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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  21 Sep 2010

ERP: ERP for Efficiency in Egg Production


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Most consumers don’t think about how their food gets from the farm to their plate. Thinking about that is the job of the food producers: the farmers who provide the livestock and vegetables to the retailers, and the retailers who sell the consumers the packaged products. One of these producers, Fairacres – one of the biggest suppliers of eggs in the country – saw a need to make their end of the supply chain more efficient, enlisting the help of Synergy Group, a Softline Accpac business partner.

Synergy Group’s role in the Fairacres solution was more than technology specialist, explains Ashley Regenass, managing director at Synergy Group. “We worked together with Fairacres to develop a long-term scalable solution that considers each step of production – from when the egg is laid to its transportation to a retailer. Fairacres’ engagement with us and the technology created an ideal environment to design a unique system that fulfills all of their requirements.”

The core of this solution is Accpac’s Sage ERP system. While Sage Accpac 200 ERP offers powerful analysis and reporting tools and a robust accounting feature set, complete with operations management capabilities, Fairacres’ requirements also took into consideration the fact that the software was easily customised.

“The farm had an existing system in place, but it was unstable and based on old technology” explains Regenass. “An understanding that the old system didn’t have a long technology life prompted Fairacres to look for a platform that allowed scalability and could be customised to suit the farm’s unique requirements.”

Synergy Group’s unique solution was the custom development of a system to control the dispatch and sale of the eggs. Named “the egg system”, it focuses on providing central control of all distribution and sales at Faircares and its remote branches. Invoices are generated from the sales system and integrated into Accpac. Each item is costed according to Fairacres unique cost structure system, which uses a segment based approach for each item and thus assists with the correct costing and packaging of orders. It also takes into account Fairacres Bill of Materials (BOM) when costing the production cycle.

Distribution is aided by a route planning system developed by Synergy Group, and included within the customised egg system. Fairacres is able to track what product is placed on the truck and which route it will take. It includes a delivery sequence and time sheet per delivery.

In addition, Synergy Group built a remote communication system into the solution. This communication system enables the branches to operate on a stand-alone system which once syncronised, is integrated into the Accpac solution at head office. “The remote location of these branches and the use of satellite links, demanded a system that would ensure production is not delayed as a result of communication failure,” says Regenass. The system also ensures that the head office is able to communicate with the branches, providing updates as and when the branch syncronises.

Reports are also generated with ease: “Fairacres is able to generate a host of reports including a sales analysis and planning sheets from within the custom system. These can then be exported into excel or printed,” says Regenass. He says that custom security has also been developed around the applications.

Keith Fenner, vice-president: sales, Softline Accpac, says that Fairacres is a great example of Accpac’s ability to meet customer needs, no matter the challenge. “Accpac is built on world-class, object-oriented, multitiered architecture, making it highly customisable and scalable. You choose the applications, technology and deployment options you need most, with the opportunity to easily add, customise and enhance your system as your business needs change.”

Fenner concludes saying that Accpac is designed for companies of all sizes. It offers the freedom of choice, seamless integration, high performance and reliability that forward-thinking companies like Fairacres rely on to streamline processes, increase profitability and gain competitive advantage.

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