The big picture for agri-food manufacturers

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Food manufacturing ecosystem (900 x 600 px)

In the beginning 

When we started working with manufacturers in the agri-commodity sector more than 20 years ago, we quickly learned about their challenges in satisfying customers, managing risk and maximising profits. Their reliance on commodities, with quality and quantity affected by seasonal patterns and shifting weather conditions, put unique pressures on production planning. Storage requirements dictated by food perishability called for flexible logistics solutions. Divisions across the organisation – including trading, accounts and production – needed better visibility on contract positions. 

Our solution 

Armed with this knowledge, we built our own Commodity Trade Resource Management (CTRM) solution for agri-manufacturers, leveraging Microsoft’s business applications platform to manage financial, contract, logistics and storage processes, providing immediate visibility of inventory on hand and contract positions. The solution has been implemented around the world for clients as diverse as Graincorp Malt, AGT Food & Ingredients and Copenhagen Merchants. It’s garnered high praise from customers and earned Microsoft certification. But we haven’t stopped there. 

What now 

Just as manufacturing needs have evolved, so has the technology available to the commodity manufacturing sector. We’ve changed too, joining the Sonata Software group, and adopting the Platformation™ approach to solution building. 

Now we take a broad view, looking for opportunities to gain greater visibility and certainty across the entire supply chain. Now we’re helping clients reimagine their linear value chain into a connected, sustainable, digital ecosystem. 

Graphical depiction of agri ecosystem


Intelligent agriculture - Increased insights into farm operations and productivity 

Operational transformation - Commodities Trading and Risk Management (CTRM) for buyers and sellers with data driven solutions 

Predictive and sustainable supply chain - Intelligent distribution, warehousing and logistics 

These ecosystems are unique to every organization and could involve discreet, internal departments or even external services. As an enterprise adapts to meet new challenges and take advantage of as-yet unknown opportunities, there will be a blurring of external and internal boundaries. More specialised ecosystems of interest will emerge. The ability to scale quickly through shared data platforms will be critical to a sustained future in the agri-manufacturing sector. 

The future is here 

Every enterprise is different and the opportunities for building open, connected, scalable and intelligent systems will depend on their unique needs and business demands. But already there are proven pathways to unlocking value in the agri-manufacturing sector: 

  • Build intelligent data platforms at the enterprise level, using machine learning and artificial intelligence to gain insights into customers, products and inventory 
  • Integrate data platforms into enterprise resource planning systems, including contract management, logistics, risk and finances 
  • Connect enterprise platforms using APIs and microservices to an industry-wide smart farming platform 

Every manufacturer in the agri-commodity sector should be mapping their way to a digitised future. Baby steps are possible, but manufacturers must take a big picture approach.

Connect with one of our agri-industry experts to learn more:

Phone: +61 7 3851 7300