Mann Packing Streamlines Reporting & Analytics

Founded in 1939, Mann Packing is an industry leading, third-generation supplier of premium fresh vegetables. Headquartered in Salinas, California, Mann’s is one of the largest suppliers of western vegetables, Broccolini® and sugar snap peas in North America. The firm holds the distinguished Women’s Owned Business Certification from the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.

New Business Processes From Legacy Data

Mann Packing was running up against big challenges with its JD Edwards ERP reporting. The sales team couldn’t get the real-time data they needed to be competitive. IT spent most of their time writing reports. Finance consumed a week every month to close the books. Executives and board members didn’t have timely access to important corporate financial information. And operations had a hard time getting answers to basic questions, for example; “What is the broccoli yield from each supplier for a given timeframe?”

The legacy reporting system at Mann Packing was cumbersome and labor intensive—and completely unable to provide the data needed to run the business efficiently. When Jeff Cook took over as CFO and introduced a new strategy of information sharing across the company, it became even clearer that the legacy reporting and analytics system was woefully inadequate to support his vision. The company needed a new solution.

QuickLaunch to the Rescue

Mann Packing looked to Preferred Strategies to help solve their JDE data access problems. Preferred Strategies QuickLaunch™ simplifies back-end JD Edwards data environments to accelerate the implementation of market-leading business intelligence and visualization software, such as Microsoft® Power BI for Mann Packing.

Preferred Strategies implemented QuickLaunch in the cloud, instantly translating the cryptic JD Edwards ERP data model into a business-friendly format for analysis in Power BI.

“This is nirvana!” said Jeff Cook, CFO of Mann Packing. “We accomplished more with QuickLaunch and Power BI in five hours than we have with other systems in years.”

COMPANY SNAPSHOT

Company: Mann Packing

Industry: Agriculture

Challenge: Extract self-service data out of JD Edwards to provide faster reporting and analytics across the business

Solution: Deploy Preferred Strategies’ QuickLaunch for Microsoft Power BI

Result: QuickLaunch has transformed how Mann Packing sees their data. Reports that used to take days now take minutes to produce.

IT Endorsed and Governed

While the company wanted to implement a sea change in data access across the company, this access needed to remain under the governance of IT. QuickLaunch enables a self-service data environment for JDE in which IT controls access to the data under a governance policy.

“IT and business users save a lot of time because the users can get the answers themselves,” said Tom Langell, Director of IT at Mann Packing. “IT doesn’t need to spend weeks developing and updating reports any more. Now we can focus on other key IT projects.”

The IT team also appreciates the benefits that come with cloud implementation. “With QuickLaunch and Power BI in the cloud, our support burden is negligible,” said Langell.

“The combination of QuickLaunch and Power BI is the best thing I have seen in 30 years of JDE reporting. Everyone is more efficient, our jobs are easier, and we can focus on the really important projects.”
JEFF COOK, CFO, MANN PACKING

These sample dashboards illustrate the types of reports and visualizations that Mann Packing employees now have at their fingertips, giving business users the real-time data needed to make competitive decisions. The screenshots shown here contain sample data only, and do not represent actual Mann Packing information.

Adoption = ROI

Today over 60 employees across the organization use Power BI running on QuickLaunch to access JDE data for a wide range of business processes. “It takes about 10 minutes to train each new user. We are getting more and more requests for access to Power BI every day,” said Langell. QuickLaunch obscures the complicated JDE data structures and processes from the user, making Power BI adoption incredibly quick and easy.

“The combination of QuickLaunch and Power BI is the best thing I have seen in 30 years of JDE reporting. Everyone is more efficient, our jobs are easier, and we can focus on the really important projects,” said Cook. “Although we are growing, we don’t need to hire additional people, which is a substantial cost savings.”

Changing the Way You Look at Your Business

The financial general ledger is now accessible to the executive team and board as a series of visual dashboards. Reports that used to take days to produce now take minutes. According to Cook, “Month-end close used to take at least a week and involve time-consuming manual processes. Now people can get the information they need whenever they want it.”

The pulse of the business is now visualized through Power BI providing sales and operations unique insights such as; FOB by business unit, top 20 value-added customers, cases sold by business unit, commodity revenue by business unit, and more.The company is also bringing in new non-JDE data sources such as weather and manufacturing to extend reporting and analytics to other departments.

Mann Packing has changed the way they access and use data to run their business and is constantly finding new opportunities to apply their self-service data environment. The company is now investigating the role that predictive analytics can play to gain insights in to their future business.

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