BOSTOCK New Zealand
Analysis and Implementation Support of a Supply Chain System
BOSTOCK New Zealand grows and exports organic apples, onions, squash, kiwifruit and grain and is based in Hawke’s Bay.
BOSTOCK was operating using an export sales application which was nearing the end of its support period. In conjunction with the BOSTOCK Information Systems Strategic Plan (ISSP) and future IS transformation, the application was to be replaced with a modern system that could be configured to better suit BOSTOCK’s operational needs.
The application replacement presented BOSTOCK with an opportunity to streamline operational processes that had developed as a result of the bespoke application, to improve reporting from the systems, and to improve processes along the supply chain.
To support this progression, BOSTOCK commissioned X4 Consulting to perform operational analysis of the current and future processes, to capture the core tasks performed by export business users, and to ensure that the future software supported these processes. Specifically, X4 would analyse and review the (then) current operational processes, validate the application configuration parameters, develop operational guides and support the operational staff during user acceptance testing.
X4 Consulting was tasked with developing software requirements for the export branch of BOSTOCK. The purpose was to inform the new provider of functionality required in the new Export Sales system. The new system would provide management of sales and trading costs, calculate grower costs and provide comprehensive financial reporting.
BOSTOCK operates differently to some other large exporters; their point of difference is Grower Payments. Rather than pooling, each grower is paid out what their produce returned from sale (minus expenses of processing and shipping). Unique invoicing is the Bostock competitive edge and needed to be retained.
X4 also developed user guides specific to BOSTOCKs use of the software to ensure the change between the orders, expensing, and invoicing systems was as seamless as possible.
We also developed operational specific processes and user guides for the new solution, supported users during data cleansing and assisted users during UAT and implementation phases.
Benefits & Outcomes
By utilising X4 Consulting, BOSTOCK ensured the project was 'process' rather than 'product' focussed. This was achieved by capturing and aligning the aspirations of users and making them part of the journey during requirements development.
During the new software configuration and implementation, X4 ensured BOSTOCK specific processes were retained and that the software was capable of supporting the BOSTOCK way of working.
Our consultant became the ‘go-to’ person for current operational processes with a view to refine inefficient, system-led functions. They acted as the requirements liaison between operational staff and the vendor (during configuration and enhancements sprints).
Multiple face-to-face sessions with subject matter experts and users contributed to the feeling of ownership across the export branch. The new software has been developed to support the BOSTOCK competitive edge. The application provides reports and automates many of the manual calculations previously performed within Microsoft Excel.