Challenge: Supporting Growth with More Efficient Business Processes
From blueberry pie to raspberry jam, blackberry crumble to strawberry sundae - as the largest producer of fresh berries in the world, it’s likely that Reiter Affiliated Companies (RAC) grew the key ingredients.
RAC has operations across North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. Although the company’s main activity is agriculture, it’s the people that are the heart of RAC’s business. The family-owned company is focused on developing a culture of honesty, fairness and respect and enriching employee communities.
With its roots going back more than 100 years, RAC has doubled in size over the last decade, and aims to double again within the next 10 years. To support this growth, RAC needs to ensure it has the right systems and processes in place.
“With many thousands of seasonal employees and the potential for that number to grow significantly, we need to be able to onboard and offboard workers efficiently,” explains John Thompson, CIO at RAC. “Although we were already using Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) and Oracle HCM (Human Capital Management), the systems were ageing versions, only deployed in certain regions and used in a suboptimal way. For example, in Mexico, our onboarding process was still entirely manual.”
This inconsistency meant that the company had multiple sources of business data and only static, localized reports, which hampered its ability to make informed business decisions. RAC recognized that to support growth, it needed to eliminate its digital debt and brought Thompson onboard to lead a transformation that would streamline, standardize and automate processes.
“Although RAC has an extremely competent IT team, the company’s expertise lies in growing berries, not technology,” comments Thompson. “To be more progressive and agile as a business, we need the right IT partners to complement our internal team.”