Food & Beverage | ERP Selection
Meat processor selects modern ERP system to keep pace with its rapid growth.
- Multi-billion dollars in revenue
- More than 4,500 employees
- Privately held
- Family run
- Operates four harvest plants, two ground beef plants, three case-ready processing plants and two cook plants
- Supplies more than five million pounds of beef products per day
How the Client Operates
Vertical integration allows this company to control all aspects of beef production. It partners with ranchers and operates feed lots, ensuring cattle are fed to their standards. In addition to its processing capabilities, the company operates its own trucking line, providing products from farm to table. The company supplies beef to the US retail grocery and foodservice markets, federal school lunch programs and the US military worldwide. It also exports to markets in 38 countries.
The company’s current ERP system was selected and implemented well over 20 years ago. Since then, the company has doubled in size. As a result, the legacy system has been presenting various challenges to company management.
On the business side, the system’s “green screen” nature makes it difficult for key users to obtain the business insights to operate their business most profitably. To fill the gap, many spreadsheets have proliferated, with the attendant duplication of data, labor inefficiencies and no single source of truth for operational and financial data.
On the technology front, finding development resources to continually adapt and improve this aging platform has become difficult, and will only get worse over time.
The company requires a modern ERP platform that can evolve with the business as it continues to grow. The company also needs to enable labor efficiencies and gain better insight into business conditions.
“They have a strong understanding of our culture and people and have developed strong relationships with us.”
– CIO, food & beverage company
Panorama assisted the client in its ERP selection process, which included work to streamline business processes and develop a change management plan for the upcoming changes.
After the initial planning, the work began in earnest with over 30 business requirements workshops conducted at five different facilities, representing the company’s harvest, ground beef processing, case-ready and prepared foods operations.
Although over 500 functional requirements were identified, one of the most pressing challenges for the company was finding a single software solution that could adequately address the business needs of its multiple operations: reverse bill of materials functionality for its harvest operations, dynamic and formula-based process manufacturing for its ground beef facilities, and more traditional food manufacturing for its prepared foods plants.
Panorama addressed this challenge by researching, identifying and evaluating different types of software vendors, including those closely aligned with the protein industry as well as others that had good capabilities in food processing and process-based manufacturing.
During the selection process, Panorama also prepared the company’s employees for the significant change that would come from the new system’s implementation. Panorama used a combination of surveys, in-person focus groups and individual interviews to develop a change management plan that took into account the company’s needs at specific locations. The plan emphasized customized communications, training and coaching strategies for the implementation project.
“We coached [the client] on what to expect during ERP demos. This enabled them to set expectations for demo attendees and empower these employees to discern what was most important.”
– Rich Goluskin, Director of Client Services, Panorama Consulting Group
Panorama engaged eight well-qualified vendors in an initial evaluation process that subsequently narrowed down that list to three candidates on the vendor short list.
Those short-listed vendors went through an extensive demonstration process to showcase their product’s capabilities using a demo script specifically developed to reflect the company’s needs and critical requirements. Following the demos, two vendors emerged as finalists, each with strong capabilities and credentials.
Panorama assisted the company with a selection model that ultimately led to the selection of Infor M3 as the preferred vendor solution. With Panorama’s assistance, the company is now in the process of planning its implementation project.
Panorama expects the implementation of Infor M3 to result in the following benefits across all the client’s business segments:
- Time savings in areas including but not limited to:
- Reduction in time spent locating and managing customer information
- Reduction in time spent manually managing and reporting product traceability
- Reduction in time spent forecasting demand
- Reduction in time spent determining material needs by location
- Reduction in time routing trucks and scheduling pickups and deliveries
- Other business benefits in areas including but not limited to:
- Increased order entry efficiency through use of portals and EDI
- Improved product traceability capabilities
- Raw material waste reduction
- Reduced shipping costs via consolidation across business segments
- Improved visibility of real-time information throughout the enterprise
- Reduced compliance risks
- Improved speed-of-business and responsiveness through increased mobile capabilities
- Improved inventory accuracy
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