A bespoke IT solution from specialist provider CSB-System is enabling one of Europe’s leading meat suppliers to effectively control its entire operation, ensuring valuable structure, transparency and efficiency.

The Sopraco Group supplies custom meat – veal, beef, pork, goat, game, and poultry – for mass distribution, chain stores, butchers’ shops, and the foodservice sector throughout Europe. The wide choice of products includes portioned, fresh, frozen, processed, and cooked meats.

The company’s fully vertically integrated operation covers the entire process – livestock farming, production of appropriate feeds, slaughterhouse, meat distribution and processing, and logistics – with specialist businesses focusing on different areas.

The major benefit of this integrated approach is that it enables Sopraco to respond quickly to market developments and consumer trends. At the same time, this requires an efficient IT system to manage the process.

Initially, the IT software to control operations was developed in house, with data input, weighing and labelling all carried out manually. However, as the company grew and developed, the IT system became inefficient, slowing down production and creating a ‘spaghetti-like’ complicated network of interfaces.

The CSB solution provides complete visibility throughout, thanks to real-time product registration and monitoring that cover all areas – livestock, slaughtering, purchasing, receiving, production, QC processes, storage, picking and delivery. On the production floor, data is captured in real time using interfaced scales and the specialist CSB-Racks.

This approach offers numerous benefits. Sopraco now has a standard system that ensures best practice, fast implementation, and a single process across all its factories. Equally important, the company has full traceability throughout all its operations, and the system is easily scalable as the business grows or to meet the needs of a particular customer or at one location.

“For Sopraco, CSB has an ERP system with all the know-how for the meat industry as standard,” comments Mark Ameloot, Director ICT & Technology at the Sopraco Group. “This makes us able to optimise and automate our processes to their maximum capacity.”

Although a universal system for the company, every factory has its own physical installation. This ensures each business can respond quickly and flexibly to meet its particular requirements, while maintaining synergy with the rest of the group that supports the continued growth of the entire business.

Each operation also benefits from CSB’s in-house consultants who have knowledge not only of the software but also the markets Sopraco serves and who can therefore provide support and advice on daily operations.

“One of the major gains for us is the knowledge and best practices with which the CSB consultants are able to provide us,” confirms Mark Ameloot. “A lot of steps which had to be done manually are now done automatically. This enables us to quickly respond to our customers’ wishes and provide them with correct and detailed information.”

The adaptability of the CSB solution also means it is now being implemented in companies in France which were recently acquired by Sopraco. Future plans include the introduction of the latest version of CSB 6.2 into all operations, to ensure the company keeps up to date with all the latest developments and advances.

“After these implementations we will take a new look at our processes for further optimisation based on the new developments and insights we have gained after working with CSB for decades,” concludes Mark Ameloot.