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Managing Modern-Day Agribusiness

CSS helps companies achieve end-to-end traceability with Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne solutions.

August 2014

CSS assists agribusiness companies in configuring and implementing enterprise solutions that are consistent across organizations and integrate all aspects of agribusiness production, from block management to advanced pricing. Kenny Ecton, vice president of Consumer Goods Solutions at CSS, discusses what the right solutions can do for agribusinesses.

What do you think are some of the biggest challenges facing agribusinesses?

These days, I think there are two primary and related challenges: deploying end-to-end solutions that align, and traceability. End-to-end solutions for agribusiness start with managing growth activity, from seeding the field to harvest, and end with pertinent information for analysis to support the next year’s crop management. The industry is now fully multichannel, creating an entirely new set of complexities in going to market. Successfully linking and synchronizing multichannel planning and execution with operations, whether in the wine industry or agribusiness in general, is a quite a challenge, and there is high value and return on investment in having a solution that pulls everything together. Traceability, specifically, creates a challenge that is important both for operations and sales and marketing. It is imperative to know where each grape and varietal that goes into a wine came from and where it winds up. With the paradigm shift to “farm-to-fork” expectations among consumers with respect to food production, the notion of traceability becomes even more important. Also, given that U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations now require food tracking throughout the supply chain and that public concerns about contamination have spiked in recent years, traceability is about risk mitigation. In agribusiness, all it takes is one instance when you can’t trace the source of a problematic product and you’re finished.

CSS goes to market by industry, and we hire talent within that industry who know it on an intimate level and truly understand what our clients need.”

How do Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne solutions solve these complicated challenges?

Oracle has worked hard to create JD Edwards EnterpriseOne food and beverage applications, and they’re really the gold standard in the industry. They provide realtime information about the complete crop-to-product continuum and help manage all of the details of the operations. Oracle’s solutions also integrate with customers’ supply chains, financials, and even human resources so that they can be nimble and respond quickly to whatever comes up. For example, you can quickly access data about each block of land, track your operational costs, manage your grower contracts, create settlements, and even manage your packaging. Fully utilized, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne can also make traceability essentially seamless.

How did CSS’ partnership with Oracle in agribusiness solutions develop?

It really started with the wine industry. We have helped design and build the JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Grower Management and JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Blend Management solutions that are used across the wine industry, and with JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Grower Management, it has snowballed into the larger agribusiness space. We are also working in the livestock segment of agribusiness, having created a JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Grower Management solution specifically tailored to that space.

Why is CSS so well equipped to help businesses implement JD Edwards EnterpriseOne?

CSS goes to market by industry, and we hire talent within that industry who know it on an intimate level and truly understand what clients need. If you’re in the grain industry, for example, there’s no ramp-up with our consultants getting to know the ins and outs of grain production and sales. We come to our clients with prebuilt templates that not only speed up implementation, but are industry standard. Obviously, that enhances the value of technology investments for our clients, and it helps keep them competitive in their industry.

This advertorial was originally published in the JD Edwards 2014 Special edition of Profit.

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