The COMPANY - worldwide manufacturer and processor for agribusiness
Nutra-Flo is a recognized, worldwide manufacturer and processor of innovative, safe, and healthy products for agribusiness. Their products help farmers to achieve better crop yields and feed vendors to produce nutritious and economical food for farm animals and pets. Eric L. Lohry the president and a lifelong employee of Nutra-Flo, has seen many changes and challenges in this business. One of them has been how to control their costs, both capital expenditures and operational costs, as they expand and improve their business processes.
They do all the manufacturing and processing for protein and biotech products in the U.S. Midwest. In order to meet the increasing demand for their products, they must open new processing plants and improve existing ones. Their plants, predominantly automated, normally operate 24/7, close to 365 days a year. To ensure safety and efficiency, they periodically do what’s known in the industry as a plant “shut down”, wherein they close the plant for 90 hours for equipment review, process review, maintenance and cleaning to improve plant operations.
The CHALLENGE - keep projects, resources and costs in check
They needed a solution to help manage this complex project and keep resource allocations and costs in check. In the past, they had relied on word documents, email, and spreadsheets, trying to keep on top of and share the massive amounts of information across all members of the team. "It was becoming next to impossible. One shutdown could cost us $150K due to delays and poor planning...Until we purchased Genius Project 4 Domino, V 5.0."
The SOLUTION - Genius Project requires no additional hardware or software investment
"One aspect that we like about the Genius solution is the ease and low cost of deployment. I was actually able to set up the system on my own client in an hour without any help from IT. That’s pretty unusual. They quickly set it up for all departments members. And because it runs right on existing Domino mail servers, additional servers weren’t required. We had been searching for project management solutions for several months and evaluated several. We even set up a controlled test of another web based solution. In order to run that solution, we had to purchase a dedicated server, Oracle DB software running on Linux plus the Oracle licenses, and we had to spend a lot of time configuring things to support single sign-on. It was both expensive, time consuming, and complicated to set up. Genius’ prices were very reasonable and required no additional hardware or software investment."
The RESULTS - collaboration between all team members
Genius Project has allowed them to have one location to develop and store all of their project related material – project plan with milestones, timelines and deliverables; resource allocation; project cost and risk assessment; and reports. And all members of the team can access it and, more importantly, they can see how their work affects other team members and the project as a whole. "We never had that before; welders and electricians were bumping into each other because they couldn’t tell how their work affected the others!"
"We recently ran another plant ’shutdown’ which went incredibly well, thanks to the Genius solution. The project ran smoothly, on time, and on budget. We improved plant capacity by 20%.
Additionally, because Genius Project was designed on Domino, it allows them to use either Notes based clients or the Web to access data. They do a lot of business in China where internet access is often very unreliable. The fact that Mr. Lohry can replicate this project material in Genius from the Notes client on his laptop is incredibly valuable when doing business there.
In addition, they are in a joint development partnership with a Korean based company to develop fermented soy products. They are also using the Genius system to work with Nutra-Flo and it works great!
The FUTURE - global expansion to all departments
They have also expanded the use of Genius Project into two other areas of business: Marketing and Health and Safety departments. Now, the Nutra-Flo Director of worldwide Marketing (who is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota) can easily see what product development plans the product teams have input and develop his launch and marketing plans remotely. The Safety Auditing team uses Genius Project to manage process safety audits (OSHA requires periodic audits of internal processes) which helps them to stay in compliance. "We plan to roll it out enterprise- wide by the end of the year, starting with our executive team."
"We have been very happy with Genius Project’s responsiveness and support. They have been extremely helpful to us throughout our deployment. We feel this is a truly great solution for companies looking for collaborative, in depth, analytical project management tools", says Eric J. Lohry.