About Jasper Wyman & Son
Headquartered in Milbridge, Maine, Jasper Wyman & Son is a family-owned company with a heritage of leadership in the growing and marketing of frozen fruits. As a vertically integrated company, Wyman’s focuses on attaining the optimum flavor and nutritional benefits of its products while promoting sustainability.
So, how does a frozen foods manufacturer tackle key business challenges and stay current in their industry?
Wild blueberries are the main product of Wyman’s along with other frozen fruits. Once packaged, the products are sold through three channels—retail, ingredient and foodservice. Previously, the data entry and management for these three channels were handled manually. Reducing manual processes was one of the major challenges Wyman’s wanted to address. That’s where ColumbusFood came.
“With real-time data collection, we were able to achieve full traceability all the way back to the field where the blueberries were harvested,” said John Hedberg, Director of IT at Wyman’s. “That information put us on the right track for automating processes in our business.” For instance, ColumbusFood helps Wyman’s record data to a production order, such as food safety inspections. This information is then transferred to the Microsoft Dynamics NAV platform and stored for future references. When a customer gets a lot number and requests information on a product, the data can be sent to them electronically.
“This saves us time and helps in faster decision making,” said Hedberg. As a food and beverage business, such streamlined operations are essential to ensure accuracy and stability. During the peak harvest season in August and September, support and implementation consultants from Columbus were able to visit the plants at Wyman’s.
With the plants running 24 hours, they were able to see the manual processes that needed to be automated and were then able to provide a solution to modernize them. By optimizing databases, ColumbusFood was able to break down the walls between siloed applications and unify Wyman’s business processes with better visibility and increased employee productivity.
For example, Wyman’s fresh receiving process is also now integrated with Dynamics NAV, which was formerly handled in an entirely different program.
“Previously, wild blueberries came in the door, they were assigned a lot number from this software and they sat in the building until they made it to the lines to be frozen,” said Hedberg. “After being weighed before being frozen, the quantity of fresh blueberries was a mystery. The only way to tell exactly how many fresh pounds were in the building was to manually add up all of the lot cards on each pallet.”
When that manual process occurred, it typically took 2-4 hours. Now with Dynamics NAV, Wyman’s has real-time inventory visibility. Critical logistics decisions are made based on that visibility. It’s no longer an estimate.
“Related to that, all of those wild blueberries come in the door in boxes that we own,” said Hedberg. “Previously we had no way to track those empty boxes. Through integrating the fresh receiving, we can now assign boxes to people. When the boxes return full, it will subtract the quantity assigned. This is especially useful during the peak time of harvesting, because we have more pounds of wild blueberries than boxes.”
Support when you need it
The Columbus support team was able to increase efficiency and create transparency among Wyman’s sales channels to create a modern and seamless customer experience powered by digital capabilities to strengthen growth.
"The support system is what differentiated Columbus from other vendors. It was the difference maker when we decided to choose Columbus for the reimplementation.."
Hedberg, Wyman's Director of Information Technology
Columbus was able to understand the industry-specific business process of Wyman’s—a fully integrated food vertical module of farming and selling their own products.
The digital transformation journey
Wyman’s is looking forward to adding more visibility into their manufacturing process, from the wild blueberry barrens to packaging and selling. By adopting a digital transformation strategy and aligning it with the Wyman’s business strategy, Columbus is paving the way for boosting innovation and increasing business value. This will enable Wyman’s to hold a competitive advantage in their industry, while staying true to their heritage.