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Geoffrey Kimani
2021-01-04 09:57:02
Way to go, farmers, choice. The future is technology.

Farmers Choice Boost Quality & Productivity With Azure

Farmers Choice sausages have an exquisitely unmatched reputation in the market, including the diaspora. So when they embraced Microsoft...

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Farmers Choice Boost Quality & Productivity With Azure
Farmer’s Choice fare is known for it’s inimitable flavour.

Farmers Choice sausages have an exquisitely unmatched reputation in the market, including the diaspora. So when they embraced Microsoft Azure for even more excellence, it was worth writing home about.

“Customers are our priority, and we owe them quality excellence,” says Flora Kinuthia, CIO of Farmer’s Choice, underlining the company’s central values. “We need to ensure that we stay efficient in terms of pricing, wastage, and the use of products in the factory. That makes food traceability especially important to us.” The coordination of all activities in Microsoft cloud solutions – Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Azure – gives the company unmatched visibility over the entire life cycle of meat production, allowing it to respond to supply and demand changes proactively.

The value of real-time data

“Everything starts from the initial data capture on the farms,” says Eric Muga, Senior Database Administrator at Farmer’s Choice. “We have IoT readers that capture data to use with Dynamics 365 Business Central.” The cloud-based solution streamlines the information flow between all departments, making vital data accessible to all users. “The procurement management needs to see what is happening on the farms. And the farm management system is completely outside of where we are seated,” Kinuthia explains. “So, everybody connects to a central location to upload the captured data and work with it.”

The company’s tech stack also includes automation, which runs on Azure and minimises human error. “Previously, a person would weigh animals and write down the scores manually. This could lead to missing weights or incorrect data that jeopardised decision-making,” says Muga. “Now, we capture data directly from the main scale, without human intervention, in real-time and with virtually no errors.”

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Joining traceability with quality

Accurate tracking and recordkeeping also benefit suppliers, who can keep pace with fluctuating inventory levels to match customer expectations. “We can move fast through operations, updating the system in real-time. We give our salespeople mobile devices so they can take orders and communicate to customers what products are available on the floor,” says Annie Mugumo, Management Accountant at Farmer’s Choice. “This leads to happier customers.”

From a financial perspective, the cloud-based infrastructure generates significant savings. “There have been some running costs in our IT department, like server maintenance or storage. These are now things of the past,” Kinuthia observes.

Seeking further enhancements, Farmer’s Choice is looking to incorporate Microsoft Power Apps, specifically AI Builder, into the sales invoicing process. “Currently, customers send orders in various formats, and someone has to type them into the ERP then assemble and dispatch them, which is both time-consuming and error-prone,” reveals Muga. “So, we’re exploring an AI solution that can capture customer orders and automatically sync them into Business Central to be processed.”

With Microsoft cloud solutions, Farmer’s Choice can remain focused on sustainability and efficiency as it looks toward the future. “There have been some running costs in our IT department, like server maintenance or storage. These are now things of the past,” she concluded.

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