Frequently Asked Questions
Milkbench+ a dairy benchmarking
system that allows GB dairy farmers to improve efficiency &
increase profit by comparing their dairy enterprise with other
dairy farmers. Here is a list of responses to common questions we
receive regularly, about service,
participation, costs and involvement.
What can I get out of
How much will the service cost me?
How long will it take me to participate?
What is involved?
Can I do it myself?
How does it differ from other benchmarking services?
I participated in "Milkbench" before, how is Milkbench+ different?
Milkbench+ gives you the opportunity to identify the areas of your dairy enterprise where you could make efficiency savings to increase your profit.
- Are your herd replacement costs too high?
- Are you making the most efficient use of your forages?
- Is your labour force costing you too much?
Because Milkbench+ is a comparative service, aspects of your business that are costing you more or earning you less than they do on the best performing, comparable farms should be immediately apparent from the report that you receive. Feed costs look too high? Ring your nutritionist!
If you are a dairy levy payer in Britain, using Milkbench+ will not cost you anything. Indeed, most participating farmers will find that they are easily able to recoup substantially more than their 0.06 pence per litre levy payment as a result of the efficiency savings that they can make by putting their Milkbench+ results to good use.
Dairy farming is a labour intensive business; indeed, Milkbench+ will tell you just how much your labour inputs are costing you! With this in mind, we have tried to minimise the amount of time that you will have to spend on it. Using the data collection service offered by Milkbench+, few farmers will need to invest more than a couple of hours to get a full picture of their enterprise for the year. The time that you put into exploring your results to identify the efficiency improvements that you can make is up to you.
For most farms, participating in Milkbench+ will involve a visit to you by one of our trained data collectors who will gather the information that is needed to describe your dairy enterprise. This information will then be uploaded to our secure website and checked by a member of our independent validation team. When the account has been approved, you will receive a summary report for your business. If you wish to explore your business efficiency in greater depth, you can access more detailed reports by logging into the site. If you participate in a discussion group then we can help to arrange and facilitate a feedback meeting where you can share experiences with other group members
Yes, you can register on the Milkbench+ website (www.milkbenchplus.org.uk)
and enter your own data. However, we believe that you will get more
out of the service if you allow your information to be collected
and checked by members of our fully-trained team. This way, you can
avoid errors that might reduce the value of your benchmarking
information as a guide to better management decision
Available at no extra cost. Currently, DairyCo doesn't charge for this service - you have already paid for it in your levy. Even if Milkbench+ is the only levy-funded service that you use (and there are many others that you can find out about from our website, www.dairyco.org.uk) you are getting a complete, comparative analysis of the efficiency of your business for less than the cost of a couple of days consultancy.
Completely independent and impartial. DairyCo does not do one-on-one consultancy and your information will not be used to target any marketing messages at you.
Completely secure. We do not have any associations with milk buyers or other players in the dairy sector. No one apart from you, your consultant (if you choose) or members of the Milkbench+ team will even see your data. All benchmarks calculated by the system are averages for at least 15 farms so it is not possible to extract figures for an individual enterprise.
The most detailed service available. Milkbench+ is, uniquely, able to calculate net margins for your enterprise. As such it is the only system that can give you a complete picture of the return on your investment in dairying and the efficiency with which every input you make is used.
In the past, the Milk Development Council, recognising the value of comparative analysis in business planning, tried to roll out benchmarking services to levy payers with mixed results. Milkbench+ is DairyCo's answer to the issues that some farmers may have had with the accuracy and reliability of earlier services. It is based on robust and tested descriptions of the efficiency of dairy enterprises and is fully supported by a professional team to ensure that you get the information that you need quickly and efficiently.