Organic Food Producer Uses ERP for Supply Chain Management

Feb. 6, 2015
Wholesum Family Farms will roll out the supply chain ERP software across four facilities.

Wholesum Family Farms, based in Nogales, Ariz., is one of North America’s fastest growing organic fruit and vegetable producers dedicated to natural, safe, and sustainable farming. Considering that organic is a heavily-regulated food system—as it guarantees no toxic synthetic pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers—it is no surprise that this is a business based on best practices and standard procedures. For that reason, the company has turned to technology for help in the form of enterprise resource planning (ERP).

This month, Wholesum selected LinkFresh Inc., which makes supply chain ERP systems designed specifically for the fresh food industry, as its technology partner. The product, LinkFresh ERP software suite, built on Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP technology, will be rolled out across Wholesum’s four sites in the U.S. and Mexico.

“The deployment of the LinkFresh ERP is part of an ongoing initiative to establish common practices, standards, and systems throughout the business,” says Wholesum vice president Ricardo Crisantes. A critical aspect of that is having a single ERP system for managing and administrating all operations and providing key reporting metrics, he says.

The LinkFresh system contains five main functions: The Foundation module for quality control, consignment trading, EDI (electronic data interchange), product costing, and more. Supply Chain with supply and demand forecasting, replenishment rules, supply specifications, and compliance management. Operations to track and trace products throughout the supply chain, including real-time information on events as they happen. The Farming module for recording all costs and overheads with respect to crop growing and harvesting. And a Logistics module with distribution packaging and trip management features that define rules for customers, suppliers, and growers.

In addition, LinkFresh will integrate with Wholesum’s existing greenhouse management software.

The food and beverage and farming industries are currently investing in technologies that will help avoid costly—and potentially dangerous recalls—as well as boost their ability to comply with the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

The ERP deployment at Wholesum, expected to be complete in the fourth quarter of this year, is one way to help ensure quality and compliance at the company which harvests and processes tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, squash, zucchini and eggplant for grocers across the U.S. and Canada.

“LinkFresh will provide a complete operational platform to improve and standardize processes and procedures across areas of their business, from farm and greenhouse growing operations to packing and warehouse management through to grower returns, logistics, and full financial management,” says Ron Myers, executive vice president for LinkFresh.

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