Every company needs its dream application, iPath Workflow is definitely ours

The Tatua Co-operative Dairy company spans a 96-year history of producing high-quality, specialised dairy products for export around the world. With its Tatuanui manufacturing site based within a twelve-kilometre radius of all its farmer suppliers, the company sources the freshest raw material and enjoys a wonderful community culture among stakeholders.

Choosing to steer clear of merger during industry de-regulation in 2001, Tatua has proven that choosing to retain their corporate identity was the right decision; often topping the per-kilo pay-out of the industry's other major players. 

The fact that the business grew up around it's original vision meant, as in most cases, that there were no controls in place around commercialising new opportunities and managing changes to existing products

Often the team that needed to make important decisions would head out, armed with Excel spreadsheets and Word documents, to try and correlate data (such as food and labelling regulations) from many and varied markets, train new staff (only a handful of staff knew enough to do this), and keep creation-to-shelf lead times at a competitive level.

"There simply came a point where we had to acknowledge that the workload created by our manual and disparate systems was too much", Colin Foster, Tatua's General Manager Finance & Administration.

Once the problem was acknowledged; the search for a solution began. Geoff Lawn, Tatua's Systems Engineer, outlined three distinct requirements; "the solution obviously had to be flexible and powerful enough to process our large and varied data sets. We wanted to operate the solution through SharePoint so it was accessible and user-friendly, and finally, in-house maintenance of the resulting workflows was important to us."

The Solution:

Unable to find an off-the-shelf product with the flexibility required, Tatua turned to Olympic Software for their product iPath Workflow. "We searched for a solution and quickly realised that nothing off-the-shelf would meet our requirements. During this phase we also developed a better understanding of the complex, technical requirements our technical support staff had to deal with - iPath stood out as the best way to deal with that complexity" said Colin.

Stage one of the product commercialisation project was completed concurrently with i-path and web development training. After that it was plain-sailing for Geoff and his technical support team. "Integrating with other SQL-based systems is ridiculously easy, maintenance and upkeep of workflows likewise, and automated alerts, internally and externally, are so completely organised - the users love it." Once stage one was completed Geoff and his team started to play with and implement additional workflows - the results speak for themselves

The Results:

Results were dramatic, exciting and quick. "The ingredient validation process was cut to about one-tenth of its original time within a few weeks - this got staff really excited about iPath and it was at this point that we realised the potential for the tool not just within our department, but across the whole company," said Geoff. "Since then, we have built more workflows across the company, with another ten planned for the next year. Every company needs its dream application - this is definitely ours."


Opening Quotes

There simply came a point where we had to acknowledge that the workload created by our manual and disparate systems was too much.

Closing Quotes

Colin Foster

General Manager, Finance & Administration