Kapiti wheys in with Linux

Kapiti Cheese is integrating its manufacturing and financial operations and putting the lot on Linux.

Kapiti Cheese is integrating its manufacturing and financial operations and putting the lot on Linux.

The Paraparaumu-based specialty cheese company is expanding, having recently opened a $5 million plant that has increased production capacity by 400%, and wanted to manage its manufacturing operations more effectively. Its two cheese plants now house 160 employees and the firm expects to turn over close to $19 million this year, compared to last year’s $16 million. Though 85% of sales are in New Zealand, exports nearly doubled last year, largely into Asian airline catering, the company says.

Financial controller and supply manager Alan Bird says the company needs to manage its manufacturing better. “As our volumes grow we need to be more precise in terms of planning, forecasting and production. To do that we need our manufacturing management to be integrated into our main systems.”

Kapiti has been using the locally developed CBA accounting package and a separately run homegrown manufacturing system.

“There’s no doubt CBA is a very good financial package,” says Bird, “but we were looking for an integrated solution that does financials, inventory and enables us to link to our website.” Kapiti wants to create links from its website to let trade customers such as supermarkets, hotels and restaurants access their account details.

The cheesemaker assessed five ERP products, which Bird declines to name, and settled on MFG/PRO from US-based QAD. Computerland is managing the implementation, which will also include a hardware upgrade and the installation of Linux Red Hat 6 as the application server operating system.

Bird says QAD, which has a New Zealand office, recommended Linux, and the fact that it was free was also attractive. “It has started to be quite widely used in the market.”

The software will be rolled out to 35 staff by September.

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