First Milk chooses IFS Applications to help streamline its supply chain

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IFS, the global enterprise applications company, has announced that Britains largest UK- farmer-owned business First Milk, has selected IFS Applications to provide full integration of all critical business processes and optimize production across its cheese division sites nationwide. In a deal worth US $3million, IFS Applications will be deployed in the eight creameries and packing plants over nine months.

IFS Applications will integrate First Milks formerly disjointed business systems and processes, including warehouse management, financials, forecasting and payroll, enabling centralized control of operations and providing a new level of visibility across the entire enterprise and supply chain. Real-time reporting on cheese production, maturation, packaging and dispatch will also enable First Milk to respond with much greater agility to inevitable variations in milk supply and customer demandensuring business performance is consistently at an optimal level.

According to First Milks Group Head of IT Alan Hutchison, IFS was chosen over other ERP providers such as SAP because its solution delivers seamless integration, is easy to use and quick to implement, and demonstrated unmatched functionality during the selection process. In addition, Hutchison said that IFS Applications is best able to handle the unique challenges of the cheese supply chain, especially product lifecycle management.

The central challenge of cheese production is accurately forecasting demand 18 months out from actual delivery to customers, matching this with supply from farmers, and keeping track of the different maturation levels of thousands of tonnes of cheese. In First Milks case this challenge is even greater because most of our customers are major supermarkets, which only provide one days notice for orders. The ability of IFS Applications to handle the companys long-term and short-term production planning requirements within one system was a key reason behind our decision to implement it, said Hutchison.

Commenting on plans for the future, Hutchison said, The plan is to roll out IFS Applications across our milk operations and ingredients divisions as well.

Paul Massey, Managing Director of IFS UK, said, As the UKs largest dairy farmer co-operative, First Milks decision to implement IFS Applications in its cheese division is a powerful endorsement of the solution, and represents a major step in our continued growth in the food industry. We look forward to working with First Milk, assisting it with the ongoing streamlining and integration of its operations, and helping it to continue providing high quality cheese to supermarkets and other retailers around the UK.

The process industry is one of IFS seven targeted markets. IFS provides industry-specific functionality for enterprises in food and beverage, chemicals, pulp and paper, and metals segments. IFS Applications for the food & beverage industry provides support for all critical business processes, including batch balancing, recipe management, quality management, and demand planning supporting domain specific needs like multiple units of measure and catch weight. The application suite includes a complete asset as well as product lifecycle management solution. IFS customers in the food & beverage industry include Pepsi, Iams, V&S Absolut Spirits, Heaven Hill Distilleries Inc, Cloetta-Fazer and Kettle Foods. Other IFS process industry customers include DuPont, Jotun, SICPA, XSYS Print Solutions, Willamette Valley Company, Akzo Nobel, Becker Industrial Coatings, SSAB, Hutmen, Stora Enso, Holmen Paper and SCA Graphics.


About First Milk

First Milk is the largest dairy farmer co-operative in the UK. Its members farms stretch from Central Scotland to the South of England and from West Wales to East Anglia. The business has three divisions: Milk Operations; Cheese; and Ingredients.

Milk Operations handles approximately two billion litres of milk per annum from around 2800 producers. This milk is supplied to First Milk's cheese business and to many of the leading names in the industry.

First Milk Cheese Company is the largest UK-based cheese supplier.

First Milk's Ingredients business supplies a range of customers with milk powder and whey products for functional foods, protein drinks, pro-biotics, pre-biotics, pharmaceutical, bakery and confectionary products.


About IFS and IFS Applications

IFS (OMX STO: IFS), the global enterprise applications company, provides solutions which enable organizations to respond quickly to market changesallowing resources to be used in a more agile way to achieve better business performance and competitive advantage.

IFS was founded in 1983 and now has 2,600 employees worldwide. IFS has pioneered component-based ERP software with IFS Applications, now in its seventh generation. IFS component architecture provides solutions that are easier to implement, run and upgrade. IFS Applications is available in 54 countries in 22 languages.

IFS has over 600,000 users across seven key vertical sectors: aerospace & defense; automotive; high-tech; industrial manufacturing; process industries; construction, contracting & service management and utilities & telecom. IFS Applications provides extended ERP functionality including customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM), product lifecycle management (PLM), corporate performance management (CPM), enterprise asset management (EAM) and maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) capabilities.

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