Innovative use of technology enables real-time contracting.
The Optimum Sales Connection and Resource (OSCAR[TM]) program is a sophisticated marketing logistics system accessible through the Optimum Quality Grains web site - www.dupont.com/ag/qualitygrains. OSCAR enables inland elevators, terminal elevators and exporters to instantaneously enter the names and acreage of producers who have contracted to grow Optimum[R] High Oil Corn, Optimum[R] High Oleic Soybeans or any of the other added-value grains and oilseeds products from Optimum.
"OSCAR gives us an interactive place for elevators and seed companies to find out who is contracting to grow added-value grains, how much they will grow and when it will be delivered. Growers can also search OSCAR to find elevators near them that offer premiums for growing OPTIMUM corn and soybeans, as well as other farmers in their area who are participating in contacting programs," says Tom Adler, supply chain director for Optimum Quality Grains.
"OSCAR also provides seed companies with the most accurate information available on how much seed they have sold and to whom they have sold it. There's no way we could have run a program of this scale on paper. It's real-time information."
Companies involved in Optimum's contracting system use OSCAR to initiate, finalize and manage crop production contracts and to get the latest information on contracting opportunities. The system, which has been up and running since September 2, 1997, has allowed individuals from more than 300 companies involved in Optimum's contracting programs to work together more effectively, noted Frank DeGennaro, vice president and director of operations for Optimum.
"Optimum's ability to deliver crops with added-value traits through biotechnology will be greatly strengthened through effective use of information technology," said DeGennaro.
Cooperating with Continental Grain Company and Consolidated Grain and Barge, Optimum establishes production contracts with farmers to grow and deliver OPTIMUM High Oil Corn to specific export delivery locations across the Midwest. Continental Grain Company and Consolidated Grain and Barge then deliver the grain to export destinations in South America, Mexico, the Middle East and Pacific Rim. Larry Anderson, manager of feed grains marketing for Continental Grain Company's Kansas City Region, said OSCAR gives him an important tool for monitoring planted acreage and production.
"We believe the demand for high oil corn will continue to increase as buyers realize the added-value of the product. More producers will then grow high oil corn to realize the premiums available," Anderson said.
Since OSCAR went on line in September, the system has tracked contracts for more than 350,000 acres of OPTIMUM High Oil Corn.
"OSCAR is proving to be an invaluable tool to ensure our ability to meet customer demand for added-value grain," Adler says.
Headquartered in West Des Moines, Iowa, Optimum Quality Grains, L.L.C. is a joint venture company formed through an alliance between DuPont and Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. to provide value-enhanced ingredients derived from unique grains and oilseeds to meet specific end-user customer needs for feed, food and industrial uses.