With a start date of January 2013, the race is on at Peters Ice Cream to implement a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system before it goes live on 1 August.
Peters transition manager Jonathan Hutchings told Computerworld Australia that the ice cream maker had to change its existing ERP system after the company was acquired by Pacific Equity Partners from Nestle in August 2012.
“That deal included a 12 month transition to remove Peters from Nestlé’s IT infrastructure and shared services,” he said.
Hutchings said the company started the ERP implementation in mid-January and is currently getting towards the end of the second design phase.
In order to complete the transition to the new ERP system on time, the company selected Infor’s M3 Quickstep for Food and Beverage enterprise software, which includes approximately 70 per cent of business processes pre-configured.
“There is very little modification required [with the software] and the project is running very smoothly, on time and budget,” he said.
Peters has 23,000 customers around Australia that it supplies directly through sales people and deliveries. The rest of the customers are supplied via fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) distributors.
“The ERP system will provide us with the scope to manage invoicing and order management out in the field on handheld Motorola sign-on-screen handsets,” Hutchings said.
For example, information about ice cream stock levels and deliveries will be accessible by Peter’s staff via the handsets.
“This ERP will also allow us to manage the freezer assets in terms of auditing, location and maintenance.”
In addition, Peters owns the freezers which are supplied to customers so they can stock its products including Drumstick and Maxibon.
Once the ERP system goes live later this year, Hutchings hopes to improve demand and planning forecasting so the ice cream maker can respond to peaks and troughs in sales.
Customer relationship management
The system also includes a customer relationship management (CRM) offering which Hutchings said will be used to manage its traditional “impulse buy” customer base which includes 7-Elevens, Coles Express and corner stores.
The CRM component will allow Peters to take orders and organise deliveries for this database of 13,000 customers.
“We believe it will be more efficient than the current system that we are using,” he said.
Hutchings is also overseeing the implementation of 30 new business applications including payroll, document management, occupational health and safety and consumer services.
Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick