• New Zealand pork processor, Freshpork, conducted a major review of its software platform and, working with CSB-System, introduced an integrated ERP software for process optimisation.
    New Zealand pork processor, Freshpork, conducted a major review of its software platform and, working with CSB-System, introduced an integrated ERP software for process optimisation.
  • Freshpork has introduced an integrated ERP software for process optimisation.
Source: Freshpork
    Freshpork has introduced an integrated ERP software for process optimisation. Source: Freshpork

A few years ago, New Zealand's leading pork processor Freshpork initiated a major review of its software platform. One of the primary goals was to introduce an integrated ERP from slaughtering to finance and eliminate existing point solutions. The more consistently Freshpork uses the ERP software for process optimisation, the more efficient the company gets.

“Originally, we wouldn’t have had much computerisation with most processes being manual and/or paper-based. This was obviously not sustainable for our growing business, so we acquired and built some niche solutions. These proved worthwhile for a period but still necessitated a lot of ‘babysitting’,” says Odhran McCloskey, Freshpork's IT Manager.

Keeping systems in sync was an intensive task, as there was a lot of double entering of data and little cross-business visibility of information. Freshpork maintained a myriad of spreadsheets and custom VBA, with all the associated overhead and back-office work, just to “keep the lights on”. In addition, significant reconciliation effort was required to run the business on a daily basis.

“Data reconciliation with all its time-consuming, error-prone issues were our biggest bugbear. We also had poor visibility of stock levels across our business, and stocktaking exercises always highlighted the degree of error inherent in our business.”

One software to control it all

Where there used to be isolated solutions, today there is a complete solution with uniform data for all processes. They are based on streamlined production processes that have been fundamentally optimised with the ERP software.

The software is implemented in almost all areas and links 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. Another important factor for us was 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 that business,” explains McCloskey.

A number of operation efficiencies

As with the implementation of any major computer system, there were a number of challenges. Chief among these was the cultural shift necessitated by using an ERP. However, Freshpork are now beginning to reap the benefits of having an ERP. From the IT point of view, the main benefit is to have all core operation data and information in a single source system.

They are now able to see the flow of their products going through the system in real time, from the carcass to created products to the finished goods and shipments, with all financial impact on these products and the supply chain. In addition, having a single system means there is no need for reconciliation in the background. From an inventory point of view, the ability to look up the stock at any given time is very important, along with visibility of the production process (including relevant reports for daily operations), all from one single system.

“One of the main goals for this implementation was to have a single flow of goods in a centralised system, while covering all our sector-specific and customer requirements. Over time, Freshpork have realised a number of operation efficiencies, and today we have a level of consistency in our customer documentation, invoices, delivery dockets, etc. that we never had before. Nevertheless, ERP implementations are difficult, and the effort should not be underestimated.”

Processing 4,000 pigs per week

Established in 1985, Freshpork is the country’s leading pork processor and wholesaler. For over three decades, the company has been 100 percent privately owned and managed by the Glass family, and today supplies approximately one third of New Zealand’s pork to markets across New Zealand. The company employs around 180 employees at six sites in New Zealand and currently has a production volume of approx. four thousand pigs per week.

“We are under pressure both from the industry and the market. We have to look into more than just our wholesale base and continue to look at how we can both add value and expand niche revenue streams. Therefore, we anticipate looking deeper into the cutting floor to expand and improve our view on BOMs and yields through the integrated Production and Coverage Planning. 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 and material around,” concludes Odhran McCloskey.

This is a sponsored post by CSB-System. For case studies from CSB-System, visit the websiteYouTube or LinkedIn

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