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Aptean Food & Beverage ERP Case Study: Adams Group

Aptean Food & Beverage ERP Case Study: Adams Group


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Aptean Food & Beverage ERP Case Study: Adams Group

Mar 24, 2021


  • Adams Group Migrates to a Modern Platform To Take Advantage of Newer Technologies

Embedded deep within Adams Group’s DNA is the ability to change and meet challenges head-on. David Adams, Sr. founded Adams Grain in the 1920s as a grower and exporter of malted barley to Great Britain, launching a heritage in specialty grains that evolved to include oil production. In the 1990s, the Adams Vegetable Oils company was the first organization in the United States to offer organic oils.

Today, Adams Grain and Adams Vegetable Oils are both part of the larger Adams Group, which also includes Adams Trucking, Adams Seed and Adams Australia.

With David’s great-grandson Wayne currently at the helm, the organization is enjoying its fourth generation of family ownership and continues to innovate to remain on the forefront of the industry.

The Challenge

Adams Group was using a home-grown system that had been built over the years. While the system initially met the company’s needs, it was unable to keep up with the organization’s growth.

The Adams management team began the process of finding a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that would allow the organization to operate on a modern, unified platform. As part of their decision-making process, Adams looked at 20 different software vendors.

The management team eliminated a number of options that were either outdated or could not accommodate the particular needs of a food organization. “We needed something that was the right size for our company,” says Lee Smith, General Manager of Adams Vegetable Oil. “There were solutions out there that we felt were too big and too complicated.”

“We really liked the energy of the Aptean folks. They came right in talking about different food regulations that were coming up and that really opened our eyes.”

Wayne AdamsManaging DirectorAdams Group

The Solution

Aptean Food & Beverage ERP stood out as the best option for Adam’s Group.

Built upon the Microsoft Dynamics platform, Adams identified Aptean Food & Beverage ERP as a purpose-built solution for the future. In looking at Aptean Food & Beverage ERP’s order management, production control, cost control and lot tracking capabilities, the company saw areas that its old system was either inadequately addressing or missing altogether.

Adams was equally impressed with Aptean team’s food industry knowledge and experience.

“We met some [other candidates], and they looked like sharp people, but they didn’t look like they knew who we were,” says Wayne Adams. “The Aptean folks had a lot of great energy and they really knew our industry well, which made this transition and implementation a lot easier.”

“Costing was a big weak point for us. We were waiting sometimes 45 days to get financials back after a month. We were really interested in getting that information a lot quicker and a lot more accurately.”

Lee SmithGeneral ManagerAdams Vegetable Group

The Implementation

The implementation of Aptean Food & Beverage ERP at Adams required replacing the disconnected components of their in-house system, which would take careful coordination and planning. In this regard, Aptean’s experience was a critical asset.

As Wayne explains it, “We had a lot of fragmented, customized systems to replace, so Aptean came in with good project management skills. They really helped out determining the timeline and setting milestones. We could tell there was a good experience in that area.”

As the first true ERP solution that Adams had ever used, the implementation of Aptean Food & Beverage ERP at Adams brought with it a significant learning curve for many employees. In this area, shared interfaces with Microsoft products like Outlook, Word, and Excel gave users a familiar, straightforward look and feel, providing an immediate level of comfort.

Very early on in the implementation process, Aptean stressed to Adams the importance of “owning” its system, meaning that users would be taught to become self-sufficient. Rather than simply walk everyone through a list of steps needed to perform a task with no explanation, the Aptean team ensured that each individual understood the impact of every activity from a larger perspective.

“The user experience has been positive. They like the system, they like the environment that they’re working in. The data they can get out so far has been good. They like the access to information that they’re getting.”

Lee SmithGeneral ManagerAdams Vegetable Group

The Results

Going live with Aptean Food & Beverage ERP allowed Adams to achieve its goal of transitioning from multiple software systems to a unified, modern platform. Activities that were once separate now operate cohesively within the same environment, benefiting the entire organization. This consolidation has led to more consistent business processes, improved data reliability and faster access to critical information.

  • Running the business on a modern, unified platform

  • All important business processes accommodated in the software

  • More trustworthy data that’s quicker to access

When Adams chose Aptean Food & Beverage ERP, a major factor was the software's extensive coverage of the company’s business processes. For instance, the commodity receiving features enable Adams to efficiently handle bulk grain receipts from its growers.

Additionally, the company appreciated the flexibility of Aptean Food & Beverage ERP in setting up customer specifications. Much of the processing activities that take place at Adams involve the outputting and blending of product according to customer-specific requirements that call for varying percentages of different grain types. This setup is available out-of-the-box in Aptean Food & Beverage ERP, making it possible for users to not only know what type of blend is needed in a certain production scenario, but also see which lots of on-hand product can satisfy these requirements.

Adams has also enjoyed the ability to do more with the software than its previous system allowed. For the first time, the company has access to manufacturing functionality, and the business is already seeing the benefits.

While manufacturing results were previously unavailable until close to 15 days after month-end processes, today Adams performs weekly production reviews and obtains much greater insight into yields and losses, allowing for more immediate improvements to efficiencies and margins. Having seen the benefits of a modern ERP system, Adams plans to introduce additional technologies to its solution to allow employees to perform their duties more quickly than ever.

No longer hampered by the limitations of an old, patchwork web of systems, the Adams Group is free to expand its business secure in the knowledge that its software will grow right alongside the company.

Ready to Harvest Bountiful Food ERP Benefits?

When looking for your first ERP, or to replace an existing in-house, outdated or underperforming system, generic solutions just won’t cut it. The food industry has too many unique challenges, regulations and complexities to trust any old off-the-shelf solutions.

Instead, purpose-built ERP software for the food industry provides specialized features to help you unlock significant out-of-the-box benefits. What’s more, when choosing Aptean as your vendor for food-specific software systems, you also gain the knowledge and expertise of our in-house team, who have proven experience helping food produces, manufacturers and distributors gain measurable results and accelerate organizational growth.

Sound like something you want to know more about?

Get in touch with us today to arrange a short, personalized demo, get pricing information, or just learn more about our food software suite.

Ready to take a leap forward with your technology?

Jumpstart your digital transformation with Aptean’s ERP for sauces and dressings manufacturers.

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