AgricultureManufacturingSupply Chain

Accelerating Business Growth with a Comprehensive Data Strategy Roadmap

Technology had long been essential in the rapid growth of one of the fastest-growing producers of fruits and vegetables in North America. Our client had enjoyed tremendous success by innovating cutting-edge genetic processes and cultivars within their high-tech production facilities. This strategy helped them go from a few hundred million dollars in revenue to a multi-billion-dollar agriculture production and distribution enterprise in only a few years. Now the company has turned to information technology to drive their next phase of growth and help make them a $10B+ brand.

Despite this client’s deep investment in high-tech facilities and cutting-edge processes, their information and data systems had not modernized at the same rate. This left them lacking data standardization, with an ill-defined data strategy, and multiple disparate enterprise resource planning (ERP) and data systems.

That was when the company approached SoftServe for help in maturing their data and analytics strategy to fuel the company’s growth.

Until then our client’s success was rightly focused on scaling operations. But this fast pace of growth, coupled with acquisitions of other businesses, led to an extremely muddled IT environment. When SoftServe’s experts first reviewed it, they found a mix of various systems, out-of-date ERP, and customized-beyond-upgrade applications that governed critical functions.

The mash-up of programs and systems led to days of manual data entry in mammoth spreadsheets, simply to provide operational business reports—which were obsolete by the time they were published. Functionally specific reports took even longer as they required sourcing data from various operating systems across the business. These processes made actionable business intelligence and analytics more aspirational than feasible, making it clear their data and analytics strategy needed an overhaul.

Before engaging SoftServe, our client recognized the need to clean up their ERP and operational system issues. They had already initiated projects to modernize their core systems and make them consistent and uniformly accessible across the enterprise. But data is only as good as your ability to use it for business innovation and decision-making. Our client needed SoftServe’s expertise to define a business intelligence strategy that would serve them in the short term and support their long-term analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) goals. These AI/ML aspirations included integrating cutting-edge technological systems such as crop yield forecasting and computer-vision-based product quality processes.

Quality Process

To turn these goals into reality, SoftServe began with a thorough discovery and needs analysis engagement. As part of this process, our experts mapped our client’s systems and critical data. Next, our team met with the company’s business subject matter experts to help develop a consistent and coherent data strategy roadmap. Finally, we evaluated the roadmap to prioritize each step based on its potential business impact before presenting the completed roadmap for approval.

SoftServe’s data strategy roadmap identified more than $50M in operational savings opportunities across the business—from production and distribution to quality assurance and sales. Based on these opportunities for operational savings, our client agreed to a pilot program to implement two critical business operational dashboards.

These pilot dashboards required building out the core business intelligence infrastructure and pipelines while defining and vetting key standards for tools. SoftServe had included these dashboards in the early stage of the data strategy roadmap to replace the client’s unwieldy Excel spreadsheets.

Once our experts built these new operational dashboards, it eliminated the previous spreadsheets’ manual and multi-day data collection and preparation work. Instead of only weekly updates, the entire organization can now access the information decision-makers need in real-time. The change was so dramatic that one of the company’s financial analysts called these dashboards a “game-changer.”

Now our client has key data and analytics infrastructure components in place and the ability to access critical operational data and analytics immediately. With this foundation, they can focus on moving forward with their long-term business intelligence and analytics goals, with a path laid out by SoftServe in their customized data strategy roadmap. With the infrastructure, strategy, and systems in place, our client is well on their way to realizing both $50M+ in operational savings and their AI/ML goals.

Building and growing an enterprise requires forward thinking, strategy, and a deep industry knowledge, but to truly expand, you must be data-driven.

LET’S TALK about how SoftServe can transform your business intelligence, streamline and optimize operational costs, and enable data-driven success within the agricultural industry.

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