Case Study: Streamlining Operations to Support Growth and Gain Competitive Advantage
Ellis Huntsinger founded Huntsinger Farms, Inc. and its subsidiary Silver Spring Foods, Inc. (SSF) in 1929 when he started growing horseradish and other vegetable crops on a few acres of land near a fresh water spring south of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Huntsinger Farms now grows horseradish in a five to seven year rotation with corn, soybeans, snap beans and other forage crops on over 9,000 acres of prime Wisconsin and Minnesota farmland. Silver Spring horseradish is the number one retail brand in the United States.
The world has changed a lot since 1929 and so has the way Silver Spring Foods runs its business. SSF recognized that their current Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) system could not handle their current business requirements and would be unable to evolve as the company continued to grow. While the incumbent system was initially presented to SSF as an ERP module designed for the food manufacturing industry, the company quickly realized that it required custom programming for functionality, which was excessively expensive and complicated. The system was slow and inflexible, and complex procedures were required to accomplish basic, everyday tasks. The standard built-in functionalities were minimal, thus investments in additional functionality, such as internal reporting, were required to keep the business running.