“Our current IT is just fine” is something we hear on a daily base when talking with managers from the Fresh Produce and Food sector. Surely many companies will not have major problems with their current IT system. But are they capable to make informed decisions based on the information provided by their current IT system? Perhaps even more important, how is the combination between processes, people and IT?
Written by Robbert de Bruijn, Schouw Informatisering
A typical scenario in the Dutch Fresh Produce industry, particularly in the open ground sector, is a so-called hub and spoke model, where companies are operating using different solutions, usually one for every department. In this case, every solution is focused on just part of the company processes, which are supported by multiple systems and suppliers. This ‘Best of Breed’ approach ensures that things are in order per department. However, integrated business processes are spread across multiple data sources, which will have consequences.
Ideally, any action is registered immediately. With open field crops, the expected sizing and yields will have to be adjusted during the season. For example, based on trial digests. The expected yield is recorded at the moment of the parcel delivery. When the customer reports the kgs and returns, the numbers are adjusted, after which invoicing can take place. Registration is often postponed, so no expected numbers are registered, and no comparison can be made between the expected and actual yield per delivery.
A common situation in the IT landscape in the open field sector is a separate accounting and production system. Missing a link here causes many paper flows and Excel sheets to circulate in the company. It is a challenge to tie everything together. This is often the order of the day in the field of commerce and production planning. This situation causes data to go back and forth, often having to be entered manually, and so work is done twice - which is, of course, not productive. The lack of real-time insight ensures a longer turnaround time. This makes these processes very time consuming and prone to errors, simply put not productive.
By now, most of us have heard before that data is the new gold. Naturally, this also applies to the open field sector. If your data is missing, no products can be delivered to the processing industry. However, only providing data without a product is allowed - emphasizing the role and importance of data once again. An ERP solution that covers the integral business processes supports this data. And the possibilities are even greater. By using the next-gen Microsoft 365 platform, the basis for Foodware 365 in which Microsoft solutions such as Office 365 but also Dynamics ERP integrates completely seamlessly with each other, we support customers in the fruit and vegetable and food industry. All products and technologies are on the same platform. The possibilities have, therefore, grown enormously compared to traditional ERP solutions.
By using Foodware 365, all business processes come together in one system. We ensure that agreements, orders, documents, and matters such as taring and quality data can be recorded in the most appropriate manner. So that invoices and reports are available quickly and easily. As IT specialists with 100% food focus, we know better than anyone how important it is to have a grip on your business processes, and we can optimally advise fresh produce and food companies. We provide clear access to your data and insights to offer your company a competitive advantage.
When a manager says their IT is just fine, it often means that the company just has different systems in place that are ‘just fine’ for one specific department: Hub and Spoke model. The challenges above often come up after some discussion and walking through the company site. By deploying an integrated solution, all business processes are streamlined and supported in one system. This helps to shorten the turnaround time, increase data reliability, and gain control of your business processes. The most important thing is to gain insight, be it for the merchant, logistics employee, or financial director. With Foodware 365 for the fresh produce sector, you always have insights available on every device, from start to finish. It saves you a lot of time and ensures that you can focus on adding value to your organization - because your IT affairs are at least in order.
Curious about the opportunities that will arise by implementing an integrated solution? Feel free to reach out to Robbert de Bruijn.