Case Study | Seeka
(kiwifruit supply company)


CHALLENGE Seeka needed to reduce costs by rationalising the number of manual processes. They also needed an integrated system that would accommodate the two parts to the business: Operations and Leasing.

SOLUTION Greentree’s integrated modular solution.

RESULTS Administration costs have reduced due to automation and integration with two direct outcomes: re-deployment of staff to more progressive tasks in other areas, and huge savings in time.

Seeka is New Zealand’s largest supplier of kiwifruit to Zespri, New Zealand’s largest exporter of kiwifruit. In fact, Seeka supplied about 28 per cent of New Zealand’s total kiwifruit production last year, most of which is exported to Japan and Europe. The business has two parts: Operations and Leasing.

The Operations side undertakes logistics/pick/pack & store whilst the Leasing side leases about 1200 hectares of land from kiwifruit orchardists who enter into a lease and profit share arrangement with Seeka. All this adds up to a reasonably complex and large-scale, multi-faceted operation which got bigger with the acquisition of a group of new companies, along with staff and systems.

What Seeka needed was a single integrated system with significant Job Costing capabilities to cost and on-charge orchard costs. Other priorities included the need to reduce administrative costs by eliminating manual processes, along with improved financial reporting to better inform management.

After reviewing and eliminating other similarly positioned midmarket systems Greentree, along with a local implementation partner, was selected as the ‘right for the job’.

Seeka provides a range of managed ‘on-orchard’ services to growers including leased and managed contracts. This is where Seeka relies heavily on Greentree’s Job Costing capability.

Job Costing and Invoicing effectively integrate to provide charge-back to growers, and the more accurate the costing of jobs and services, the more able Seeka is to manage orchard costs. Discussion ensued around the complexities of churning out hundreds of weekly invoices to hundreds of debtors/ growers within a unique set of business rules.

“Greentree has simplified the whole process, since Seeka staff can define the rules for invoicing, which has significantly reduced the error rate,” says Group Management Accountant Rose-Anna Feist.

A couple of big gains for Seeka have been the power of Excel reporting and never again needing to prepare financial reports manually. In fact, the automation of most administrative tasks has not only saved truckloads of time and reduced costs; it’s also enabled Seeka to provide staff with new and extended responsibilities. Rose-Anna enthusiastically espouses the benefits of Excel reporting, which as far as she’s concerned delivers “million times better reports” than the old system, and the integration of all Greentree modules “just works”.

Seeka has achieved what they set out to, and Rose-Anna is convinced that there is lots more they could be doing with Greentree and that the capability and capacity of Greentree will enable Seeka to continue growing well into the future.

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