By: Phil Lewis is Vice President, Solution Consulting EMEA at Infor.
Over the past ten years, boutique cider producer Kiviks has more than doubled in size, both in revenue terms and in staff numbers, while its product range has increased by around 15%, expanding the number of SKUs in operation.
This level of expansion has inevitably introduced greater complexity, therefore the company underwent a review of its working practices, processes and IT infrastructure back in 2016 to ensure it was delivering the necessary agility to capitalise on future potential, and that the business was sufficiently scalable to continue to pursue growth plans in the years ahead.
As a small, but fast growing company, the biggest challenge, as Nina Hjalmarsson, Supply Chain Director/CIO, Kiviks Musteri, explains, is the need to retain the authenticity, family-run values and environment which is intrinsic to Kiviks’ success, while having the ability and agility to compete with larger counterparts.
“Given the scale of our business, it is impossible to have the resources and IT infrastructure that our larger counterparts might, so we have to work smarter, be more agile and ensure optimum levels of efficiency.”
Putting cloud at the core
Kiviks had a very clear vision for a change management programme to capitalise on growth and provide a foundation for its future, with cloud firmly at its core.
Recognising limitations in its ability to physically expand the business in its unique orchard-rich location, Kiviks commissioned a third party warehouse to support expansion and a need for increased capacity. In parallel, new technical infrastructure was required as Kiviks wanted to outsource its IT and focus on its core competencies. It had outgrown the legacy Movex/InforM3 system the company had run for more than 20 years, and as an on premise platform, it didn’t fit with its cloud vision.
In response to this requirement, Kiviks and Infor worked collaboratively to scope out a project focused on migrating Kiviks from its existing legacy Movex/Infor M3 on premise solution, to a single tenant cloud model in 2017, now followed by a wholesale shift to a full multi-tenant cloud platform, Infor CloudSuite Food & Beverage.
As well as a familiarity with the roots of the system, Infor CloudSuite Food & Beverage, which is based on Infor OS and Infor M3, was selected based on its industry-specific capabilities, predefined best practices and knowledge from larger companies. The solution supports ever increasing transparency, traceability, food safety and waste reduction requirements, and for Kiviks, this was paramount in managing increasing stock turns and best before dates as well as more strict demands when it comes to traceability throughout the full supply chain. Infor Factory Track also formed part of the platform, helping to efficiency in the outbound logistics.
Across its third party systems, Kiviks worked with hosting specialist Elastic Move and M3 specialists and Infor partner Texus, to adjust integrations and build APIs in order to facilitate with Infor CloudSuite Food & Beverage and to set up a private cloud environment facilitated by AWS to host several systems.
Now live, Infor CloudSuite Food & Beverage is underpinning a smarter way of working for Kiviks, helping the company to achieve its goals and compete on a level playing field with much larger competitors. Infor CloudSuite Food & Beverage, gives Kiviks the possibility to stay on track on the overall strategic journey as well as the day to day improvements, as Nina explains.
“We see the value of the new system every day through small improvements in many areas, easier ways of working, greater visibility to intervene or seek out opportunities, or review better ways of working. We can stay ahead of our competitors through being more agile in responding to new trends, collaborating on a new idea and launching these on the shop floor quickly because our processes are being more efficient today.
The benefits are far reaching, and the improvements can continue in Kiviks Musteri. Infor CloudSuite Food & Beverage handles all aspects of logistics, providing visibility into costs at every stage, instilling greater control and trust in the figures to calculate profitability and manage growth in a refined and measured way. Kiviks is now working on adjusting its processes to ensure a profitable growth based on facts and figures from Infor CloudSuite Food & Beverage.
Gone are the days of just a few people holding a lot of knowledge, and as a result, “fake truths” presenting potential challenges. The cloud architecture facilitates standardised processes which work in a standardised way to represent an efficient way of working. As well as greater data security, 24/7 access to support and lower TCO, training requirements are minimised, and adoption expedited.
Timing and traceability are everything
The new features and functions within Infor CloudSuite Food & Beverage are helping Kiviks with the timing of harvesting, traceability of its raw materials and meeting tight production and supply chain schedules.
Kiviks operates 24/7 production, with three shifts running at any given time, this to maximize the capacity utilization of the factory where they face limitations in inbound and outbound logistics due to its remote location. As Nina explains, because stock moves rapidly through the production process and supply chain, it’s imperative that Kiviks are in full control of the distribution chain between the third party warehouse located 1.5 hours north of the plant. Late re-scheduling is a huge challenge for the logistics department as there is storage space for approximately 6 hours production at inbound and 2 hours at outbound. There is also a great need to have the ability to track and support traceability to the individual batch, something which wasn’t straightforward previously.
Blending the old with the new
In developing new flavours, Kiviks’ product range has increased by around 15% and as such, the product lifecycle has had to become faster. Controlling the supply chain, as well as minimising waste is a huge challenge, but Kiviks’ change management programme, supported Infor CloudSuite Food & Beverage, has helped to optimise the processes.
Curating a safer strategy
“Our cloud journey with Infor has ensured that our food chain is more efficient, safer and profitable. It has also reduced our total cost of ownership (TCO), as well as decreasing our reliance on support, and expanded our knowledge of business processes. Because it is very user friendly, it is second nature to the younger generation of our workforce and “just works” allowing staff to focus on their roles rather than formal or informal training.
“The fact that it integrates with other key systems maximises the value of our cloud programme, ensuring that all insights are available to support the best decision-making and planning. Ultimately we have trust in the system and crucially, we feel safe to have Infor as our cloud host.”
Giving back to the future
“As we move forward we are looking to delve deeper into the profitability of our product mix, reviewing margins and profitability, and looking at where our strategy can be refined,” Nina adds.
“We also view our move to multi-tenant cloud as a springboard to initiatives such as Industry 4.0 which we are keen to exploit to enhance our environmental credentials and our work to achieve our long-term sustainability goals.
“For example, the production planning data from Infor CloudSuite Food & Beverage can ensure that we only use the minimum amount of water, and that any waste water is re-used sensibly and sustainably. Our goals to reduce our electricity consumption, carbon footprint and water use are of equal importance to our commercial agenda and we see Infor CloudSuite Food & Beverage representing a key component of that.
“One of our goals of moving to multi-tenant cloud was to get new innovations faster and future proof our business. Not only do we get new capabilities in the regular monthly cloud updates, we are already seeing the benefits of the much shorter time from raising a new idea with the Infor Product Manager to the time it becomes available to us in the system. With all Infor CloudSuite Food & Beverage customers running many of the same processes we believe this will result in a much stronger ecosystem with common future requirements.
“In our project with Infor we have a huge amount of confidence that we have achieved our change management goal, and have at our helm a platform from which to embrace our future journey as a company.”