Making growth through technology easy

Kagome Australia works with WilldooIT to transform their manufacturing management system.

Kagome Australia is Australia’s largest fruit and tomato processing company, specialising in the delivery of high-quality tomato-based products since 1996. Working closely with growers, producers and consumers, Kagome delivers a value-added product true to flavour and in tune with nature and is committed to sustainable agricultural practices

Kagome manage the process from seeds to bulk ingredients, selling pastes, purees and dice to manufacturing customers across Australia and around the world. Heavily invested in the latest innovative farming and processing technology, Kagome prides itself on the flexibility to make to customer specification. For the company, quality management starts with having the right seeds planted into the right soil, the sustainable application of crop inputs and harvesting at optimum maturity. Kagome’s products are made to good manufacturing practices, under FSSC 22000 certification.

In early 2019, WilldooIT, a member of the PNORS Technology Group, were contracted by Kagome Australia to implement a fully integrated ERP system to replace multiple legacy applications and spreadsheets with a customised Odoo version, interfacing to the real-time manufacturing management system.

Project implementation took place over a tight timeframe of 10 months and involved substantial customisation work as well as complex data migration tasks. The system met the stated objectives with the new system now providing Kagome with a solid platform to extend its functionality.

In the following case study, Jason Fritsch, Kagome CEO, describes how implementation of the Odoo business management solution has transformed the company.

Q: What were the issues, challenges and pain points Kagome had when considering a new ERP system?

Jason Fritsch (JF): The primary problems were disconnected management systems leading to unnecessary overheads and the inability to quickly access vital information. Additionally, our legacy systems were becoming harder to maintain and service due to the lack of available expertise.

Q: Why did you engage WilldooIT to assist with the Odoo implementation?

JF: WilldooIT were the stand-out Odoo partners and had shown their level of expertise not only technically but professionally, in s      `everal smaller projects we undertook before embarking on the larger complete replacement project.

Q: How did WilldooIT approach the solution to address Kagome’s needs?

JF: We first undertook an extensive one-month scoping and specification stage which resulted in a project implementation plan including milestones, deadlines and effort estimates.

Q: What apps did WilldooIT implement, develop, modify and why?

JF: Sales, stock and warehousing, purchasing, manufacturing and finance formed the basis of the solution. Considerable custom work was undertaken to implement our sales contracts and the unique way we have to store and deliver our products. Additionally, a lot of time and custom code was devoted to the complex task of migrating data from our multiple legacy systems.

Q: How has having a cloud-based system benefitted Kagome?

JF: Having an ERP system that is available on any browser or mobile device is essential for our business as we have employees working on the farms who need access to critical information and the ability to enter purchase orders. Of course, during the COVID-19 emergency it has been absolutely essential to have all non-operational staff being able to work from home – this process has been seamless.

Q: Why is it important for an industrial-scale food manufacturer to implement this kind of system?

JF: Efficiencies are not only found in the manufacturing process itself, but in all areas of the business from sales prospecting and contract management, planting planning, stock control, delivery, customer communications and, of course, finance. To have all this information readily available for strategic and operational decisions with minimal technical overhead is really only possible if all the data is held within the one system.

Q: How did Kagome manage data previously?

JF: Previously, data was held in several systems some of which were partly integrated. We had many disconnected spreadsheets storing islands of information.

Q: How has the Odoo solution provided by WilldooIT improved efficiency and added value to the business?

JF: Previously, information was held in several systems and therefore involved a lot of double entry starting from the yearly sales contract negotiations through budgeting, planting and production planning to stock control, picking and delivery and finally, invoicing and finance. The double entry has now stopped, and all information is held within the one system with the subsequent improvements in data entry efficiency. Having all information within the one system means it is easier for all departments, including operations, finance and strategy, to access up to date information and design real-time KPIs.

Q: What benefits did you see as a result of WilldooIT’s work?

JF: Many, including a completely integrated system from the beginning of the sales process through planting and manufacturing schedules, stock and warehouse management, delivery, invoicing and finances. Complete removal of double entry of data and a greatly reduced reliance of islands of information held in spreadsheets.

Q: Can you summarise Kagome’s experience with WilldooIT?

JF: WilldooIT undertook a large, complex and time-critical project and delivered. At all times their staff were professional, friendly and responsive and kept us up to date with the project’s progress. In projects of this size and complexity, there are always hurdles and strategic compromises to be made and WilldooIT’s management team ably steered the project through all these issues. I have no hesitation in recommending WilldooIT for similar projects.

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