CattleXpert has been building software for the cattle industry since the 1990s, but the company’s flagship software recently underwent a complete overhaul and is now set for a summer re-release.
CattleXpert, located just west of Omaha in Elkhorn, Nebraska, is a modestly sized software company that provides optimum technology, support and service for managing feed yards.
The CattleXpert software manages three main pillars of feed yards: animal feeding, animal inventory, and animal treatment. From purchase to sale, and everything in between, the software tracks the life of every animal and can provide a snapshot of a feed yard’s entire stock with just a few clicks.
Originally started as a software company in Chicago, CattleXpert was purchased by longtime user of the product, Gottsch Enterprises of Nebraska in 2008.
CattleXpert’s price structure and business model were revamped under the owner, and the product was reintroduced to the cattle industry.
“It went very well. [CattleXpert] went from 16-17 clients to many multiples of that within 2 or 3 years,” said Ryan Lynch, CattleXpert Operations Manager. “It really took off.”
CattleXpert’s new success also brought up unexpected obstacles.
“We had code from the 90s in [the software] and when we would bring on 2 or 3 new clients, we’d almost hit a threshold and have to hire a new support person,” said Lynch. “At that point in time, we decided we needed to rewrite.”
Their software was built by 2 internal employees over the course of 15 years, so the logistics of rewriting it in-house were nearly impossible. The team at CattleXpert put a halt on new sales as they outsourced the coding, and essentially viewed themselves as going back into startup mode.
“Every line of code was rewritten, the database was remodeled,” said Lynch. “The project ended up taking longer than any of us had hoped but now we’re coming out of it.”
Lynch and the rest of the company are now focused on rebuilding the pipeline. They’re working off a wait list of clients who want to implement the new software once it’s released this summer.
CattleXpert is currently working with an in-house staff of 6 employees in Elkhorn and 3 offshore, but they’re looking to increase their staff as they move ahead with onboarding those clients.
“Previously, if we added 1-2 [clients] a month, it was a lot of work,” said Lynch. “When we’re back on our feet and pushing ahead, [we want to add] 4-6 a month and see where it takes us. The end game is to get to the point where our manpower is our limitation and not the software.”
Through all of their changes over the years and their prospected growth on the horizon, CattleXpert has proudly remained an independent software company.
“We are what’s deemed a true independent,” said Lynch. “In our industry, a lot of softwares are presented by medical companies or product companies, and in some instances, they will give away their software with the hook that now [the user] has to buy their product.”
They’re also in a unique position as a decades-old company operating in a relatively young agTech industry.
“We have very strong ties to the community, to the industry, and we greatly value that,” said Lynch. “Now as we’re coming out, having been fairly tenured in an industry that seems to be budding, we’d like to show who we are and what we do.”
Christine McGuigan is the Associate Editor of Silicon Prairie News.