BioZyme Adds New Small-Package Manufacturing Plant

Due to the rapid growth of the Vita Charge® line of products and the need to ensure supply can meet demand, we have constructed our own small-package manufacturing plant. This will help us better meet your needs and the needs of your customers.

The Vita Charge line of products, excluding the phenomenal growth of the Vita Charge Stress Tub, has experienced growth of more than 75 percent compounded over the last four years. That’s 300 percent growth in just four years! This exciting growth has pushed our current supplier’s limits when it comes to capacity and fast turnaround for orders. 

More than once, we have been in a four week back order scenario for the Vita Charge products. This, coupled with desired growth in our truly amazing Vitalize® equine and dog recovery paste products, as well as the ability to create new beneficial products, led us to an innovative decision. 

After much planning, stressing, building, testing and re-testing, we are ready to go. Our new paste filling machine came all the way from Australia, and it is incredibly innovative – completely automated and lightning fast. We can now make all the paste, liquid, drench, gel caps and powder you can sell – for a while at least. Because of this innovation, we can now add more capacity quickly and easily. That is important as you continue to amaze us with your ability to represent, promote and sell these products unlike we ever thought possible.

Did You Know That You Can Offer Vitaferm® Tubs To Your Equine Customers?

It’s always great when you can offer a product to multiple audiences or demographics within your customer base. The VitaFerm Tubs are a great opportunity to cross over into the equine market in addition to continuing to service your cattle customers. The following chart lists important information you need to know about how to correctly position the right tub to your horse enthusiasts:

Vita Charge®
Stress Tub

Concept•Aid® Power Tub™

VitaFerm®
Mineral Lyk Tub

VitaFerm®
30-13% Tub

Can it be fed to a horse?

YES

YES

YES

NO

Sizes

50 lb. or 200 lb.

50 lb. or 200 lb.

200 lb.

DO NOT FEED
TO HORSES

Convenient

YES

YES

YES

Protein Level

16%

20%

9.5%

NPN

0%

0%

0%

Contains Urea

NO

NO

NO

All Natural Protein

YES

YES

YES

Amaferm Inclusion

2g

2g

2g

Mineral Package in Tub

NO

YES

YES

Organic Trace Minerals

Cu, Mn, Zn

Cu, Mn, Zn

Cu, Mn, Zn

Feeding Rate

0.25 – 0.5 lb., head/per day

1 lb., head/per day

For adult horses: 6-8 oz. head/per day. For yearlings: 4-6 oz. head/per day.

Promote Where it Matters Most

It is very apparent that organic reach for Facebook posts has been taking a hit over the past few years. Even as recent as this year, with Facebook limiting the reach of “promotional posts,” the percentage of followers a company reaches organically continues to decrease. While it is possible to slightly improve this percentage through higher quality content, Facebook advertising offers more effective ways to improve post viability, for a price of course.

Facebook advertising allows companies to choose a post and have it distributed in the news feed to anyone they want, based on interests, demographics, etc.

Before you get started, it’s important to have specific goals and understand the different options and ad types available to promote a post on Facebook. There are many reasons to boost a post, including:

  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Increasing brand engagement (shares, comments, likes)
  • Boosting website traffic
  • Promoting new content or blog posts

Use your budget most effectively by following these guidelines for boosting a post on your Facebook business page:

MAXIMIZE TARGETING OPTIONS

It’s easy to boost a post. It’s hard to effectively boost one. The key lies in who you are targeting. Based on the goal, you have the ability to target anyone you want on Facebook. When boosting a post, Facebook offers specific targeting options including: audience (fans and/or friends of fans), location, age, gender and interests.

If the post is focused on information only relevant to current fans, it’s important to target only those people. On the other hand, if the goal is to interact with potential new customers, that needs to be reflected in the targeting.

FOCUS ON QUALITY IMAGES AND VIDEO

There is no way to stress enough the importance of having a high quality image or video tied to a post. When boosting a post, especially to users who might not be familiar with the brand, the image will be the first piece they see. It needs to be eye catching and engaging at the same time.

If using an image, make sure it is appropriately sized. If these dimensions are not followed, Facebook will resize them, causing images to look less attractive. An image 1200px by 900px is a safe bet. You can find ideal image sizes for all the Facebook Advertising campaigns at: https://www.facebook.com/business/ads-guide/post-engagement/photo. It is important that all images are high quality to avoid blurry and distorted messages. Most importantly, if you plan to pay for a boosted post, you must follow the 20% text rule. While organic posts do not need to follow the 20% text rule (only 20% of an image can include text), boosted posts do.

UNDERSTAND ALL AVAILABLE OPTIONS ON FACEBOOK

Facebook offers a variety of different advertising options. While they make it easy to boost a post and move on, it’s important to know what options they have and see if there is one better suited for the target audience and goals. Visit www.facebook.com/business/ads-guide for a breakdown off all the different advertising options.

While boosting a post may seem as simple as pressing a button, there is a lot more to consider in order to effectively use it and see results. To avoid irrelevant clicks and visitors, advertisers need to understand who they are targeting, what the goals are, and why users should care about the post.

Innovative Communication Opens Doors to New Markets

Finding updates about products and activities at Earlybird Feed & Fertilizer is not hard to do. After all, the store has a team member dedicated to social media and web marketing.

Located in Goodfield, Illinois, Earlybird began as a fertilizer company in 1965. Today the 49-member staff also sells feed for commercial and show-quality cattle, hogs, goats and sheep as well as feed for turkeys and chickens.

Mike Orns, Earlybird’s Inside Sales and Feed Division Manager, is like the store’s traffic cop. He keeps everyone running in the right direction, he says, and it’s his job to be innovative and consider the big picture. From production to sales and regulations to promotions, Orns oversees the store and keeps the gears turning.

The store has grown so much that it’s owners challenged Orns to hire a new staff person, someone to focus on the use of marketing and technology to grow the store’s customer base.

“There are so many people now involved with social media, especially within the show audience,” he says. “We deal a lot with customers who show livestock and we’ve realized that’s how kids and others communicate. This opened the door wide for us to better communicate and reach that market.”

Specifically, Earlybird needed to publicize its connection to the success of many show ring champions. Posting photos, recognizing customers and marketing show products that helped get those champions to the winner’s circle needed to be done.

Scott Hardman was hired as the marketing manager for Earlybird a year ago. He had previous experience with a national youth organization, which included social media and website marketing. And, Hardman was also familiar with the livestock show ring.

Hardman says Orns was “very serious” about making Earlybird’s website state-of-the-art, and using Facebook and Twitter to enhance the store’s social media presence. Hardman has made it his mission to promote Earlybird’s successes with feed and product sales to livestock show families. And though the store has seen great results by emphasizing its show ring presence online, Hardman says there is much, much more to do.

“In the show industry, we are well aware we needed gratification of successes,” he says. “We needed to be much better at keeping up with our winners because we had a large number of them. The store needs to use Facebook as a major marketing tool rather than just a source of self-promotion for us. We want to help promote our winners.”

Earlybird also needed to expand promoting it’s successful customers from other species and added sheep, goats and poultry to it’s media plan. The store is located one mile from a major interstate in Illinois, and Hardman thought it should take advantage of that; for example promoting Earlybird as an easy stop on a person’s way home.

“We needed a bigger footprint if we were going to be found,” he says.

Both Orns and Hardman take advantage of the marketing tools provided by BioZyme®, Inc. Orns says the company is very good at direct mailing, and BioZyme always has a huge presence at livestock shows, which makes it an easy-to-recognize product when customers come in.

“It also helps that BioZyme products actually work,” he says. “When we can push examples of how the product has helped another person’s livestock project and can quantify their results, that helps us tremendously.”

Hardman says the store’s Area Sales Manager, Shandy Bertolino, does a great job at providing information on what BioZyme products are available. She hosts a meeting each summer and shares tools and marketing pieces that keep Earlybird’s staff updated on what BioZyme can offer. This kind of innovation helps dealers like Earlybird keep on top of new products, terminology and how to approach a customer about including BioZyme in their feeding routine.

Orns is quick to realize social media is not the only way to advertise and promote the fertilizer and feed store, but it is the most innovative way to do so. Social media and show ring families go hand-in-hand. Connecting with youth in agriculture is most efficiently accomplished through Facebook and Twitter so by enhancing Earlybird’s online presence Orns knows he is reaching more livestock kids who want to be as successful as those posted online.

To be sure his field staff is able to connect, post and promote products, Orns says he puts the best computers, tablets and smartphones in their hands for work, especially with the fertilizer side of the company. Earlybird’s owners are also progressive and have viewed Hardman’s social media work as a stride in the right direction.

Hardman tells how he used to come in to Earlybird as a customer purchasing livestock feed and supplements. Until he took the job as the store’s marketing manager, Hardman was not aware the store carried grass seed, emphasizing the point that innovation in social media is not just self-promotion. This kind of marketing can build a loyal customer base that will talk about using Earlybird’s wide variety of products and encourage others to do the same.

“As we continue to grow the number of Facebook followers, we can use that to better market our monthly specials and expand on things that are big and significant,” Hardman says. “The other big thing we need to focus on is to constantly grow the website and use it as tool to help us be more productive and process oriented. We will use social media as a marketing tool and invent ways to showcase the type of company we are.”

To check out Earlybird Feed & Fertilizer online, go to
www.earlybirdgoodfield.com.

Mike Orns – Inside Sales and Feed Division Manger
Earlybird Feed & Fertilizer Goodfield, Illinois

Current mobile device: Droid Turbo 2

Current Computer: Lenovo notepad

First, tell us what you feel separates your business from other feed supply operations? Service.

What websites, apps or tools can’t you live without? Email and texting

Why? Those are the best ways to communicate with me other than the phone.
How do you keep your to-do list? On a notepad with a good old pen and paper.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without? 
A calculator.

What’s your secret? Take care of the little details.

What are you currently reading? Several feed magazines, local and national news. I read some parts of the newspaper but only online.

How do you recharge? I enjoy time with my family.

What is your favorite and least-favorite task at work? My least favorite thing to do is manage conflict. My favorite task is working with customers.

What is one area you’d like to improve in regarding business? Organization.

Describe your ideal customer. One who pays on time and orders well in advance. I like those who are progressive and listen to leaders in the industry.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Listen to people.

Why do you love this business? Because we’re family-owned. We are in a great community, and the owners are family focused. Family always comes first.

Financial and Productivity Apps to Keep You in Check

Your iPhone can be a powerful tool for business – or a complete distraction. The key to any software program or app is finding the right match for your specific needs or deficiencies and then committing to using the tool so you can take advantage of the benefits. The following are a few apps that may be able to enhance record keeping systems, automatically sync income or expense data with your financial software, increase communication and transparency with your team and boost productivity.

Xpense Tracker
An all-inclusive expense tracking and reporting application for dealers wishing to track their expenses and mileage. It’s power does not end at the iPhone but extends to the desktop by allowing emailing or exporting of the expense files and accompanying photo receipts directly to the desktop.

  • Quickly snap shots of receipts for easy scans and financial tracking.
  • Track your mileage in real time by using your device’s integrated GPS.
  • Export your records in .PDF and .CSV file formats.

Hours Tracker
Need a way to track your time or an effective tool for employees to use so they can send you time reports? Clock in and out as you work. Or, add entries yourself in just a few quick taps. Time entries are automatically created when you clock out.

Easily review your past entries, grouped by day, week, month or pay period. You can easily export your data by job, date or selection. Choose to export as a text summary or in spreadsheet-ready CSV format.

SLACK
All your team communication in one place. Slack is a new way to get more done, spend less time in meetings and reduce email.

  • Real-time messaging and file sharing for one-to-one and group conversations.
  • Powerful search and archiving, so you can find information easily.
  • Instantly syncs across all devices.
  • Configurable notifications for desktop, mobile, and email.
  • Proven to make your working life simpler, more pleasant, and more productive.

Quickbooks Payment Pro
GET PAID QUICKLY … ANYWHERE, ANYTIME. Plug the card reader into your iPhone or iPad and swipe credit cards quickly and securely. Or, if you don’t have a card reader, you can always scan a card with your camera or key in the card details directly.

Your customer signs right on your device to authorize the payment. Then, you can email or text a receipt to your customer. Accepting a payment takes just a few taps from start to finish.

Wunderlist
Wunderlist allows dealers to access their to-do lists from almost anywhere. Star important tasks, create multiple lists, sort by due date and priority and add tasks via e-mail.

Since multiple parties can edit lists, the app doubles up as a collaboration tool that works across desktop and mobile.

Freedom – Reduce Distractions
With so many distractions and possibilities in your digital life, it’s easy to get scattered. Freedom blocks digital distractions so you can be more productive. Start a Freedom session, and you’re blocked from all distractions on your phone or tablet. Freedom gives you peace and quiet, so you can accomplish more.
Rescue Time: Android alternative

New Product Alert

CONCEPT•AID® POWER TUB
SAME GREAT TUB NOW AVAILABLE IN A MORE CONVENIENT 50 LB TUB FOR EASY LIFTING
The Concept•Aid Power Tub is a superior product from a fortification perspective because it contains all-natural vegetable protein sources. This tub was designed to go head-to-head with the competition molasses tub in your area, whether it is Rangeland, Rio or any others.

VITAFERM® 30:13 TUB
The new VitaFerm 30:13 Tub, is a free choice supplement for beef cattle on forage based diets. It contains 30% protein and includes no more than 13% equivalent crude protein from non-protein nitrogen. It is a cooked molasses tub that is fully mineral fortified and contains organic copper as well as Amaferm®. It allows for a higher protein level at a low feeding rate. This tub is an economical solution when more protein supplementation is required and the producer is primarily focused on cost per unit of protein.

Digital Punch Card

Technology has come a long way. It’s great when it works, but more importantly, to work it must be easy. Retail outlets have used promotions and customer loyalty programs for ages to drive sales and repeat business, but often these programs are difficult to manage for both the store staff and the customer. However, there is an innovative program available that automates the management of rewards points and makes communicating with your customers easy!

Here are some examples:

  • Buy 10 bags of Sure Champ® and earn a show stick, pig whip or brush.
  • For every 10th visit to the store where you purchase $50 or more, earn a free gift.
  • Come in on your birthday and receive $10 off your purchase.
  • Earn double loyalty points on Tuesdays.

These types of incentives are appealing to those customers who enjoy a bonus, and if done strategically, can be an effective way to ramp up business on specific days that may normally be slow or to promote slower moving products. Additionally, it’s a great way to stay in front of your clients and market in a fun way.

OptSpot (www.optspot.com) combines customer loyalty and text message marketing to increase customer frequency, connect with customers and drive instant revenue. Customers simply sign-up & check-in using their mobile phone number. Points are automatically tracked & rewards are earned based on points. Re-connection is automated and done through text messaging.

Some Cool Features
Customer Loyalty: Using a mobile number to track points and rewards is easy. Customers either enter their number into the tablet or you do it on your point of sale checkout system for them. Points are tracked and rewards are earned automatically.

Auto-Engage: Reconnecting with your customers automatically based on frequency is nearly impossible without innovative solutions. This text program will send a text message to those customers who have not visited in 30, 60 or 90 days inviting them back more often.

Text Message Blasts: Being able to get your message in your customer’s pockets can drive instant revenue. Send limited time offers, promotions, etc. and watch your business grow.

Collect More Data: Collect important customer data and add them to your own
customer relationship management (CRM) software through an automated text call to action.

Health Protocols For Newborn Calves

Calving season is here for many producers and right around the corner for others. It is time to begin thinking about health protocols for newborn calves. Those first few weeks of life are a stressful period in young calves’ lives, but by ensuring they receive the proper nutrition, vitamins and minerals, producers can make sure calves achieve a strong start.

Healthy calves start with healthy mother cows. At this stage of the cow’s life, it is important that she receives a nutrient-rich diet with the appropriate amount of protein. By working with your BioZyme Area Sales Manager or one of the nutritionists, they can assist with forage testing and ration balancing to get cows on the right track.

We recommend a high-quality breeding mineral like Concept•Aid® be fed a minimum of 30 days prior to calving through breeding season. Concept•Aid is high in vitamin E and selenium, which are important for colostrum quality. Colostrum production begins as early as 4-5 weeks prior to calving, so you want to make sure that the cow is ready. Once the calf is born, it is important that it receives colostrum within the first 24 hours. However, for maximum immunity, receiving colostrum within six hours is best.

Encouraging your customers to give a dose of Vita Charge® paste or a Vita Charge bolus at birth and/or tagging will help calves more successfully deal with stress. Vita Charge gives the calf a boost of B-vitamins to encourage intake. Vita Charge also contains Amaferm®, a prebiotic that multiplies the good bacteria in the calf’s stomach. At this point in the calf’s life, it doesn’t make sense to give a probiotic as the calf is a functional monogastric, and therefore, probiotics won’t help the rumen.

As calves begin to mature, putting a Vita Charge Stress Tub in an area where the cows can’t get to it, such as a calf hutch or bedded shed, can provide additional health benefits. In addition to vitamins, minerals and Amaferm, the Vita Charge Stress Tub contains MOS that can greatly help with scour issues and promote overall health.

It is best for your customers to contact their local veterinarian about vaccinations. Recommended vaccinations can vary greatly by geographic region, and a local veterinarian will be able to give the best advice.

Product Focus: Vita Charge® and IGR Minerals

Tag’ Em, Vita Charge Em’

Calving season provides an excellent opportunity to capitalize on Vita Charge sales. Calving is stressful on both the cows and calves, and we all know that stress can negatively affect the digestive system. Vita Charge comes in seven different formulas giving producers the opportunity to select the product that is most convenient to administer and suited for the animal.

Vita Charge®

Key Selling Points:

  • Combines essential vitamins, organic trace mineral and Amaferm® to support microbial health
  • Creates measurable improvement in appetite and health
  • Has no interaction with antibiotics

March – Letters From Lisa

Being innovative or doing things a little differently than everyone else – enough to create differentiation – involves risk. It means openly sharing ideas, even ideas that are undeveloped, half-baked and a long way from being concrete. Innovation means not worrying if an idea is not fully formed or regarded by others as irrelevant, or going against the stream. It means it is fine to suggest something truly disruptive.

Status, turf and fear of embarrassment can lead to hesitation, so when you want people in your organization to give their ideas, you must create safety for them. It’s not enough to give your team a venue to share ideas if the atmosphere is pervaded by rules, rigid structure and unspoken judgment. This is true around products, processes, advertising or any area of the business. Instead, do the following things:

1) Challenge, Don’t Dictate

Ask questions and begin conversations, but don’t dictate a path or force a solution. Like General George Patton said, “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”

2) Question, Don’t Reject Outright

Always draw out as many ideas as you can. Don’t reject an idea immediately because you might reject another idea that hasn’t even surfaced yet. Ask why or how to further the idea. The original idea might not be a keeper, but after asking questions, you might find the next great idea. Remember the words of Nobel Prize laureate Linus Pauling: “The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas, and throw the bad ones away.”

3) Maintain Curiosity

Be passionate about finding the right solution or idea. Don’t take breaks, check email, leave the room or take phone calls during the idea discussion. Keep the momentum of these discussions rolling, and remember, sometimes the best discussions happen outside of the office.

4) Be Optimistic, Believe

Innovation isn’t always an overnight process, so it’s important to keep spirits up, cheer, thank and support. Belief is a powerful risk buster. Believe in the idea once in place enough for it to be a no brainer for success.

The VitaFerm® HEAT mineral is a perfect example of how using these steps work. I asked the team in April 2014 to help create ways we could reduce our summer sales slump. After many ideas were discussed in great detail and noise volume for more than two days (that’s a long time for me not to check email), we decided to create a mineral focused on helping with summer heat instead of summer grass. The nutrition team went to work to create a research-based mineral that would lower heat stress, control flies and help cattle deal with the challenges of fescue. After some testing, the product was ready to go and hit the market in the summer of 2014. At the end of the summer we had sold 26 tons – not exactly enough to get us out of our summer sales slump. However, we remained optimistic and worked harder in 2015 to believe this innovative idea was an opportunity. We sold 437 tons. Now, that’s enough to reduce any slump!

P.S. If you haven’t checked into the VitaFerm HEAT and HEAT 3G mineral,
I would encourage you to do so. Seventeen times growth in one year is every business’ dream.

lisa-norton-signature