Groundwork for Growth

Massel, a family owned local company holding a growing 31 percent share of the Australian food flavoring market, has implemented mySAP All-in-One to boost its competitiveness on the global market. The decision to install the midmarket business solution was extremely critical to the business, according to its General Manager Michael Caine. “The major goal of the company is to compete globally with an international approach to taste and the all-vegetable nature of most of our products. A good manufacturing control system and supply chain management is essential for keeping our operation efficient if we are to stay competitive,” said Caine.
Massel’s total product portfolio including Australia’s number one stock cube, Ultracube, continues to be among the most innovative worldwide, with features like no added MSG and gluten-free and lactose-free products. Efficiencies and flexibility were not possible with the existing system that had grown too inflexible and expensive to maintain. The old system was not able to cope with Massel’s rapid growth rate. “We used Scala for about five years. It was a good system with which to make the transition from a small volume to a medium volume manufacturer, but after that had been accomplished we found that the system could not grow with us any more,” Caine said.
Massel needed advanced, yet accessible reporting facilities to maintain and control multiple locations, warehouses and plants. The fastest growing manufacturer for these types of products and the only Australian player on the market, Massel is also an exporter and has recently opened a new office in the US.

Adapting to growth

Controlling growth has never been a problem before. However, the company was having difficulty keeping up with demand overseas and in Australia and its efficiency was in danger of slipping, as the old system was essentially a computerized version of a manual system. Massel began looking for another solution in May 2001, investigating a lot of different systems in the selection process and making many considerations. “Our chosen system had to be modular, scalable, with the ability to grow with us and yet be flexible enough to be shaped to suit our particular needs – both in the manufacturing department and in the rest of its components and general business system,” Caine said.
“Another consideration was obviously cost – not just purchase price, but hardware upgrades and implementation time and cost.” SAP provided Massel with a leading-edge integrated solution that included manufacturing, planning, forecasting, human resources and CRM capabilities. The new system also ensured a smooth data migration from Massel’s legacy systems. Ongoing consultation and training during the implementation provided Massel with a high-performance system that it could operate and support without external assistance. “Several of Massel’s customers use SAP so the new system is critical for service delivery, especially in terms of manufacturing the right product at the right time and at the right quality and then shipping it to the right customer on time, every time,” said Caine.
In the manufacturing area, the SAP technology allows Massel to plan its supply chain and manufacturing processes with much greater precision than it could with the previous system. “We are leaner and more efficient than ever before, and this is bringing us real results in terms of actually getting more product out the door than was previously possible,” Caine said. “Also our quality system is now starting to be closely integrated with our manufacturing system, thereby reducing the possibility of quality issues. And when something does occur we have increased ability to pick up on it and handle it before it becomes a real issue.”
In other business areas, Massel is still working towards achieving substantial benefits from items such as business and operational reports. “Right now we have about the same functionality as with our previous system, but we know that when this work is finished we will have much more than we ever could have before,” Caine said. “We are discovering new things all the time with SAP. There are still a lot of areas that we haven’t utilized yet, but we plan to get there in the future.”