Mid-States Specialty Eggs: tracking large numbers of special eggs with Ovotrack
Missouri and Arkansas have an excellent climate for keeping hens outdoors. So it is no coincidence that a large proportion of pasture-raised, free range and certified organic eggs in the USA are produced in these two US states. Mid-States Specialty Eggs grading stations are, therefore, located in Smithton, Missouri, and Berryville, Arkansas.
Mid-States has grown very rapidly in recent years. In 2015, the company decided to implement a new inventory management system to improve control over their inventory of nest run (ungraded) eggs, packaging material and graded eggs. The new system also had to support traceability, which was challenging, with more than 75 farms supplying different types of eggs. After evaluating several alternatives, Mid-States Specialty Eggs opted for Ovotrack.
“Ovotrack was the only company that was not afraid to connect their system to our existing invoicing software”.
According to Marion Hostetler, one of the company owners, Ovotrack offered a number of ‘pros’ over other solutions. “Ovotrack was the only company that was not afraid to connect their system to our existing invoicing software. They had a great deal of experience in connecting their solution to intelligent egg grading machines, such as our Sanovo OptiGrader 600. Last but not least, the company has its origins in the egg business. We want software solutions to follow and support our business, so it is essential that the people making the software understand our business”.
Another important requirement for Mid-States was speed of implementation. Following the initial meeting on May 6, 2015, the company placed an order on June 10 and the solution went live on August 20 of the same year. Since then, many changes and improvements have been made to the initial Ovotrack setup, in line with the company’s rapid growth. To name just a few developments: extra coolers for inventory, a second location, data communication by SQL Replication between the two locations, connecting scales to register the pallet weight and automatic batch changing on the grading machine.
“The Ovotrack support department is outstanding and supportive”.
So far, Ovotrack has proven a good fit for Mid-States. “Of course, not everything has been perfect from day one,” says Marion. “However, the Ovotrack support department is outstanding and supportive. They’re more of a partner than a vendor. Because they only serve the egg industry, most changes that we require are of interest to them, as these could be useful to some of their other customers as well”.
“There’s never a dull moment with Mid-States”, exclaims Job Beekhuis from Ovotrack . “But it’s great to see how our solution has grown in line with their needs, The quality of our solution has definitely benefited from having Mid-States as a customer. All in all we’re very happy to be part of the Mid-States story, which now is reaching 200 farms and three large grading machines.”
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