FPL Food, LLC Implements Birst
FPL Food is the largest privately-owned processor of fresh beef products and ground beef selections in the Southeast. Headquartered in Augusta, GA, FPL operates out of two manufacturing facilities and a farm, providing several programs to a multitude of retail, foodservice and other processors Nationally and internationally. They pride themselves on quality meat with full traceability and transparency from farm-to-table.
The Problems to Solve:
Delivering on the promise – and expectation – of traceability and transparency requires many systems working in harmony and data flowing smoothly on the back end. FPL Food has the big-picture plan to move to Infor M3, but wanted to start its digital transformation journey with fast measurable results.
Learning from its customer relationships and with the complexity of the different kind of cuts and new product demands, FPL felt the urgency to innovate. They knew exactly where to start: Data visibility to support decision-making by the leadership team, and access to quality assurance, product specifications to provide optimal customer satisfaction.
Their current state of reporting relied on excel spreadsheets and SQL databases, and running homegrown analytic reports. When they needed a new report or a new data source, they needed to pay a service provider, or wait for a lean IT staff of 5 to generate a new report – which often required navigating three different systems: Systems Integrate (SI), Mass 500 and Infor MP-2.
It was clear that FPL Food needed to move to a more efficient business intelligence (BI) tool.
The Evaluation & Decision Process:
Starting broad, FPL Food evaluated the IBM Cognos Analytics platform, Microsoft, Oracle and Birst BI.
Staying in the Infor family made the most sense, given the strength of the M3 platform for Food and Beverage Manufacturing. Intense conversations ensued at Inforum 2018 – with Infor, LeanSwift and Birst executives. As their trusted guide, LeanSwift dove deeply into the FPL Food business operations, and showed the FPL team that Birst was the solution for their needs.
Two big advantages:
Birst provides “flexibility” with visual dashboards that can be created and customized to respond to individual needs. With the ability to purchase the product independently from the whole Infor package, you can take advantage of the Birst product while staying in your budget.
“Seeing” Big Wins:
Today with Birst, FPL Food has visual dashboard reports to show what’s going on to the management team, a true picture of our customer base, sales performance, and transportation and logistics.
Dashboards display real-time performance, track any KPIs and help management make key operational decisions. Stakeholders see what needs to ship, which products are being sold to which customers, and inventory levels.
For FPL Food, the ability to innovate is a real game-changer. The team creates new products — weekly — to grow into niche segments such as Natural, organic and grass-fed items. With new products comes the need to integrate new data sources and track new KPIs. Now as a new product is introduced, everyone on the sales and management team can follow the performance output levels.
The top reports used every day include:
- High margin items producing the most revenue
- Month by month trends of the product performance
- Customer segmentation trends to measure the performance of the sales team to target the right customers
- Product handling from the processing to the shipping all the way to the customer delivery.
And Birst has helped FPL Food avoid hiring additional 2-3 in house developers just to manually generate reports.
FPL Food is becoming addicted to data visibility and continues to add customizable modules to the platform to track margins, trends, and end-to-end pricing.
It’s now easier for management to see these top-level dashboards and make smarter business decisions – moving forward with confidence while innovating and striving for perfection.
Next Steps in the Larger Plan:
FPL Food is now currently implementing Infor EAM to help with profit margin analysis, workorders management and budget control. Implementation of Infor M3 begins in September 2019.
Post Script: FPL Food is currently working on a new project in partnership with global retail giant Walmart in their effort to supply quality Angus beef that meets customers demands. Expecting to launch in Fall 2019, FPL Food will operate Walmart’s Angus beef case-ready facility, creating an additional 200-plus jobs.
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