The Poupart group of companies sells fresh fruit to most of the main supermarkets in the UK, such as Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and ASDA. To achieve a significant increase in productivity and profit, Poupart knew it needed to take better control of the way it handled its data and communications with its suppliers and customers. It needed a better, faster system to cope with massive amounts of information.
“Our business is about information. Microsoft Dynamics NAV gives us that information. It has been a success story for us and that success is going to carry on. It’s part of our DNA.”
Poupart Group Finance Director, Robin Dawson
Efficiently processing vast quantities of data isn’t just an important part of the Poupart business—it is the business. But the company found it was relying heavily on manual, paper processes. It wanted a more efficient, faster way to collect and collate information from fruit growers about their forecasts, what they’d picked, and when the fruit was due to arrive in the U.K. for onward distribution to the supermarkets. For this, it required a robust logistics planning system that fully integrated with its existing Microsoft systems, and an automated—ideally paper-free—process, from forecast to picking and delivery.
Poupart works with hundreds of the best fruit growers in the world. The group feeds demand from supermarkets to these growers, who respond with yield estimates. Poupart then takes these forecasts and arranges packing, transport, and delivery.
Microsoft supplier Tectura helped Poupart introduce Microsoft Dynamics NAV to integrate every step of this supply chain. Together, they created an efficient, cost-effective paperless system within which Poupart could monitor and manage all operations and profitability in real time—at the touch of a button.
Matthew Butlin, Information Director, Poupart, says: “Tectura understands our business. When we explain a complex challenge, Tectura finds it easy to translate it into an actual programming solution. The company and its staff are easy to deal with—they cut out all the business terminology and get straight to the point.”
With Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Poupart has experienced numerous business benefits, the most significant of which are efficient processes, better access to information, and increased profit. Robin Dawson, Group Finance Director, Poupart, says: “We don’t own any warehouses. We don’t own trucks. We don’t own trees. Our business is about information. Microsoft Dynamics NAV gives us that information. It has been a success story for us and that success is going to carry on. It’s part of our DNA.”
• Efficient, electronic transactions. Everyone in the supply chain—growers, transporters, packers, and customers—is integrated with Microsoft Dynamics NAV. They each log on to a web-based interface to see what’s needed and report back to Poupart with a yield forecast. Even customers send delivery receipts and receive invoices electronically. Such efficiency means Poupart can handle many more transactions, and benefit from clearer communication with growers—giving the firm better intelligence when forecasting supply volumes and prices with the supermarkets. This increased accuracy helps create better relationships with customers.
• Increased profit. As well as the profit generated from the productivity gains, Microsoft Dynamics NAV is also able to help Poupart identify places where savings could be made—for example, proportional costs for different-sized deliveries. In a market where margins are tight, savings add up.
• Easily accessible, accurate information—live. With information being the lifeblood of the group, it’s vital to be able to understand clearly and react quickly to demand. Microsoft Dynamics NAV holds live information about all transactions and forecasts, so if people need to know something, they can find it straightaway. This changes the way people think about things. Firstly, it gives them certainty, which saves time. Secondly, better quality information means better decisions. And thirdly, customer and supplier queries can be acted on immediately, improving relationships. The immediacy of the data makes everyone more proactive: the whole culture changes. “The power of Microsoft Dynamics NAV for me is its ability to drill down to the lowest level, to understand what’s happening from the farm to the customer. It’s not just the quality of the information, it’s also the speed of the information,” says Dawson. “If questions arise, we can answer them in a few clicks of the mouse. That’s the power of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, which is fantastic for us.”
• Ease of use. Because Microsoft Dynamics NAV is part of the Microsoft product set, staff found the new system familiar and easy to pick up—very little extra training was needed. “Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 fits in well with the other Microsoft products that we have across the business—all the integration is already built-in to the package,” says Butlin. And everyone gets their own home screen, with the options and dashboard that are relevant to their roles—so they can complete tasks faster.
• Live data exchange with Microsoft Excel. With Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013, users can copy data straight into Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. When they come back to their work later, they can click to refresh and the source number will update from Microsoft Dynamics NAV. This saves time and allows people to work the way they want. In addition, they can plan a forecast in Excel and then paste these figures directly into Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
• Simple integration. The Microsoft suite integrates out of the box so there’s no time spent making this happen and maintaining it, especially when there are software updates. In other systems, this can cause major challenges, but with Microsoft the whole suite works together as it evolves. Robin says: “There’s no point having quality information if it takes you two weeks to find it. Thanks to Microsoft Dynamics NAV, we have that information at our fingertips.”
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