Assortment of thin-skinned potato cultivars on display at a farmers market in mid June, northern Illinois, USA

A.S. WILCOX

MYOB Greentree adds big value for produce grower

CHALLENGE Database calculations were slow with too much manual labour and too much paperwork.
SOLUTION MYOB Greentree with eDocs AP Automation
RESULTS With MYOB Greentree, data errors are greatly reduced. The integration with Excel streamlines reporting and data is easy to extract and manipulate. 
AS WILCOX

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A.S. Wilcox is a family-owned business, growing potatoes, carrots and onions in four locations around New Zealand, for the local market and for export. Its MYOB Greentree system, implemented by Verde, fills its special tracking and reporting requirements, while the addition of eDocs has brought major savings in time and paperwork.

PROBLEM SPECIALISED TRACKING AND REPORTING NEEDS

A.S. Wilcox employs about 190 full-time staff.

“We’re one of the biggest producers of potatoes, onions and carrots in New Zealand,” says CFO, Bruce Rowe.  Consumers buying habits have changed over the years from buying bulk potato bags to smaller more specialised potato packs that meet both their cooking and taste preferences.

Potatoes are A.S. Wilcox’s biggest produce line and it markets them in a wide variety of pack sizes,  cooking types and taste preferences. The orders are processed in two large packing sheds located in the North and South islands. Swift processing and accurate order tracking are essential.

“When we get an order it’s generally got to be out the door within 24 or even 12 hours, and the orders are generally quite large,” Bruce explains.

With a need for detailed batch tracking, and complex grower payment calculations, A.S. Wilcox gave the job to Greentree ERP.

SOLUTION TREES DELIVER EASILY MANAGEABLE INFORMATION

A.S. Wilcox is a long-time user of Greentree, and Bruce admits there’s still a lot more it could do with the system. When he joined the company, Greentree was being used purely for financial management.

“We used to do all of our sales reporting and grower payments outside of Greentree in an Access database, so I focused on making sure we could get all of that with the use of Greentree,” he says.

The Access database required a lot of manual work and reconciliation to ensure the integrity of the data that was being imported into the ERP system. Capturing the data in Greentree enabled Wilcox to greatly streamline the process, using the system’s transaction trees to handle all the company’s GL and sales reporting.

“We make extensive use of the trees,” Bruce says. “We report by customer group and product group. Each customer links into different trees and we also define the different products we sell by certain trees and classifications. We also use them to do our grower payment calculations.

“The trees give you a lot of flexibility and they’re quite user-friendly. You can change them yourself without having to pay a developer to do it.”

Fresh raw carrots on black slate with complete stems

OUTCOME REPORTING SIMPLIFIED, PAPERWORK SLASHED

A key Greentree benefit for A.S. Wilcox is its ease of integration with Excel, where all the financial reporting is managed. A.S. Wilcox’s varying business cycles bear no relation to the standard financial year. Excel enables the company to create its own business cycles, and moving the data from Greentree into Excel is a quick and simple task.

“Being able to change the variables easily and then extract that data has been very valuable,” says Bruce. “Greentree’s flexibility has delivered significant gains for us. For example, if we decide to re-classify something by changing its tree, Greentree also moves all the historical information, so we can look at the impacts of changing that classification.

“Errors in data entry are greatly reduced, and having everything linked with all the draw-down capabilities within the one system is also a major benefit.”

The addition of eDocs has delivered even greater efficiency, with AP paperwork virtually eliminated.

“The driver for the change was to get rid of paper and have an electronic approval system so we can enforce our approval hierarchy,” Bruce says. “Time-wise, getting rid of the paper has been a massive achievement. We were just chasing paper all over the show and you couldn’t enter an invoice unless you had the coding. Now we have a register of invoices, which makes them a lot easier to track.”

A.S. Wilcox also adopted Greentree’s Workflow desktops, enabling easier tracking of sales orders. Some special tweaking by Verde enabled that all-important batch tracking, and the two companies have had a fruitful long-term relationship.

“We’ve always found Verde very approachable,” Bruce says. “They always have the time and capacity to listen to our needs. They were very good when we were moving our grower payment system across to Greentree and helping to set up eDocs.”

“We have been working with A.S. Wilcox for over a decade,” says Penny Boland, Verde’s CEO. “In that time they have grown substantially and for Verde it is important to work closely with our customers to help them future-proof their business. We continue working with Wilcox and are committed to ensuring that they are optimised for future growth.

“Their story is a true testament to the scalability of Greentree.”

“I’ve come from a background of systems like Oracle and SAP, and when I came to Wilcox and saw Greentree, what really appealed to me was its relative simplicity,” Bruce concludes. “It made reporting and getting information via Excel easy and the cost difference from those other ERP systems is massive.

“Greentree delivers the sort of efficiency that any business today wants in an ERP system, at a cost-effective price.”

ABOUT A.S. WILCOX

The Wilcox Group of Companies is involved with growing, packing and distributing fresh produce throughout New Zealand with facilities at Pukekohe, Ohakune, Levin and the Waikato in the North Island, and Rakaia in the South Island. Companies within the group are privately owned by the Wilcox family, who have been associated with vegetable growing since the early 1930s. They manage a production base of 2,500 acres with 110 permanent staff.Their large growing and packing capacity and specialised marketing skills mean Wilcox can deliver and maintain a guaranteed sustainable supply to retail sectors throughout New Zealand and sustain a significant export demand.

For more information visit A.S. Wilcox

The Wilcox Group of Companies is involved with growing, packing and distributing fresh produce throughout New Zealand with facilities at Pukekohe, Ohakune, Levin and the Waikato in the North Island, and Rakaia in the South Island. Companies within the group are privately owned by the Wilcox family, who have been associated with vegetable growing since the early 1930s. They manage a production base of 2,500 acres with 110 permanent staff.Their large growing and packing capacity and specialised marketing skills mean Wilcox can deliver and maintain a guaranteed sustainable supply to retail sectors throughout New Zealand and sustain a significant export demand.

For more information visit A.S. Wilcox

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