Cortell Business Solutions has successfully met the deadline for the implementation of its TM1 application at Premier Foods, in a record three weeks, enabling the food manufacturer to perform forecasting, modelling, and supply chain management costing as required by the business.
TM1 enables planning, forecasting, reporting and strategic business analysis that transforms dispersed Microsoft Excel and transactional data into an auditable, single version of the truth. Premier Foods immediately began using it for its monthly sales and production forecasting, resulting in reduced time and resources needed for these activities, and an increase in the speed and accuracy of results returned.
"Easy access to our business information using a front-end we were already familiar with was one of the key factors that drove us to find a solution such as TM1," says Basie van Dyk, Premier Foods, chief operating officer. "We needed a tool that could gather information from our many different data sources and present it to any level of user in a familiar format."
The first phase of the TM1 implementation involved building a model to specifications stipulated by Premier Foods. During the second phase, application refinement was performed to ensure that the desired levels of accuracy and consistency were being achieved. In phase three, the application's availability to users is being enhanced; and the fourth and final phase will involve making the application self-sustainable in the company's environment.
Premier has various tools and interfaces to collect business data stored in its Microsoft Great Plains ERP system and other applications. As a result, it could not easily integrate data from different sources, making accurate and timely reporting and budgeting difficult. Premier also required a different view on measuring profitability, while enabling the development of sales forecasts.
"With TM1, Premier Foods now has the capabilities to drill down into its information, regardless of where it is stored, and to speedily create models and scenarios," says Greg Bogiages, director of Cortell Business Solutions. "Users at Premier Foods can now immediately see how different inputs impact on all the related elements in the business and so make well-informed business decisions and improve the profitability of customers. Premier Foods is benefiting from new forecasting, modelling and costing functionalities; increased speed of data extraction from different sources, and consistency of reporting, all of which TM1 has provided."
Operating against the existing SQL Server database at Premier Foods, and using the TM1 OLAP cube that is characterised by a small footprint, TM1 has been licensed for 15 users.
Premier Foods manufactures and distributes popular South African maize, wheat and baking products such as Snowflake cake, white and brown bread flour; Blue Ribbon bread; Iwisa, Super Sun and Nyala Super Maize meal; Impala Special maize meal; and Invicta sifted maize meal. It has 38 bakery, distribution and manufacturing sites across the country.