B.C. egg marketing board boost safety with analytics
June 20, 2012, Vancouver, BC - The British Columbia Egg Marketing Board is using IBM analytics to save money, reduce workload, improve farmers' profitability and ensure the safety and availability of the more than 816 million eggs produced in the province each year.
The BC Egg Marketing Board is responsible for planning and controlling BC's egg production, to ensure supply meets fluctuating demand. The Board works with more than 130 egg producers, overseeing 2.7 million chickens.
Using analytics from IBM, the BC Egg Marketing Board is now able to integrate and analyze production and inspection data from hundreds of farms across the province and perform complex calculations on chick maturation and egg-laying life-spans, to determine the number of chickens needed in production to meet demand and to scale hatchery operations accordingly. The system also includes the potential for the Board to pinpoint the flock a particular egg came from, in the event of a disease outbreak.
"We're now being proactive in improving the quality and safety of egg production processes and products," said Anne-Marie Butler, Director of Finance and Administration at the BC Egg Marketing Board. "By making data easier to collect, analyze and share, we are seeing efficiencies that allow us to go beyond the bare minimum for compliance."
Previously, data collection was paper-intensive, manual and disjointed, but with the analytics solution, real-time production data from all farms is captured electronically, while data about egg safety and other inspection criterion is collected and entered by on-site inspectors using tablets. This has reduced farm inspection workload by 66 percent, and created an annual cost savings of $100,000.
"I now have online access to data that allows me to monitor my farm's daily production and other activities, share it with my farm manager so we can track and adjust, as well as benchmark against other producers in a similar category. It eliminates speculation or basing decisions on what I presume others are doing. The facts and data speak for themselves, and give me a great overview of where I stand in relation to industry averages," says Walter Siemens, an egg farmer in Abbotsford, B.C.
The analytics solution was recently augmented by a Web-based producers' portal, which replaces the paper, monthly production statement the Board previously faxed to its members. It gives egg producers mobile, tablet or Web-based, real-time access to the Board's range of data on farm- and flock-level operations, providing metrics such as egg size, egg type, average price per dozen, weekly and year-to-date production and revenue totals, historical comparisons, provincial benchmarks and more.
IBM worked with business partner Peritas Solutions to integrate the analytics data onto the portal. "Using IBM Cognos 10, producers can measure themselves against their peers and are using these key insights to drive expenses down and margins up, and deliver a higher quality, more predictable product into the marketplace, " said Chris Foster, an account executive at Peritas. "The IBM analytics behind BC Egg Board's system serves to simplify every part of the supply chain by providing producers with the unprecedented ability to access, compare and derive insights from data, enabling them to solve problems, make adjustments and increase profitability," said Jamie Spiller, IBM's smarter commerce lead.
Each year, $15 trillion is lost as a result of inefficiencies from wasted products in the global supply chain. In addition, there is $1.2 trillion globally in excess inventory stockpiled in supply chains. By tracking trends and sentiment and interacting with consumers in new ways, organizations can strengthen connections to their customers and improve business processes. Through the Smarter Commerce initiative, IBM is taking the lead in helping organizations respond to market shifts in real-time, automate marketing, selling and fulfillment, and create a consistent global brand experience.
For more information about IBM, please visit www.ibm.com/services.
About The BC Egg Marketing Board
The BC Egg Marketing Board is a non-profit organization that is represented by approximately 132 small, family-owned and operated egg farms. Eggs are produced in a manner that reflects the spirit of responsibility, accountability, and integrity of all our stakeholders. Farms operate independently, without government subsidies, and with respect for resources and the products they produce.