Release Notes:

We're really excited about several updates to the functionality of Chem-man Online!

1. Option to modify the commissionable flag on the field application.

We now have a feature to allow a user to view or edit whether a charge is commissionable at the time of invoice entry. This will avoid the "mystery" of why someone didn't get paid a commission later to find that the chemical's commission was set to "none".

You will now see a little checkbox below a commissionable charge/chemical and have the ability to uncheck if you choose to do so.

2. Ability to print a map on the invoice.

Chem-Man Online subscribers now have the ability to print maps on the invoice. This exciting feature also includes the ability to print the “As Applied” log file layer on top of the polygon. You can turn this on by the following instructions:

Setup, System settings, invoice/ statement formatting. Then use the following settings: "Print Map on Field Application Invoices; Include Applied Log in Printed Map"

Note: If you enter a job schedule it will default to the above settings. You will have the ability to modify it in the field application screen.

3. Ability to print "All" of the invoices on the report - "Invoice Trans. in Statement Format".

You can now print invoices by the date range. You can print invoices for individual customers or for all customers.

4. Option to view "Both" unposted and posted field applications.

You can choose between multiple ways to view your field applications.

Go to the drop-down option at the top right of the field application screen where and choose view options "Unposted, Posted, Both".

Note: If you choose "Both" you will now be able to review all of your invoices.

5. For our customers that are using Agrian, you now have the ability to print you recommendation directly from the job schedule.

Thanks for your many requests and all of your patience. We've got more coming!

The Staff of Chem-Man

870-238-9222

Release Notes: 9/12/16: New Vehicle categories, more formatting options, tiered pricing options, and more!


We're really excited about several updates to the functionality of Chem-man Online!

1. Options to hide the label and field name from map markers

Ever wanted to have more options about map markers?  Follow these directions to make adjustments:
Setup Menu > System Settings > Maps Tab; then click "Map Label Settings" in the left bottom corner. Be sure to SAVE this.
Now try reviewing a map display to make sure that you've got the options the way you prefer.


2. Allow Crop and/or Pests to be required when entering job schedule/invoices. 

There are some businesses that want the crop and/or pest to be required before the invoice is finalized.
You can adjust this under the Setup Menu > System Settings > General System Settings tab.

3. New Vehicle Categories

You can now add a category to your vehicles. This gives you the ability to filter your jobs by more detailed categories such as "Planes" or "Helicopters"  and create category types such as "Air" and "Ground".
To do this: Go to Vehicle Menu > Edit Vehicle. You can add the category next to the vehicle type by clicking on the "+" key for new or drop-down for an existing category. You can even filter your job scheduling by these categories.


4. Allow 24 hour format (military time) option.Do you prefer to see the time in a 24-hour format? 

Simply go to the Setup Menu > System Settings and click on the time option. 
*Your invoices should convert to the new time and will reflect on future invoices/reporting.

5. New tiered pricing option.

There is now a new feature called "tiered pricing" that is similar to the rate break but allows you to have more options. Example: You might want to give one price at 100 lbs./ acre, another price at 200 lbs./ acre, another price at 300 lbs./ acre.  
*Please note that your existing pricing structure has not changed, it just now has more options.
Give our support line a call to assist you if you'd like to try this out.

6. Transfer Jobs back to Scheduling

Oops! Didn't mean to transfer to an invoice? We made a easy way to fix that.

Look for the option to "Transfer back to Scheduling" in the Unposted Field Application menu.

7. Allow Jobs to be Cancelled.

Some of our customers have asked to be able see all of jobs that have been cancelled. 

Now when you click on the "Cancel" button you will get the following response:
"This will set the status to 'Cancelled' and the job schedule will not show up in the default job schedule search. Cancelled job schedules will be automatically deleted after 90 days."

*Note: You must cancel a job before it can be deleted. After a job is cancelled, click "Edit", and then the delete button will be available.


We always look forward to hearing about how these enhancements to our product  help you and your business. Be sure to share your thoughts with us!

Sincerely,

The Chem-Man Crew

So who exactly is the "Chem-Man"....

(In the words of Regina Farmer)

“So who is the Chem-Man?” This is a question that I’ve gotten a lot over the years. “Shouldn’t it be Chem-WO-man?” many say with a slight grin. I usually laugh it off and tell them that it really stands for “Chemical Managment Software”. That’s not a lie, but it’s not the whole story.

The story of “Chem-Man” is a little more complicated than that...

 

A programmer by trade but a businesswoman and marketing agent by heart, I was looking for a software package that I could resell. I had worked as a programmer for other people but wanted to make it on my own. I grew up in a family-owned retail store and so I wrote a complete book-keeping package including accounts receivable, payroll, accounts payable, payroll, checking and general ledger. These were the days of “DOS”, so I kept it simple and it worked well for them. I was working on software for an optometrist when Donnie and Sharon Forrester walked through my door. They needed a custom software package for their Agricultural Aviation Business and I wanted to write a specialty package to market, so it was a natural partnership. The program worked well for them and word got around. A local crop-duster, J.R. Cartillar dropped in and helped me enhance the software to work for more operators. Our area is a farming community and there were six local crop dusting businesses that eventually decided to use Chem-Man.

After seeing the difference that it made to their day-to-day operations, I decided that Chem-Man would be the package that I'd been looking for. A friend of mine, Tony McMickle, helped me create the graphics and build a manual to get me started. I also had hired a friend, Lynn Lace, who helped me work on building the software. We advertised in the "Ag Pilot" magazine and business started to pick up. We also decided to go to our first ag-pilot convention in Arkansas. I knew nothing about these conventions and just printed a dot matrix sign "Chem-Man" and displayed it on our booth along with my big bulky computer. I still laugh at my inexperience but it makes you realize how far you've come. 

When I look back at those days, I think of all of the great experiences that I've had and all of the great people that I've met. Our company is growing and has sold many Chem-Man packages, Dos, Desktop and, now, Online.

John Farris joined me in 2014 as a business partner and the sky is the limit for Chem-Man! Our online software includes mapping, gps files, variable rating, inventory, loader reports, billing, commissions, reports, and many other features. We've got a staff of 15 and growing. It's very exciting times!

I saw Donnie the other day at a restaurant and took his pic. I told him how the company has grown and how he had helped me get started. He laughed and said "Ok, where are my royalty fees?" Gotta love him. 

Take Chem-Man with you anywhere

Take Chem-Man with you anywhere

You never know when you'll need to access your Chem-Man Online Software. Out in the field, in the store, at the co-op, date night, while on vacation, sitting in the "deer-woods" or while watching the game. In fact, these days you no longer have to be in the office to work, you can do it anywhere.

Read More

"So you've got your first 'seat'...." Some advice for new and aspiring pilots.

We recently had a conversation with Herve Marchadier and he talked to us about the Ag-Aviation field. Herve had some advice to pass on to new pilots and we wanted to give it to you in his own words

photo credits: Jeremy folden

photo credits: Jeremy folden

"I don't know if we have any rookies or guys looking to break out soon in this group, but this is something I compiled this last corn run.  If this helps anyone, I'm happy.  I'm not a super-experienced ag pilot, but over my career I've put together some advice I would pass along to a new pilot getting his first seat.  Some of these are words of wisdom passed to me, while others are my own observations. 

I wrote this because as someone who has only been in the aerial application industry for four years, I'm familiar with the struggles some people have in finding that first seat. I wanted to let new and aspiring pilots know that there is more to this field than simply flying an airplane. I was also thinking that older pilots and operators would see it and  add their own pieces of advice. I focused primarily on the flying/application side of it, but I also wanted to touch on the impact we have in our communities.

We're getting new blood in this industry, and the operators for whom they fly have a ton of information to give to them. At the same time, the younger pilots and crew bring their own insights as well. It's important (literally life-and-death important) for a young pilot to listen and pay attention to the lessons and advice of the older generation, but also for the older generation to listen to, and encourage input from, the newer pilots, as that will aid in their development as the future of our industry.

There are things in here that some will disagree with, and there are some that do not apply to others.  I think that overall it isn't bad as far as free advice goes.

First of all, congratulations on getting a seat!  You're about to start one of the most exciting and dynamic careers in the aviation industry.  There are some things that you want to keep in mind, however, due to the nature of the work.  The job includes risk, but these risks can be mitigated if addressed properly.  Sometimes it's hard for a young guy to really understand things from an older person's perspective, and vice versa. 

The advice listed is not all inclusive, but I think it's a good start.

  1. Do not expect to set any production records your first year. Your job during your first season is to learn the basics and survive to fly a second season.  Your operator is probably not expecting to make much money from you and he is hoping you will be able to apply those early lessons learned in the future. 
  2. You will make mistakes. The operator that I fly for has been an aerial applicator for forty years and he still makes mistakes, so why would you be any different?  This leads to the next point.
  3. When you make a mistake, own it. No one is perfect. Learn from it, get back to it, and, if possible, try to make it right. Never, under any circumstance, lie. 
  4. Speed and efficiency come with time. If your turns seem like they take a long time at first, that's fine.  I've never seen a field run away while turning. 
  5. I do not care if you did spray that field or one right next to it recently.  Circle it anyway before you dive in. 
  6. You may hear some of the older hands talk about how fast they turn/slow they fly/etc. Some of it may even be true. You are not there yet. Fly safely. On a related note, old hands, be careful about what you say in your bull sessions around the rookies.  They may feel like they have your skill and experience. Also, you can tell them until you are blue in the face how you want them to fly, but you lead by example. This can be good or bad, so choose wisely.
  7. A pole near an abandoned farm place is something you want to be cautious around. Make darned sure there is not a wire before you go diving near it. 
  8. If you think you can go under a wire, you can not. Be certain you can, and be cognizant of what's on the other side of the wire. 
  9. If you have to make two trim passes, then make two trim passes. 
  10. Keep your pride on a leash. Just because you have a hopper that can hold "x" number of gallons that does not mean you have an airplane that will fly with that much load, especially when the temperature and humidity are high.
  11. Be mindful of your limitations and those of your airplane.  The laws of physics are not negotiable. 
  12. Pushing your limits should be done by nudges rather than shoves. 
  13. You will never kill every big/weed/etc. out there.  Trying to do so will likely lead you into some situations you would rather avoid.
  14. No one's crops are worth killing yourself over.
  15. I cannot speak for everyone, but I would respect a man a lot more for saying they were uncomfortable with a situation than if they were to try to be a hero and push through it. Sometimes a bit of advice from an older pilot or operator is all you need.
  16. Drink water.  Lots of it. 
  17. I keep a bottle of water in the airplane with me separate from my drinking water. Getting some of this stuff in your eye burns like hell, and you do not have someone else in the airplane to fly for you. 
  18. Fatigue can scare/hurt/kill you.  The same goes for complacency and arrogance. 
  19. Your boss is more nervous than you are when you take your first load out. 
  20. You are not too good to sweep a floor. 
  21. Especially if you work somewhere other than your hometown, be a good guest wherever you are.  Open doors for ladies, say "sir" and "ma'am" often, and remember "please" and "thank you." 
  22. Do not stop flying the airplane until all the pieces come to a halt.  You can get scared afterward. 
  23. If I knew I was not going to crash, I would not wear a helmet.  Since I do not have the ability to predict the future, I wear one. 
  24. Your boss is taking a huge chance on breaking you out.  Respect that, respect them, and be loyal.  Even if you only work for them a little while, this is a small community.  Reputations stick. 
  25. Good things come to good people.  If you do quality work, maintain your integrity, and keep striving for better, you will go far.  You probably will not make a lot of money your first few years, but it will pay off in the end."

Do you have advice to give new and aspiring pilots?  Send it to us!

Herve Marchadier was born in Louisville, Kentucky and was raised south of Birmingham, AL. He flies for Quality Spraying Service in Iowa.

Chem-Man starts a full month of conventions!

We often tell people that one of our favorite things about our work is to be out in the "Field" meeting  people.We were at 5 different Ag Aviator & Applicator conventions in November and December alone, including the National Convention in Savannah. We got to meet with hundreds of people and hold classes for people who were interested in or using our product. 

2016 is starting off with a bang and in January we will be in 8(yep... you read that right- EIGHT!) different states to host convention booths. That means that it highly likely that we will be near you!  Come see us!  If you aren't coming to a convention but would like to talk to us about Chem-Man, simply contact us and we'll schedule a time to visit, through webinar or in person. 

You can see a list of our travels by going here: Chem-Man On the Road

See you in 2016!

Chem-Man announces 3 winners to the November photo contest.

Our second photo contest garnered just as much excitement as the first.  With over 200 photos submitted, we had a tremendous turnout from people voting on their favorite pictures.  We have away close to $18,000 in prizes to the people that submitted the three most voted-on pictures!

1st Place: Adam Leger- with 433 likes
2nd Place:Terry Jordan- 257 likes
3rd Place: Cricia Bruton Ryan- 217 likes

You can see their amazing photos below:

You can find out more about what they won by going to http://www.chem-man.com/photo-contest/

Don't forget, we'll also be announcing the Judges Choice Aware at the NAAA convention in Savannah. (Winner does not have to be present). This will be picked by a panel made up of five judges including artists and ag-related viewers. They will be judging on their view of the most outstanding picture submitted.

We'll also be displaying a slide show of the entries at our convention booths, so swing by and check them out!

"How-To" Chem-Man Primer

John Farris talking about Chem-Man Online

John Farris talking about Chem-Man Online

We held a class last week demonstrating the new features of the Chem-Man Online Billing and Mapping software. We were pleased that the users (existing and potential) were very engaged and also had a number of good questions. Business partners John Farris and Regina Farmer explained the new online features and the importance of keeping your business on track with new technology. They also listened to suggestions given by the users with ideas on even more new features.

A great BBQ lunch was provided by DataSmart and Regina even made her homemade salsa and brownies which were enjoyed by all.

Thanks to Frank Kimmel with Kimmel Aviation Insurance for hosting our event.

Thanks to Frank Kimmel with Kimmel Aviation Insurance for hosting our event.

Hats off to Frank Kimmel with Kimmel Aviation Insurance for helping to provide the facility for the event.

All in all it was a great first start to many classes to come. 

We had free BBQ and other food.

We had free BBQ and other food.

Ag-Aviations from around Mississippi came to this event

Ag-Aviations from around Mississippi came to this event

Chem-Man Founder, Regina Farmer, gives regular webinars to people interested in the software.

Chem-Man Founder, Regina Farmer, gives regular webinars to people interested in the software.


The Ag-Aviation Evolution

Submitted by: Regina Farmer

I was recently talking to a friend of mine from a hilly area in Missouri where there was not much farmland but plenty of pasture. I asked her if she was familiar with the ag aviation industry and she had no clue. It seemed so odd to me that people from other areas didn't grow up to the familiar sound of what we called "crop dusters" flying over the house on a summer morning.
I often stayed at my grandparents' house on the weekends and even more in the summer. The farm was in an area that was considered rice country. We often played in the flooded fields and ran across the levees under the watchful eye of my grandmother. It was a great time to be a child running and playing on the farm.


My husband also grew up on a farm where his dad was a farmer. The other day we were walking next to our rice farm and he told me that as a teenager he often helped "flag" the plane to help guide it to where it needed to spray. With the high-tech GPS systems we have today, I found it so interesting that it wasn't really that long ago where flaggers were used. I asked him to tell me more.

Technology helps us to be more efficient, more precise, and hopefully, safer. But with technology comes more things to learn and use.

He said that they would usually get up around daylight and then head to the fields. He would get on one end of the field and another flagger would get on the other. He would usually have a pole with either a rag or some sort of flag to wave at the plane. Sometimes he would just wave his hands. When the plane was approaching he would know to get out of the way because it would be pretty low.  I couldn't believe my ears when he said that sometimes the plane would fly so low that he could see tire tracks on the levee. 

He flagged for dry and liquid work. When it was liquid it would spray the chemicals all over him and he could smell it all day until he was able to go home to take a bath. He said the most common chemicals were stam and fertilizer, but there were a few chemicals where they weren't allowed to stand in the field.

As we talked about the past, I thought about how far the industry has advanced in terms of technology. I often use my GPS to help me find my location in unfamiliar territory and this same technology helps our ag aviation industry be more precise.
Technology helps us to be more efficient, more precise, and hopefully, safer. But with technology comes more things to learn and use. The ag pilot is responsible for so many things that it is a dangerous profession. My hope is that someday our technology will make it so easy that there will be very few accidents, if any.  I'm anxious to see what evolves in the coming years to make this happen because we want to keep our ag pilot friends safe.

Chem-Man Online Software uses technology to help our customers to be more efficient and precise. Let us know what we can do.


Call us at 866-314-9222 or 870-238-9222; you can also reply to this email!

Is your data secure?

I’m concerned about the security of my data. Look at Target. People were able to hack into what they thought was a secure system!
Secure Data

This is a question that we are commonly asked and its a valid concern.  We always want to make sure that our information is secure. It may seem like information saved on our hard drive is the most secure, however, your desktop program is most likely a lot more vulnerable to viruses and hackers than our online software.
Chem-Man software is rated to the same standards as the medical software that we make, which makes our software extremely secure.  As long as you don't pass along sensitive information like usernames and passwords, then you shouldn't have anything to worry about.
The truth is sites that are targeted from hackers are most likely following a money trail. Since there is no credit card information available hackers are not likely interested.

Still need convincing? 

Call us at 866-314-9222 or 870-238-9222

And the Winner Is....

1st Place Photo- Brandt Bottoms, AR

1st Place Photo- Brandt Bottoms, AR

In June we hosted our first photo contest. It all started when were searching the internet for good photos for our new website.  We were shocked by what we saw.  There were hundreds of pictures of staged flights or male models holding an ear of corn, but nothing that represented our customers.  Its not that our customers couldn't be easily mistaken for models, its that there is an honesty and work-ethic that is associated with our customers that can't be faked. Dismayed, we turned to our Facebook to ask for help and our customers stepped up to the place. We got some amazing pictures. After a few days, we wondered what would happen if we threw some money behind it, thus the Photo-Contest was born.

Pictures started rolling in and we were amazed at what we saw. People would share their favorite pics and others would like their favorites.   We contacted some vendor-friends of ours and before we knew it, we had $17,000 worth of prizes.

Three lucky winners cashed-in big.  Brandt Bottoms from AR won first place with 575 likes and received approximately $8100 in prizes.   Gracie Jordan from OK won second place with 515 likes and nearly $5000 in prizes. Janice Everett from AR won third place and $4400 in prizes.  The Chem-Man crew also picked the top 12 photos to be their facebook profile picture thoughout the next year.

2nd Place Photo- Gracie Jordan, OK

2nd Place Photo- Gracie Jordan, OK

3rd Place Photo- Janice Everette, AR

3rd Place Photo- Janice Everette, AR

Keep your eyes on our facebook page and website for new contests!