A fully-integrated, sustainable fishery products organisation
The Canadian Fishing Company (Canfisco) has sustainably harvested wild fish from the coastal waters of the Pacific Northwest for over 110 years. The company operates the largest fishing fleet in British Columbia, over 850 vessels, that every year lands over 100 million pounds of mostly salmon, herring, rockfish, halibut and hake. Landed fish is supplied to the company’s nine processing plants located on the pacific coast in Richmond, Prince Rupert, Greater Vancouver, and Alaska.
What Canfisco Says
"Emydex spoke our language, much more than Microsoft… they understood our industry and our business. The (Emydex) system is friendlier, easier to use, intuitive and when the warehouse guys saw it they gave us their blessing so the decision to run with it was a no-brainer in the end. It has replaced very old legacy systems that weren’t integrated and left us very exposed to risk. The result is a solution that’s much more efficient and customisable so that we can add functionality as people have requested it.
The Emydex team were great – very responsive and easy to work with, despite the time difference… very professional and they really know their business. I’m looking forward to Emydex expanding further into our other processes, cold storage, our warehouses and beyond"
Mark Cornell, Senior Vice President
Canfisco has grown both organically and through acquisition. As each new acquisition was moved into the Delta Pacific Seafood location, the software and processes were not consolidated into a single integrated process or software application. This left Canfisco with six different major applications and many Excel applications to compensate for the different systems at work throughout the group.
“Company acquisitions had left us with a patchwork quilt of components and old systems that were handling all of our processing.”
John Capling, Project Manager, Canfisco
However, the greatest risk to the business came from the out-of-date applications running on an over 25-year old Unix platform with limited hardware support. This environment left a very disjointed operation that only worked due to the efforts of staff acting as the glue to keep everything working together. Before Emydex came on board, Canfisco had at least five BOM process, four box labelling process and three separate financial applications in place in the organization.
Canfisco needed a new IT system that could provide a single source of the truth for the organization, providing improved visibility and measurement throughout the business, streamlining administration and, ultimately, improving the performance of the company.
The consensus within the various departments and plants was that any new software solution should be able to replicate what they were already doing, process-wise, i.e. it should keep the good things that worked well and with which everyone was familiar. To this, we should add some magic in the form of some low-hanging savings improvements, whilst at the same time providing the foundation for a software system that can grow into a more advanced solution over time.
Key to the success of this project was to ensure it would be a gentle evolution and not a revolution. Keeping staff at all levels throughout the operation happy was very important and Emydex was careful to tread lightly. The most obvious improvement has been the elimination of the major risk of running the business on antiquated unsupported Data General (DG) Unix equipment. While there are a few minor applications still on the Unix platform, the team is working to quickly migrate them in the next phase.
Phase one has been completed but already administration efficiency has improved, as expected, thanks to reduced duplication of entry into multi applications and processes. Time consuming consolidation has been reduced and as other fish species are migrated to the new system in upcoming phases, staff will see all of the improvements fall into place.
There is now better traceability of fish from catch, through processing, to the end sale. Operational performance has improved too due to reporting on giveaway and production yields (with a potential of 2% improvement in raw material utilization) and, of course, Emydex has provided the foundation to build the operational performance measurements over time.
Interestingly, most of the implementation was done remotely which saved costs for the client and also worked out perfectly as the Covid-19 pandemic struck right in the middle of the project and had little effect on our timelines.
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