TUCKER, GA – “As capital dollars get more strained, there is more accountability. Thus, IT leaders have to have credibility. We have to give confidence that we are just as concerned about expenses and measuring projected cost savings as the management team,” said Ron Wells, Chief Information Officer at Butterball. He was speaking to information technology professionals from throughout the poultry industry who gathered at the 2012 Information Systems Seminar in Nashville, TN. The annual conference is sponsored by U.S. Poultry & Egg Association.
As part of an open forum discussion on cost savings, Wells shared his experiences in implementing cost savings initiatives at Butterball. He remarked that his IT department is constantly challenged to do more with less and that cost savings is not always about head cut reduction. Wells went on to discuss “vendor sprawl” or “extending the scope” and mentioned that Butterball had reduced its licensing agreements by 23% as a result of “coat tailing” on its association with other Butterball companies.
Randy Friesen, Manager of Production and Research for BC Egg Marketing Board, described his co-op’s use of the IBM TM1 system as part of the Cost Savings Initiatives topic. The BC Egg Marketing Board’s old DOS-based system required a two week reporting cycle. With the IBM TM1 system, the BC Egg Marketing Board has been able to reduce its personnel and recognize other cost savings. They have also been able to provide feedback and push data back out to its 137 independent egg producers in a matter of minutes, as well as create a dashboard for its Board of Directors. From a food safety standpoint, the TM1 system has allowed BC Egg Marketing Board to have traceability down to the individual egg.
In his presentation on New Technology in Worker Safety, Sim Harbert of Georgia Tech Research Institute described the advancements being made in ergonomic assessment systems. Harbert observed that future systems would incorporate exercises through the use of Wii Fit and a laptop, as well as using smart phones to record data from modules. He remarked that the idea is to make the systems easy to use, while not requiring a technician to put the device on a person.
The seminar also featured other IT sessions including, What’s New in the IT Industry; Industry IT Experiences…Pros and Cons; A Network Infrastructure Panel: Connecting Remote Locations; E-Discovery…An Attorney’s Perspective; Vendor Solutions; and a series of open forums on mobile devices.
U.S. Poultry & Egg Association is an all-feather organization representing the complete spectrum of today’s poultry industry, with a focus on progressively serving member companies through research, education, communication, and technical assistance. Founded in 1947, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association is based in Tucker, GA.
Ron Wells, Chief Information Officer at Butterball, and Randy Friesen, Manager of Production and Research for BC Egg Marketing Board, presenters at the USPOULTRY 2012 Information Systems Seminar in Nashville, TN.