Top Cut Foods is Australia’s leading producer and distributor of quality meat cuts and cooked meat products. They decided to move from three legacy ERP systems to a single solution that integrated all operations and reduced the time required for maintenance and support.
Top Cut Foods is Australia’s only specialist butcher, with a long-standing network of selected farmers and meat processors, and a range of well-known premium brands of beef, veal, lamb, and pork. Established in 1981, Top Cut Foods prides itself on the consistent quality of its products and the excellence of its customer service. The company owns and operates facilities in Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle, Gold Coast, Adelaide, and Perth, with sales offices in Japan and Korea.
Top Cut Foods had been using three ERP legacy systems from different vendors to cover all aspects of its operations. That solution, however, was no longer sustainable. Having three ERPs effectively tripled the time needed for maintenance and support. Also, lack of integration created data silos that prevented Top Cut Foods from improving efficiency. Even more importantly: the technology was falling behind and no longer cutting-edge. The systems were too generic and were not considered best-practice for a smart meat plant.
A thorough vendor selection process
Top Cut Foods decided it was time to have just one ERP system to manage its operations, so they turned to the international market of vendors to find a solution built from the ground up for the meat sector.
Their immediate goal was to utilize fewer IT resources for maintenance and support. There were, however, other strategic long-term objectives, such as:
- Optimizing operations
- Increasing the level of automation
- Making processes more transparent
- Reducing costs
In particular, Top Cut Foods was looking for an ERP solution with strong Business Intelligence capabilities that could integrate the systems used on the manufacturing floor with the Finance department. After narrowing down the list of best options to three vendors, Top Cut Foods finally settled on CSB’s ERP system.
ERP was first deployed at the Melbourne site during a period of 3-4 months. When the pilot was complete, four more sites – Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, and Newcastle – were rolled out in quick succession. The set-up time for each of them was one weekend. Altogether, the five sites provide access to 82 users.
The modular structure of CSB’s ERP allowed Top Cut Foods to build a system that fit their needs. The adopted solution integrated all operations, from receipt of supplies to sales, including Finance and Accounting.
Cutting-edge technology equals cost savings
The higher level of integration provided by CSB’s system allowed Top Cut Foods to improve processes and achieve its long-term operational goals. At the same time, having a single platform provided a Single Source of Truth (SSOT), eliminating duplicate representations of data. Users can now have access to the same information stored in one location.
The resources needed for maintenance and support have drastically decreased. There are less than five IT people for five sites, working with the local CSB support team. “We tried to keep customizations to a minimum, which is obviously great,” says Top Cut Foods CFO Charles Geraghty. “The benefit of having a stable system has helped us reduce onsite IT resources for maintenance and support almost to zero. The fact that CSB has the resources to provide local support in Australia made all the difference. Without that, it would have been problematic to deploy and run the system efficiently.”
Thanks to all these improvements, Top Cut Foods was able to lower its operational costs: “When a system works and embraces new and best-practice technology, it will always save people’s time and business money. If you don’t stay abreast of best practice, you will fall behind and become increasingly uncompetitive,” says Geraghty.
In the near future, Top Cut Foods is planning to roll out CSB’s ERP to the other two sites in the state of Queensland, and to add a BI Tool to the suite of modules.