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From Tech to the Table

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. In this industry, that can be the difference between a successful season of abundance and profit and a, “hey, better luck next year” hit to a company’s ROI. Famous Software is no stranger to the ups-and-downs and ins-and-outs of a growing operation or the challenges that can inevitably impact the supply chain. With more than 40 years as an industry leading technology company with a comprehensive suite of solutions, Famous Software partners with companies across the supply chain to elevate their game with a best-of-class ERP vertical software platform along with proprietary products ranging from Business Intelligence and Warehouse Management System to Integration Services and Mobile Apps.

One of those companies that has felt the impact of a resource and business partner like Famous Software is one of Salinas, California’s fresh produce leaders: Church Brothers Farms.

CB Harvesting top and tailed romaine harvest for its salad plant: True Leaf Farms

The partnership began nearly twenty years ago. Church Brothers Farms has now grown to more than six times the number of users that started with Famous Software during those early days. The big decision came when the company was looking for better software for its growing operations to streamline the program and its efficiency. Church Brothers Farms’ volume was huge at that time and the conversion to Famous Software’s technology solutions went extremely well for the fresh produce pioneer.

Fast-forward to today, and the accuracy and quality in which Church Brothers Farms goes to market exists to be rivaled. With their recent acquisition of the Growers Express commodity program, you can see where the benefits are impacting the system and its value proposition.

“Church Brothers Farms is one of our largest ERP customers and also has the highest trading volume through our EDI messaging platform, Famous Integrations Services (FIS).”

— Heather Hammack, President, Famous Software

As a vertically-integrated family-owned and operated company that farms and produces a full line of fresh vegetables and salads year-round with an in-house farming/harvest program and state-of-the-art processing plant, True Leaf Farms, the company makes its decisions wisely and with a great deal of thought and time investment on its part.

Heather Hammack, President, Famous Software“Church Brothers Farms is one of our largest ERP customers and also has the highest trading volume through our EDI messaging platform, Famous Integrations Services (FIS). Church Brothers Farms is also our largest customer using our Warehouse Management Solution, WMS. The company has more than 20 trading relationships and we have processed millions of transactions on Church Brothers Farms’ behalf,” Heather Hammack, President of Famous Software, shares with me, adding that the company most recently implemented its IBM-Foodtrust solution for Walmart’s Blockchain Initiative. Church Brothers Farms has always been on the forefront of technology solutions with Famous.

Famous Software has developed a complete onboarding process that demonstrates how customers, like Church Brothers Farms, can use the company’s FIS solution to transmit the correct information to Walmart’s blockchain network and achieve compliance. With the growth from a recent acquisition, Church Brothers Farms’ operations, the increase of volume, users, and transactions make it essential for the team to adapt a higher-level tool throughout its business model. As of 2019, Church Brothers/True Leaf Farms is now shipping over one million boxes of fresh produce every week.

“The new sales talent that recently joined our team from an acquisition, found Famous Software to be user-friendly, time-conscious, intuitive, and a simple and accurate system to use,” Steve Church, Co-Chairman, Church Brothers Farms, tells me, reflecting on the long-held relationship with the technology company. “From the sales side to cooling and shipping, the Famous Software solutions have changed the way we can do business day-to-day while helping to manage all the moving parts of a world-class organization.”

The Famous product standard features make the salesperson’s day as streamlined as possible. Creating Sales Orders is simple, allowing them to focus on selling product, not data entry. Its newest sales staff has commented on how quick getting information into the system can be.

“Standard orders make it really easy to get orders in quickly and back up customers that you might not know a lot about. Add in the ability to copy purchase orders when sourcing product from regular vendors and you have a resource that saves both time and money,” says Kate Dutra of the Church Brothers Farms Sales Team. “The EDI integration is great as well and uses the electronic PO confirmations, ASN’s, and more for high volume customers.”

Church Brothers Farms pulls back the curtain on the inner workings of a well-oiled machine

Accessing critical information has become easier for them as well.

“The order inquiry function allows you to see every step in the process and every change along the way. The other software systems only allow you to see the first and last change, so this is a lot easier when trying to research any order issues,” Kate adds.

Additionally, Famous Software’s ability to adapt to the needs of its customers is truly a gift to any company in the industry, as Church Brothers Farms experienced when it shared the demands of the operation with the tech company’s team. Famous Software is not a one-size-fits-all strategizer, though it does have many pieces to fit any puzzle.

“While Famous Software can be deployed directly out of the box, many customers request specialized features, reports, and other modifications—like Church Brothers Farms,” Heather expresses. “Our talented consultants and developers will assist you with the analysis and programming necessary to accomplish any custom configuration or modification.”

Two decades of growth and partnership is testament alone to the possibilities of the joining of great minds. And when they are shared by companies like these, the bar is raised even higher.