A dynamic leader in Australia’s manufacturing industry, Staughton Group is a fast-growing and innovative business located in the beautiful Murray River region of New South Wales. The company provides an end-to-end manufacturing and logistics solution to businesses in the food ingredient and retail sectors. Through its four key businesses and multiple brands, it manufactures dry pet food and meaty treats under either its own brand or clients’ private labels and supplies raw ingredients to the global pet food industry.
As Australia’s largest domestic raw pet food ingredient supplier with the largest thermal drying facility for pet treats in the southern hemisphere, the state-of-the-art manufacturing plant runs 24/7 to produce the highest quality products available worldwide. As well as supplying many retailers in Australia, Staughton Group exports to ten countries across Asia, Europe and America.
“It was clear to us that DXC knew their stuff - and that they’d listened to our requirements. It was a committee decision which everyone felt very comfortable with.”
Emma Birney Sales Operations and Planning Manager, Staughton Group
Having already experienced consistent exponential growth for the past several years, Staughton Group is looking to continue its ambitious expansion journey. With the complexity and number of products manufactured rising, the business was becoming more difficult to manage. Significant new customers like Coles, Woolworths and Aldi meant more stringent control and compliance requirements. Staughton Group’s use of MYOB and outdated legacy systems was no longer viable.
Limited integration between business functions, disparate applications supporting them, and manual processes caused many issues. There was no formal purchasing system, no procurement visibility for forward planning, and multiple steps were required (and three people’s involvement) to create an invoice, with no automated link between products dispatched to invoicing. There was also inadequate product traceability for manufacturing control, and Microsoft Excel was used for complex costing and retail sales order management. Overall, this resulted in limited process control across multiple systems used by multiple people.
Emma Birney, sales operations and planning manager for Staughton Group, explained, “The business expanded quickly. When I started five years ago, we had seven administrative staff - we now have over 100. We were sending out one or two 40ft containers a week to supply US manufacturers, whereas now it’s between 35 and 45.”
Staughton Group sought a solution and implementation partner to modernise its IT environment and consolidate and automate business operations to help drive the company’s innovative strategic vision and accommodate its next growth phase.
“Staughton Group is a company with an amazing culture of collaboration and friendliness and were always professional and candid to deal with. Working together, we quickly managed any issues that arose to deliver a successful outcome.”
Richard James Director of DXC's Australia and New Zealand Practice for Oracle
Initially, Emma worked with an external consultant to evaluate solutions. Only cloud solutions were considered for several reasons. Being in a small country town with frequent electricity drop-outs, on-premise servers meant all staff across the company’s multiple sites might be affected. With a small IT team, no servers to manage on-site was also appealing. Emma commented, “We faced issues in the past when the electricity went out. With a cloud solution, our factory might go down, but most other people not living in the immediate vicinity can continue working remotely.”
After completing a comprehensive requirements gathering exercise, 500 tools were included for evaluation, with Staughton Group issuing an expression of interest (EOI) to 50 organisations. The responses received were rated with two solutions ultimately shortlisted. Based on industry, ERP implementation and cloud migration expertise, DXC’s Practice for Oracle was selected to implement JD Edwards EnterpriseOne (JDE) and custom Java applications hosted on Oracle’s Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) to provide a reliable and scalable business platform. Emma said, “It was clear to us that DXC knew their stuff - and that they’d listened to our requirements. It was a committee decision which everyone felt very comfortable with.”
The high-level design was initially managed on-site, however with the onset of COVID-19 restrictions, the detailed design, build, testing, implementation, training, and go-live was conducted remotely.
The legacy data wasn’t in the best shape causing initial difficulties in stabilising the data migration program, and infrastructure in a remote and rapidly changing site posed challenges. Emma said, “This was a huge project for us with a quantum leap in functionality. The team here is inexperienced. They really stepped up to the task, but none of them had been involved in an ERP implementation project like this before. We didn’t have a lot of data to begin with, so building master data from scratch and getting it right was critical. We loaded it several times, which helped us learn where the errors were.”
Richard James, director of DXC’s Australia and New Zealand Practice for Oracle said, “Staughton Group is a company with an amazing culture of collaboration and friendliness and were always professional and candid to deal with. Working together, we quickly managed any issues that arose to deliver a successful outcome.”
Results and benefits
The cloud-based solution has streamlined, automated and integrated end-to-end business processes, enabling Staughton Group to proactively manage its manufacturing business with a modern user experience in one platform. This transformation eliminates manual system tasks and ‘work arounds’ and siloed solutions to provide around 105 named users and 30 mobile device users with a single integrated ERP solution.
Previously, these business processes were incredibly labour intensive and impractical. Managing director Edward Staughton said, “We now have our foundations right with people doing what they need to do. We have clear visibility and reporting on all business areas, which I believe will open up a minefield of opportunities.”
The platform offers increased efficiencies across financials, procurement, inventory, manufacturing, manufacturing planning, sales and advanced pricing, with mobility functionality on the production floor and warehouse. Major advancements include:
- Improved visibility of financial performance and indicators,
- Faster real-time reporting, enhanced process control and accountability/ownership by individuals,
- Mobile functionality to move stock and maintain traceability,
- Reduced invoicing complexity with orders and dispatch automatically linked to invoicing,
- Reduced manual checking of pricing (previously three times, now once),
- Better utilisation of resourcing with a reduction in the exponential growth of headcount to manage disparate systems.
“We now have our foundations right with people doing what they need to do. We have clear visibility and reporting on all business areas, which I believe will open up a minefield of opportunities.”
Edward Staughton Managing Director, Staughton Group
Emma said mobile functionality eliminated several steps on the production floor, “I couldn’t be prouder of the uptake. Previously, a third-party warehousing tool managed finished goods, with stock consistently misplaced.” Having control of physical stock locations makes a huge difference, as does the availability of standard bill of material (BOM) for product quality tracing and tracking. This also supports the company’s ability to respond promptly to audit and compliance requirements - particularly relevant for the export business. The production and warehouse teams have far less computer work to complete and more time doing - helping ensure containers get out on time - to meet customer demands.
For administration staff, the simplicity is tangible. For example, the accounts receivable and accounts payable process change is immense, with the ability to look at exceptions. These team members never had that opportunity - they were constantly searching for hidden information, changing and cleaning up data, analysing everything for anomalies. Emma said, “I can see that six months from now, users will look back and say ‘wow, look at what I do now’.”
Emma said, ‘With the knowledge, expertise and dedication from DXC, moving to JDE EnterpriseOne on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure was a clear and cost-effective decision for us. Despite this project having to be implemented remotely, and limited experience from the internal team, DXC achieved a full transformation for us. Training was challenging since this was a substantial change, however, the group was supported throughout. I can’t commend the DXC team and process highly enough - it was as good as it gets.”
Managing director Edward Staughton said “Our business has succeeded in pursuing international and domestic market growth by leveraging its Australian IP and technology considered world’s best practice. We are progressively corporatising by upgrading systems, staffing and processes while retaining our speed to market and flexibility. This project is part of that process.”
“With the knowledge, expertise and dedication from DXC, moving to JDE EnterpriseOne on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure was a clear and cost-effective decision for us..”
Emma Birney Sales Operations and Planning Manager, Staughton Group
In addition to getting core business solution foundations right, DXC now provides ongoing managed services to Staughton Group and offers insight into potential future application functionality. These complementary solutions include Salesforce automation, intelligent transport management, preventative equipment maintenance and industry-leading human capital management solutions.