For leading seed producers, the seasonal demand and supply of seeds combined with a very tight window for production and order fulfilment, means that there is little room for errors. There is a heavy reliance on working effectively with third parties (growers, processors, distributors and hauliers) to meet strict deadlines.
A lack of visible, accurate information in real-time can mean that validating and processing orders takes time and is reliant on customer service during these peak times. Committing and fulfilling these orders based on inaccurate information can lead to delays and cancellations, which along with an inability to provide reliable order, delivery and invoice status information, can ultimately impact customer satisfaction and lost revenue.
KWS, one of the world’s leading plant breeding companies with a footprint in 70 countries, was looking to further improve the exchange of transactional data between their suppliers and customers, which had been dependent on phone, fax and email causing up to three week delays in seeing the seed status, as well as inaccuracies due to manual data entry. Issues in this process could affect their ability to fulfil orders and with an expanding demand, the lack of visibility and subsequent control throughout the seed production cycle was no longer viable. For a successful company such as KWS, a solution that allowed it to scale and facilitate business with its partners during its most demanding periods was needed.
Proagrica provided KWS with a robust solution for data integration into its SAP system, which enabled full visibility and traceability of inventory throughout the seed production cycle, as well as streamlining the order, delivery and logistics processes. These solutions have enabled KWS to:
- Track seed batches and ensure all parties are operating with correct information
- Reduce errors caused by multiple keying of information
- Avoid elevated levels of inventory write-offs
- Track logistics and reduce time delays
- Make third parties more accountable and monitor their efficiency
- Increase customer satisfaction through offering reliable delivery dates
The solution consisted of a combination of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and a portal which enables greater connectivity and a more efficient data exchange between parties. Information can be captured or viewed with minimal disruption to the supply chain. Data is shared electronically, and automatically, giving real-time visibility of the production process and accurate tracking of orders and status.
Proagrica’s data integration solutions are already live and in operation today for major seed manufacturers globally. The deployment is fast so that seed producers can be operational and see a positive return on investment much faster than with a self-build solution, in addition to reducing risks such as avoidance of disruption to customers and processes.
A network of distributors is already connected to the Proagrica platform through which they have a preferred, single ordering route. The solution is cloud-hosted with little up-front costs and a low, forecastable cost of ownership.
By taking a more innovative approach to their supply chain data exchange, KWS can reduce its risk of errors, time delays and low customer satisfaction.