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£600,000 Software Investment Freshens Up the Branston Production System

Branston LogoBranston Ltd has announced a £600,000 investment in new software across its three UK sites, which will provide even greater working efficiencies.

The company, which is the UK’s leading supplier of potatoes, is to introduce LINKFresh® 2 at its sites in Lincolnshire, Somerset and Scotland.

Developed by Anglia Business Solutions, the LINKFresh 2 package will be configured to suit Branston’s lean manufacturing processes – the Branston Production System. It will provide a user-friendly interface to enable the company to collect, analyse and report on data from across all departments and sites in greater detail than ever before.

The Branston LINKFresh 2 solution will provide broad coverage to all of the major functions of the business. This includes agronomy, forecasting, EDI orders, planning, scheduling, intake, quality control, production, pick and despatch, label checking, invoicing and core financials. The system integrates specialist modules for capturing information within the factories using rugged touch screen terminals. It also uses state of the art mobile applications for activities such as managing intake, despatch and quality control.

“Five years ago we introduced LINKFresh to handle the finance and order processing aspects of our business and it had a significant and beneficial impact,” says Nick Turnbull, Technical Director at Branston. “Since then our turnover has increased considerably, the number of people in our team has doubled and the production process has become increasingly sophisticated. Technology has also moved at an incredible rate and the launch of LINKFresh 2 takes advantage of developments that were not available when the first system was installed.

“LINKFresh 2 will be installed at our Lincoln site first and a team of three will spend several months with us making sure the programme fits our processes perfectly. Once installed we will have an extremely quick and incredibly detailed way of capturing, analysing and processing data from all areas of our business, which will give us a much richer understanding of our operation. This information will inform and expedite business-critical decisions. We anticipate that once installed we will benefit from further efficiency, reduced waste, greater agility, improved financial and operational reporting and customer service. This will provide Branston with an information platform designed to support future growth”

The installation of the new software has meant one Branston employee, Charlie Flack, has taken on a new role.

Charlie (32) has been given the role of IT Project Co-ordinator, with responsibility for integrating the new software into Branston’s processes and procedures as smoothly as possible. As such Charlie will liaise with both Anglia’s implementation team and the Branston team.

“Charlie joined us in 2000 as a Production Operative and has worked his way up the ranks. In his most recent role of Process Improvement Engineer he demonstrated a real understanding and appreciation of our production processes. He also has a strong aptitude for information technology, which means he’s ideally suited for this new challenge,” said Nick.

LINKFresh 2 replaces the original LINKFresh system which was designed, built and installed by Anglia five years ago.

“We are very pleased that Branston has chosen to implement the LINKFresh 2 product across its expanded operations. Branston’s vision and long-term investments have made them one of the UK’s leading suppliers of potatoes. Microsoft’s significant investment in the Dynamics NAV platform has enabled the continued development of the LINKFresh suite to set new standards for the industry. Taking advantage of the leading edge technology within LINKFresh 2 will enable the company to harness real time operational and financial information as a powerful aid to efficiency. The resulting solution will assist them in fully realising their impressive commercial potential in a rapidly consolidating sector”, said David Hurley, Managing Director.

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