Butcher's Pet Care is the second largest wet can producer of dog food in the UK market.
It was set up in 1987 by Graham Baker, whose family were award winning farmers of beef cattle for many years.
Butcher's Pet Care owns the 'Butcher's' 'Butcher's Choice' and 'Butchers Superior' dog food brands and the 'Classic' cat food brand.
They employ more than 200 people at their base in Crick, Northamptonshire and have been using IFS since 2005.
Butcher's Pet Care has recently moved to a brand new, purpose built manufacturing facility. In order to support their shop floor and warehouse operations, Butcher's Pet Care utilises IFS Applications, which allows operators to capture shop floor information and to track receipt of finished goods into inventory and out, to fulfil customer orders.
Their legacy warehouse management system has caused operational deficiencies mainly due to complexities in integrating with IFS. Furthermore, a significant investment in mobile device hardware has not materialised into use on the shop floor.
In addition, their current reporting and forecasting system, which was also achieved through IFS, was causing difficulties. The system was static, generating reports was problematic and required a lot of IT support. The way information was displayed was often complicated and made it difficult to gain a clear overall picture. Furthermore, their existing reporting system meant the company struggled to compare their original sales budget against the current forecast at any given time and also with what had already been delivered. If at the end of a quarter figures had to be adjusted, doing this would erase everything that had gone before, leaving the business unable to compare and contrast what has been delivered over time.
"We chose Cooper Software for their deep knowledge of the barcoding market and IFS. With this new software we have seen a significant improvement in both factory and warehouse efficiency, as well as greater traceability and enhanced accuracy in our operations.
It has been very easy working with Cooper Software. They are very approachable and always have our best interests at heart. They want the projects to be successful and for our business to be successful."
Cooper Software, Europe's largest independent provider of products, consulting and support for IFS users, worked together with Butcher's Pet Care to deliver three separate projects to improve and enhance their existing IFS system.
Cooper Software's innovative ACQUIRE™ product is the UK's most popular mobile data capture, barcoding and RF system for IFS. ACQUIRE™ delivers shop floor and warehousing efficiency through the automation of receipt, inspection, picking and all other aspects of warehousing and shop floor operations.
Unlike Butcher's Pet Care's existing process, ACQUIRE™ allows the essential shop floor and inventory tracking transactions to be performed using mobile devices over RF, thereby capitalising on Butcher's previous hardware investment. The solution ensures information is up-to-date within the system, allowing more accurate stock information, replenishments and order fulfilment rates.
For the operators responsible for the management and tracking of shop orders and inventory and the fulfilment of orders at the Butcher's pet Care warehouse, ACQUIRE™ provides a single point of reference for performing the system transactions at the point of use. This functionality improves the operator experience by reducing the amount of manual effort required to complete system updates, prevent having to return to workstations for information and eliminate the need for paper based processes.
To improve Butcher's reporting and forecasting capabilities, Cooper Software built a bespoke solution utilising QlikView. QlikView is a Business Discovery solution that empowers users to uncover hidden trends and make discoveries that drive innovative decisions. It allows organisations to create powerful, highly visual dashboards and up-to-the-minute personalised reports from multiple data sources across disparate systems. The QlikView Associative Experience gives users the freedom to search and explore their data in a completely flexible way, with no limited pre-defined drill-down paths.
The interactive and graphical nature of QlikView made it easy for Butcher's to view, understand and draw conclusions from their data. The system also showed variants where forecasts had moved and allowed large time frames to be compared and contrasted. This is something which has been business changing as previously this was a key area Butcher's struggled with.
To further enhance their existing IFS system, Butcher's Pet Care signed up as an early adopter to the Cooper Software SDK™ which is a product that allows users to extend the capabilities of IFS themselves. The SDK allows companies to deliver the systems their business demands, quickly and robustly. Whether it is through enabling mobile apps, bolt-ons, customised workflows, complex integrations or consolidated business intelligence, the SDK provides organisations with the power to configure their systems to meet the needs of the business - seamlessly, safely and securely.
Through signing up as an early adopter, Butcher's were able to develop their existing IFS system to make it fit their business needs in a robust, secure and reliable way, which until now is something the company has been unable to fulfil in-house. The Cooper Software SDK™ also works with QlikView as it maps the databases and automates the generation of QlikView scripts and code, enabling Butchers to develop more detailed QlikView reports in-house.
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The adoption of the ACQUIRE data capture solution has resulted in the following benefits for Butcher's Pet Care:
- System integrates seamlessly, and in real-time, with IFS
- Elimination of manual effort and significant reduction in admin and transaction processing time
- Improved visibility of warehouse stock levels, inventory movements, replenishments and customer picking order requirements
- Capitalises on previous investment made in RF infrastructure and mobile device hardware
- Retirement of legacy solution and associated IFS modifications - providing further cost savings
The introduction of QlikView to improve Butcher's Pet Care's forecasting and reporting capabilities has allowed the company to:
- Analyse daily sales figures, providing a much-needed view of their business
- Compare and contrast where forecasts have moved
- Remove a legacy system which was previously maintained by a single person, thereby 'de-risking' their reporting
The Cooper Software SDK has been critical in allowing Butcher's Pet Care to:
- Develop QlikView reports in-house