Monday, December 12, 2011

Maple Leaf Farms has an ERP Partner that Grows with Them

Established in 1958, an Indiana based company, Maple Leaf Farms implements S2K Warehouse Management software from VAI.  As North America’s premier producer of duck products, Maple Leaf Farms needed to achieve all their objectives with one solution.  Maintaining product quality and freshness throughout the inventory process was their goal.  Fork Lifts with built-in computers, automated scaling systems and a palletizing process streamlined this complicated manufacturing process.

The need to maintain product quality and freshness from factory to marketplace can complicate the food manufacturing process.  When dealing with poultry products, the “freshness factor” is not just desirable, it is mandatory regardless of whether the poultry is distributed raw or cooked.  Thus, manufacturers require integrated inventory management capabilities, as well as streamlined manufacturing and shipment processes, to deliver fresh poultry products.  Real-time inventory management is an essential component of production management.

Maple Leaf Farms, North America's premier producer of quality duck products, faced this precise challenge and have found VAI to be a company that they continue to grow with that grows with them to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Maple Leaf’s previous PC based inventory system did not integrate with their Order Entry system creating a disconnect and unreliable inventory balances.  There were too many places for errors to occur with their old systems.  Without structure their old system was not able to meet their needs and they were not able to quantify their losses.

Now they have 99% accurate inventory, up from the low 90’s, due in part to the product labeling and barcode scanning.  They can now track inventory throughout their facility.  Everything is complete.  Transactions in, transactions out, full circle with nothing dangling. 

Customer service loves the ability to answer customer questions about the status of their orders.  They know immediately the status and can provide the customer the information they need.  Employees are able to resolve their own problems on the fly. 

Karen Pope, Manager, Business Applications, Maple Leaf Farms said, “Knowing that VAI had a reputation for being able to design completely integrated ERP packages in a variety of industries was an enormous advantage.  We knew that integrating our operations and improving control of the production process would be a complex undertaking.  VAI’s record of achievement made us comfortable, as did our overriding desire to produce better products and improve customer service and satisfaction.”

How inspiring is this story?  Take a company that knew what they did not know.  They took the time to look at a lot of solutions, more than most companies would have had the patience for.  What they found was a concerned partner that took a team approach.  They took their time and phased in the solution.  The right solution delivered in digestible pieces. 

How do we know this was the right solution?  Their auditors are very pleased with the 99% accurate inventory, enough so they no longer require annual physical inventories.  Maple Leaf can rely on regular cycle counting.  Any system that can consistently deliver highly accurate inventory will translate to significant confidence and savings. 

How significant?  How about a complete Return on Investment (ROI) in 10-11 months.

What price can you put on happy customers?  What is the cost of acquiring new customers versus making the ones you have now happy?  Which translates to a better balance sheet?  Which generates more revenue?

Dolvin Consulting partners with industry experts to help your team determine how well the challenges you face match available industry solutions.  Contact us to learn how we can help.  Remember we do not sell software, we provide solutions.

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