risk (there are minimal consequences if the bullet goes awry)
  • Low distraction (it will not pull the organization as a whole off focus)

By firing small bullets that test new products, technologies, processes and services you’ll soon learn what works and what doesn’t.  Once you’re fairly sure of your success you’re ready to fire “calibrated cannonballs.”

In contrast to conventional wisdom, the 10X companies:

  • Are usually less innovative than their comparison cases
  • Can’t predict the future any better than their competition
  • Are successful at scaling innovation.
  • Their bullets often miss, but when pockets of success appear they home in with more bullets
  • When possible they rely on other companies’ bullets to build their empirical knowledge base

For example, Southwest Airlines was not an airline industry innovator, but an intentional “clone” of Pacific Southwest Airlines, "borrowing" their business model and standard operating procedures.

How does empirical creativity (and bullets and cannonballs) apply to Opportunity Accounting in production agriculture?

  • While innovators play a vital role in agriculture, early adopters achieve the best returns by incorporating new innovations that actually work (but not necessarily pay).
  • Production innovations percolate down to early adopters through opinion leaders, scientific research, media, salespeople and peer-to-peer information. Because this knowledge is widely disseminated and performance easy to internally evaluate the threshold level (the minimum  needed to compete) is constantly rising.
  • The economic returns from production innovations (as well as new business processes) are much more difficult to empirically test because they are affected by management, culture, location, scale and production performance.
  • Empirical testing is slowed by crop and livestock production cycles and affected by outside factors such as weather and disease.
  • Through precision farming technologies growers can fire “bullets” that are low cost, low risk and low distraction in evaluating "raw" yields and production practices.
  • Having the confidence to fire calibrated “cannonballs” requires a deep empirical foundation and knowledge of the unique costs and margins within the enterprise.  Most operations lack the "accounting bullets" to calibrate the direction of their business.,

According to Collins and Hansen, “What looks like an overnight success is often a long, empirical process of try, fail, try, fail, try, succeed.” 

Note:  we’ll be demonstrating opportunity accounting case studies on Day Two of the FBS User Conference.

Summer Events Calendar

Event Location Dates Booth #
Farm Financial Standards
Ranchester, Wyoming
July 13-15  

FBS User Conference
Moline, Ilinois

August 23-24  

Click on the event logo to go to that organization's website.


July Free WebinarsVersion_8.16_Computer.jpg

July  11: Setting up ledger accounts and centers.
July 18:  Entering checks and deposits.
July 25:  Basic reports.

All webinars run between 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm CDT.   

To register, e-mail support@fbssystems.com by 12:00 pm CDT on the day of the webinar.
NEW:  Catch up on the webinars you've missed by watching them on the Webinar page of our website.

Q&A of the Month:  Printing With Windows 10
Sarah Dixon, FBS Sales and Support Coordinator

Q.  I updated to Windows 10 and now I can't print from FBS.  Do I need to go back to my earlier version of Windows?

A.  No, you don't need to go back to the earlier version of Windows.  After you update to Windows 10 you also need to go to the manufacturer's website for your printer (and scanner) and download the most recent driver version available for your model.  Most devices have regular driver updates available for them, but we have to remember to go check.  

Updating to Windows 10 is a big change and requires the update to allow your computer to see the printer (and scanner) properly.  If your computer doesn't recognize the printer correctly then FBS can't either.  The updates should be easy to find and install if you have an Internet connection.  Installing off of the disk that came with your printer will not work.  If you've gone to the appropriate website and downloaded the driver and you are still experiencing an issue with printing, please contact our Technical Support staff at 800-437-7638.

Follow us on our blog