Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center
ASMC Member Providing hands-On Help through the Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center
Rhino Foods, Inc., manufactures ice cream novelties, ice cream inclusions, and other frozen products in their Burllington, Vermont, facility. Privately held, Rhino has experienced consistent growth in sales revenues and expects this growth to continue. Serving national and international markets, the company employs 130 people.
Rhino worked with the Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center (VMEC), a NIST MEP network affiliate, previously on strategic planning projects. Through the VMEC business-mapping project, it became clear that the current software situation was not sufficient to meet their long-term goals. The company has been using a financial package with an integrated manufacturing element since 1992, but as the company grew, separate custom databases were created to fill in the functionality gaps. Management and users recognized this multiple software model was not efficient and agreed on the need for a single-source of information and integrated environment now offered in ERP systems. In order to meet the needs, demands and requirements of their clients and regulatory agencies, the new ERP system has to replace functionality of the existing applications, provide new functionality through integration of information from a single data source supporting CRM and Quality Management, and requires implementation of automated data capture for inventory transactions primarily in the Shipping and Receiving departments. The process of investigating and selecting a software product can be cumbersome and time-consuming, so Jayne Magnant, Rhino’s Director of Information Technology (IT), looked to VMEC for assistance.
VMEC worked with Rhino’s IT department, and a cross functional team from Rhino, to build the initial long list of potential software products using the SoftSelect process. Using SoftSelect’s project management approach, the search process was broken down into phases, and members of the cross functional team varied throughout. This resulted in departments outside of IT recognizing this was not solely an IT implementation, but an entire company process, and generated buy-in from across all sectors of the company.
- Selected an ERP package to meet needs and long-term goals.
- Expected to go live with new software system by end of January 2006.
- Anticipated benefits for every employee in the company, making it easier for them to do their jobs and become more efficient.