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First Milk: Indentifies Milk Management Improvements

First Milk, a wholly British farmer-owned dairy co-operative, has c.800 farmer members and produces award-winning cheddar, regional cheeses and dairy ingredients and markets fresh milk through collaborative milk sourcing and supply chain management services.

Davies & Robson successfully completed a process redesign project with First Milk and were subsequently retained to support the implementation of the new Milk Management System (MMS).

The company has implemented a series of improvements in recent years as part of its company-wide strategy to use technology to work smarter, including an upgrade of its ERP system and development of a comprehensive mobile app for members.

Davies & Robson undertook a detailed review of all administrative processes relating to collection, testing and distribution of milk produced by their farmers and milk payments to those members; supply of milk to third-party customers and First Milk’s own creameries; and coordination of transport optimising activities and brokerage activities. The objective was to document the current state and design a future state to promote process efficiency and optimal use of technology to work smarter, not harder.  The process redesign would then inform a requirements specification for the selection of a new MMS.

More than 100 processes were reviewed and redesigned, identifying opportunities to retire one bespoke system and semi- or fully automate c.50 offline activities within a comprehensive Milk Management System.

First Milk opted to conduct this process redesign prior to launching a competitive tender, which was a commendable approach, to focus on their requirements and not be constrained by known system capabilities / limitations.

The resultant professional tender for a new Milk Management System included detailed functional requirements and business process descriptions, informed by the process review and redesign. This attracted a high standard of proposals, that were scrutinised through careful evaluation and proof of concept, from which a system that could meet all of First Milk’s requirements, out of the box, was selected.

First Milk retained Davies & Robson to coordinate the transition to the new system.

"Davies & Robson capably documented a wide variety of business processes and – by combining the views of process owners with process improvement principles and knowledge of best-in-class supply chain operations systems – we have a future state vision that will transform how First Milk will work in the future. We are confident that the subsequent MMS supplier selection process identified the best solution for First Milk and that the new system can fully support the improvements we will deliver for the benefit of our members, colleagues, customers, and partners".

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