Custom ERP and Production Management System

Agriculture production management system for effective planning, operations and order management.

Industry
Custom Software Development
Technology
Python, Django, Angular, AWS, Docker, Terraform, Kubernetes
Responsibilities
Backend development Frontend development DevOps
Project duration
2016-2017 (ongoing maintenance)
Interested?

Project overview

Production management apps are the crucial system for every company, but it was a core business essential for our client. Within the project we were asked to redesign the application and unify different systems that were used before. The aim of the project was to improve orders management for clients and production management for the sales team.

Project highlights

workshop

Discovery workshop

team

3 Team members

number of commits

2K Commits

duration time icon

9 months Project duration

order icon

60K Orders

fertilizer icon

150K tons of fertilizers per year

customers icon

1.5K customers

factories icon

5 factories across US

Project scope

Discovery workshop

We started our cooperation with a Discovery Workshop to define the vision for the management app and confront our client’s expectations, adding our recommendations. This resulted in a low fidelity wireframes of the app, project estimation, and the complete documentation. The project was ready to enter the next phase: the development.

Application development

The aim of this project was to build app which is stable and meets high performance test thresholds. The development phase lasted 9 months and covered crucial features: order management, inventory control, per customer rate pricing system and integration with the central accounting system (AS400).

Software maintance

For our client we provide ongoing infrastructure management. We resolve security bugs in the product, keep the operating system current with security patches and update your infrastructure for changing needs.

Challenges

Willard Agri-Service had been using a 15-year-old custom Visual Basic application and a 10-year-old PHP application to manage their sales orders and fertilizer production in their five factories (orders are sent to factories, which produce customized fertilizer on demand).

The main purpose of the project was to redesign the software applications improving the way Willard’s products are ordered and how sales orders are sent to factories.

Key features

team

Sales team system module

The sales team is now able to manage Willard’s business contracts more effectively compared to the previous version of the app, as well as create new orders on behalf of customers and send them to the factory.

pricing system

Per user customer pricing system

The online software app includes a pricing rate module, which is available to all Willard customers and business partners. Depending on what additional ingredients and proportions are required, a final price is fixed. The customer can receive an invoice in their inbox as well as track payment status.

order module

Order verification module

The system is able to verify the ingredient proportions for each ordered product, ensuring that the mixing occurs correctly in the factory. The system can also monitor the status of materials available in the warehouse, informing if an order cannot be realized because of lack of materials.

mode integration

Mode integration feature

The app is integrated with all four factories, allowing both sales and production management teams to manage customer orders effectively and send product specifications to automated machines in factories to produce customized products for end users. Employees are only involved at the order verification stage, to ensure that all ingredients and their proportions are correct.

inventory

Inventory control system

The app can monitor stock levels with the individual ingredients carefully in Willard’s warehouse. The management system provides a single source of real-time business info, guaranteeing that ordered products are manufactured using the precise quantity of materials. An additional benefit is the ability to maintain one centralized inventory system, allowing greater transparency in relationships with suppliers, vendors and business partners.

report module

Business Intelligent report module

The app also consists of a report module where Willard can verify different production rates and parameters including inventories and historical data. The system handles systematic collection, evaluation, processing and presentation of all available business data obtained the company value chain. The tool can be used to prepare data for analysis, develop and run queries, as well as customized dashboards and data visualization.

How does it work?

The core of the system is Backend with SQL database that is deployed on Kubernetes cluster on AWS. Through the frontend app, it allows Sales Reps to place orders and Plant Managers to create production tickets from orders.

Bridge is a windows daemon that is able to configure a fertilizer mixer using EtherNet/CIP protocol, it listens on localhost port for commands from the Frontend using CORS ajax requests. All fulfilled orders are then synced to the AS400 accounting system as invoicing data through specialized Syncer service.

chart

Used technology

The tech stack:

Results

  • Web based application that unifies both old applications
  • All data from old system were migrated to the new application
  • Seamless transition of users (sales people and plant/factory managers) from old platform to new one
  • 50% shorten order processing time (from order to manufacturing)
  • No down times for 3 years
  • Minimal maintenance costs - almost no development involved to keep up the platform.

About the customer

Willard has been in business for over 45 years and is owned by the Willard family.

  • HQ located in Frederick, Maryland, USA.
  • The company manufactures and supplies liquid fertilizers, micronutrients and crop protectants, as w ell as offering services including yield monitors, data collection and crop management planning. Willard Agri-Service operates in the Mid-Atlantic region.
  • The company helps its customers with risk management, troubleshooting and revenue growth.
  • A key strategic goal is to assist companies in reducing their environmental footprint.

Willard Agri-Service portfolio of services

profit icon

To maximize profitability, the company provides field by field customized plant nutrition as well as efficient specialised fertilizers, micros, bio stimulants and crop protection products.

factory icon

Five highly automated factories produce and balance fertilizers which can be also delivered by Willard direct to a client’s agricultural land.

services icon

The company also offers numerous services which include planter calibration, field scouting, soil testing, and plant tissue testing.

Agriculture industry overview

Europe, Australia and North America are part of a highly globalized world, characterized by a variety of large-scale, high impact and sometimes unpredictable changes, known as global megatrends. Many global trends have significant consequences for entire countries and even continents.

The agricultural sector plays a key role in this global ecosystem, supplying food, which guarantees human survival. Food production, for many different reasons, has become more complex and requires more advanced technological solutions, which offer synergies with other businesses.

Willard Agri-Service is an example of a company wishing to make a difference by offering highly innovative agricultural chemicals and services to both farmers and business. To succeed, the company develops internal and external business channels to improve the quality of life for everyone.

Working with their team has been a really great experience

We are very satisfied with our cooperation with such a professional, dependable, and trustworthy team of individuals
Joshua Ussel
Director Of Information Technology at Willard Agri-Service

And that’s all...

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