The Company: Cypress Grove
When Mary Keen acquired her first two goats in the 1970s, she had no idea just how rapidly her cheese-making hobby would grow into a full-fledged business venture. Based on California’s northern
coast in Humbolt County, Cypress Grove now distributes its cheese throughout North America and around the world. Their rapid expansion has been accompanied by critical acclaim, and Cypress Grove boasts a treasure trove of cheese products that have won numerous industry awards, received praise from Oprah and are used by top chefs on a daily basis.
The Situation: Logistical Challenges
This success led to continued growth and expansion for Cypress Grove, and in 2010, the company was acquired by dairy operator and farmer cooperative Emmi Holdings. Emmi shares Cypress Grove’s values of craftsmanship and passion for artisanal cheeses, and their investment allowed Cypress Grove to scale even faster, doubling their production facility over the next four years.
This rapid growth was not without challenges, and the management team had to quickly expand to keep up with demand. As production volume increased, so too did the logistical challenges of ingredient lot traceability, shipping, inventory management and data reporting to the new investors.
At the time, Cypress Grove was operating on an outdated version of Microsoft’s Dynamics NAV ERP solution. This older software was unable to adequately address many of the new challenges that had not been considerations when Cypress Grove deployed it.
The staff was forced to create workarounds and found that more and more frequently they were relying on external systems and spreadsheets that were not easily accessible to everyone. This in turn led to data inconsistencies, and management lost confidence in the data coming out of their ERP system. As a result, it had become increasingly difficult to make decisions in day-to-day operations.
What’s more, Cypress Grove’s rapid growth and new ownership investments made the need for consistent data tracking and better integration all the more apparent. The management team understood that achieving their goal of increasing sales by 10% year-over-year for 10 years while continuing to maintain their artisanal quality would require quality business data that everyone could trust.
In order to make wise resource allocation decisions, they realized they needed to upgrade their old Microsoft Dynamics NAV software to a more modern version and configure it to meet Cypress Grove’s unique manufacturing processes. Not wanting a repeat of the growing pains they were experiencing with their current solution, the new software also needed to be a scalable application that could grow with the company.
The Solution: Aptean Food & Beverage ERP
In the course of their search for a new ERP solution, Cypress Grove brought in Aptean to help them evaluate their current system and processes. A Microsoft Partner, and the developer of the purpose-built Aptean Food & Beverage ERP, Aptean provided invaluable insight and experience.
The Aptean team evaluated Cypress Grove’s existing manufacturing processes and identified more efficient ways of accomplishing goals. In addition to an upgrade to a cutting-edge ERP platform, Cypress Grove also incorporated integrations in Aptean Food & Beverage ERP to manage UPS, FedEx, and package-level tracking from within Dynamics NAV.
“Aptean has been a great technology partner,” said Lynne Sandstrom, Finance Director at Cypress Grove. “They are good at listening and communicating. Aptean helped us evaluate our processes and configured the ERP to meet our requirements.”
The Results: Aptean Food & Beverage ERP Implementation Benefits
The upgrade to Aptean Food & Beverage ERP, built on the Microsoft platform, has successfully restored Cypress Grove’s confidence in their ERP system’s data integrity. Accurate, real-time and trackable throughout all areas of the business, this data provides a single version of the truth.
The management team is able to trust the information they receive in their decision-making and Business Intelligence (BI) initiatives. This single version of the truth is just one of many improvements the company has seen with their new ERP solution.
Cypress Grove also enjoys full lot traceability for each and every ingredient, more accurate sales forecasting, and better inventory management. Quality assurance systems have improved, labor has decreased, redundant labor has been minimized, and overall efficiency has increased across the board.
“Each company needs to set up its ERP software to fully reflect its specific manufacturing process,” said Sandstrom.
Cypress Grove will continue to expand upon the improvements they have experienced with Aptean Food & Beverage ERP to bring increased functionality to their quality assurance processes. With the addition of mobile tablets at key data input points, users will be better equipped to track inventory and record quality assurance data in real-time.
Additional projects with the Aptean team will allow Cypress Grove to further optimize other areas of their ERP solution. Cypress Grove is excited to use their improved data output for further business growth planning, more accurate tracking of sales and inventory and the realization of short and long-term business goals.