One of New Zealand's leading pork processors is benefiting from an integrated ERP system devised and installed by food and drink IT specialist CSB-System.
Freshpork, established in 1985, processes around 4,000 pigs each week from its six locations across the country. The company's continued growth had led it to move away from manual and paper-based processes to computerised systems, but these were initially individual niche solutions. This meant there was still a lot of work required to keep the various systems in sync, with much double entering of data. There was also a significant reconciliation effort required to run the business on a daily basis.
“Data reconciliation with its time-consuming, error-prone issues was our biggest bugbear,” explained Odhran McCloskey, Freshpork's IT Manager. “We also had poor visibility of stock levels across our business, and stocktaking exercises always highlighted the degree of error inherent in it.”
With CSB-System these isolated systems have now been replaced with an integrated solution with uniform data for all operations, based on streamlined production processes that have been fundamentally optimised. One of the major benefits of the new software is its ability to link abattoir, cutting floors, packing, dispatch and distribution, sales and finance.
“CSB was the solution that scored well across all the areas we needed to cover,” said Odhran McCloskey. “Another important factor was that the CSB people we interacted with during our assessment understood our industry and terminology. While some other software suppliers could 'talk the talk', we felt that CSB genuinely understood the pork business and the role that an ERP could play in the sector.”
A further advantage of the CSB solution is that it is not only the IT department which is reaping the benefits of the system. All employees have now gained the transparency they need to optimise production plans and operations.
They are able to see the flow of their products in real time going through the system, from carcass to manufactured products to finished goods and shipments, with all financial impacts on these products and the supply chain. Having a single system means there is no reconciliation required in the background. In addition, the stock on hand can now be verified at any given time, including visibility of the production process and relevant reports on daily operations.
“One of the main goals for this implementation was to have a single flow of goods in a centralised system, while covering all our industry-specific and customer requirements,” said McCloskey. “And we did achieve it.”
While Freshpork processes approximately one third of New Zealand's pork for stores across the country, competition remains tough.
“We are under pressure both from the industry and the markets. We have to focus not just on our core business but also consider how we can add value,” said Odhran McCloskey. “Therefore, we will shortly take a look at our cutting floor to improve our bills of materials, coverage planning, production and yields.
“Recipe management is something CSB is particularly good at and again we can see ourselves making more use of this. In other words, CSB is our world for anyone sitting in front of a computer or moving products around,” he concluded.
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