Farmers co-op upgrades ERP, CRM

Christchurch-based farmers cooperative Ravensdown is splashing out $2 million on system upgrades.

Christchurch-based farmers cooperative Ravensdown is splashing out $2 million on system upgrades.

The organisation is spending $1.8 million on upgrading its three-year-old JD Edwards enterprise system and $200,000 on its Stayinfront/Visual Elk CRM system.

Ravensdown Fertiliser CIO Ross Aimer says the firm’s existing JD Edwards system, the B732, is three years old and one of the earliest in the OneWorld suite.

“It was time to move to the new platform — XE — which is more resilient and takes advantage of the new business capabilities of the new platform,” he says.

Ravensdown uses OneWorld for financials, supply chain, planning, forecasting, materials requirements, inventory flows, inventory management, sales and distribution. It is used by 120 of the firm’s 400 staff.

Aimer says the upgrade will feature better supply chain management and so improve Ravensdown’s management of its inventory and stores network. It will also handle the extra electronic traffic created should Ravensdown proceed with the outsourcing of its printing, distribution and billing operations that it is considering.

“We will give them [the outsourced operator] the information electronically. We have a lot of electronic interchange data. We have gone through our business processes and see what software can support them,” he says.

Aimer says the six-month upgrade is due to go live August. More advanced planning and other functionality will be considered in the future.

The OneWorld system forms part of a variety of systems on the Ravensdown platform. This includes CRM, ERP, business intelligence, data warehousing and decision support tools “knitted together”, Aimer says.

The Ravensdown Stayinfront CRM system is a year old but is being upgraded following staff requests for better features. These will include receiving soil tests electronically and better targeting and management of customer marketing, Aimer says.

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