BUSINESS

Doggone it, Greentree is the cat's whiskers

Friday 12 April 2013, 12:20PM
By Greentree International
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A new ERP system has taught New Zealand’s top pet food maker some new tricks.

CHALLENGE: Butch Pet Foods needed to modernise its financial system and find a better way to ensure none of its customers ran out of its products.

SOLUTION: Greentree’s Financial Management pulls all the figures together, while CRM and Supply Chain simplify the handling of big and small orders.

RESULTS: Errors in orders have been eliminated, stock holding costs are halved, order processing takes minutes instead of hours, and expansion plans are now closer to reality.

Like meat pies and tomato sauce, shorts and flip-flops, or barbies at the beach, the dog roll is part of New Zealand culture – and Butch Pet Foods Ltd & Co. has been feeding Kiwi pooches since 1964.

From its origins as a cottage industry, started by the Roby family, the company has grown to produce over six million pet food rolls per year, selling to the supermarket chains and corner dairies, as well as a growing export market.

“I know of three generations of dog owners who’ve bought our product,” says Office Manager Carl Jeffery. “We’ve diversified our product range quite a bit, and our instinct has worked pretty well, since our output has more than doubled over a five-year period.”

However, a new business system was becoming imperative, in order to handle major expansion plans.

The puppy grows up

Hydatids was widespread in New Zealand back in the 1960s, prompting Ian and Lorraine Roby to start a business to produce a healthier alternative to feeding uncooked meat to dogs. “Butch” is Ian’s nickname, and he’s largely retired now. The company is run today by his sons, Lance and Jeff, and produces more than 20 varieties of food for dogs and cats.

New Zealand’s pet ownership is one of the highest in the world; it’s said that over 90% of Kiwis have at least one pet. Butch is the market leader in its field, with a 59% share.

“We got an order from the first Foodtown supermarket, which opened in South Auckland, and now you can find our product in most supermarkets throughout New Zealand,” says Carl.

Time to move on

Butch was a long-time user of CBA, Greentree’s predecessor. 

“CBA had served us well, but we wanted an up-to-date financial system and we wanted CRM so we could pull together our sales & marketing, administration and dispatch departments, to get rid of all those different spreadsheets,” Carl says.

“It was great that so many of the functions we carried out in CBA just switched straight over to Greentree, but with Greentree we can now do so much more – it’s like going from a bike to a jet plane.”

Greentree’s integrated functionality has made a vast difference to Butch’s operational efficiency. They purchase their raw ingredients in tonnes, and Greentree has eliminated the need for time-consuming conversions – at the touch of a button, staff can now measure quantities by unit, kilo or pallet. This is crucial to ensure they always have enough cooked product in stock to meet orders.

“Raw materials are our biggest single expense,” Carl explains. “Now we can better measure our input and output, we won’t have to hold so much. So instead of holding $1.5 million worth of raw materials at any time, we might be able to drop that by half. That’s going to be a major saving in running costs.”

Primed for growth

The introduction of CRM has made a big difference for Butch’s dispatcher. Greentree’s Workflow desktop displays all orders nationwide, reducing the processing of orders for packing and delivery from hours to minutes. Productivity has also been boosted in both the finance and sales departments.

“We’ve now got checks and balances in the system, and errors in orders have been eliminated,” Carl says. “Our sales & marketing guy says it’s the best package he’s worked with.”

The quest for export markets is driving big changes at Butch. A new warehouse is being built, to cope with the increase in sales and also to better serve the local market. The company intends implementing Greentree’s Manufacturing module to streamline its operations in anticipation of increased demand.

“Greentree is going to offer us a path for growth,” Carl concludes.