In 2014, Panasonic Factory Solution Asia Pacific (“PFSAP”), the first Urban Agriculture Indoor Farm, by far the biggest in Singapore, embarked on a project to grow veggie. A portion of the warehouse was carved out to grow high quality and nutrients veggie to supply to local restaurants and supermarkets. Hot on the heels, PFSAP rolled out the salad production under the brand name of ‘Veggie Life’ for healthy living.
With the successful production and launched of its veggie and salad bowl, Singapore’s first indoor farm started a journey to streamline, improve operations excellence and to manage forecast, information and material flows across its farms to the chains of restaurants and retail outlets.
Being a farm, one of the key requirements in the systems blueprint was the conformance to AVA criteria to have full track and trace visibility of the entire end-to -end process of growing veggie to production of salad. From the time raw materials were received into the farm to the time a customer first bite of the world-class top quality veggie in the restaurant or home, the entire planning, seeding, potting, germination, harvesting, storage and distribution process must be accurately tracked.
The partnership with Agrinets, a subsidiary of KEYfields, who has domain expertise in Warehouse Management solutions, accelerated the entire urban farming solutions project.
The project started with a detailed study of all information requirements from AVA, Urban farmers and Stakeholders supporting the Farm, Salad Production, Warehouse, Procurement and Management to the restaurants and outlets.
An ‘Urban Farm model’ was designed to allow complete control and visibility of demand forecast, inventory management, resource and space management, procurement, order processing, Farm in progress (WIP) and Salad production of wash, cut, packaging, and labelling.
The farm focus shifted from paperwork and manual recording of the status to focus on producing high quality output with more successful harvests. The Sales can now check inventory and forecasting information within the system so as not to ‘oversell’ and the supply patterns generated from the system further improve the right crops to grow so as to prevent wastage due to growing the wrong crop. The racks was barcoded and scanners are used to ensure that product profiles and storage locations are correctly identified and selected, given the thousands of stock-keeping-units that are in stock ranging from perishables to recyclable pots and trays.
Overall, this is what Mr. CY Wong, the Executive Director of PFSAP has to say about the successful implementation of the project ….
After trying to develop in-house without success, we evaluated many vendors, both MNCs as well as local software providers. We are glad that we made Agrinets our solutions partner. Their approach of analyzing ‘complex’ farming issues with simply and practical solutions is the best we have seen. Their solutions help drive our costs down and reduce wastages and enable us to concentrate more on building a more efficient farm cum demand and supply model. The project was completed in an intensive period of four months where we saw real commitments from Agrinets’ platoon practically ‘camping’ at our premises to race against time to deliver a fully developed and tested iVAS solutions.
After tested and proven successfully at our Singapore’s farm, we are now working to roll out iVAS to the other parts of the Panasonic world. At the same time, we have other initiatives pertaining to Urban Agriculture which we are in extensive and final discussions with Agrinets.
We are happy with Agrinets in this implementation, we know they can be rely on to deliver on promise”
“This project with Panasonic, was a very challenging one. Not only the timeline was demanding, there are not much reference that we can rely and study as Urban Agriculture solutions is rather new industry in the world. Our team has basically to learn the rope by temporarily becoming farmers to understand the real process flow from seeding to harvesting. By doing so, they strike camaraderie between members of the two teams. This is the winning formula for a successful implementation at PFSAP.
We look forward to more partnerships with Panasonic in the region and to go beyond iVAS solutions, commented Kenny Tan, General Manager of KEYfields. ”