From Mailroom to Modernization Maestro: Streamlining Sourcing Operations at Seaboard Corp

Streamlining Sourcing Operations

True transformation stems from passion, tenacity, and the audacity to embrace change. 

When Brandi VanRoss started at Seaboard almost 30 years ago, little did she know her journey would take her from the mailroom all the way to leading a global team as the Director of Purchasing at Seaboard Corporation and Seaboard Overseas & Trading Group.  Throughout her time at Seaboard, VanRoss has witnessed numerous transformations within the company.

“I’ve seen Seaboard evolve and adapt to the changing times, and one area that has undergone significant transformation is our procurement process,” she says.

In the early days, Seaboard relied heavily on manual procurement processes, with stacks of paper and spreadsheets being the norm.

Seaboard Corp., a leading global agribusiness and a major player in the grain and flour milling industry, recognized the need to streamline their procurement process to stay competitive in a rapidly evolving business landscape. In the past, Seaboard relied on traditional methods for sourcing suppliers and negotiating contracts. “We were using manual processes, which were time-consuming, inefficient, and prone to errors,” recalls VanRoss.

The introduction of Simfoni’s eSourcing solution has been a game-changer for Seaboard.

“From the very beginning, I knew that we needed a solution that could centralize our supply chain activities. We needed a single platform that could serve as the epicenter of our operations,” VanRoss emphasizes. “No matter what the request was, it had to start within Simfoni. We wanted to capture everything from day one.”

Supply Chain Operations

The challenges were multifaceted. Seaboard’s unique processes and specific industry requirements added complexity to their supply chain operations. The lack of transparency and communication gaps resulted in inefficiencies and duplication of work.

“The main pain point was that when we get requests, it goes to many people, and different people are in charge of different mills across the globe. And I needed transparency. I needed to know who was working on what to save people from reinventing the wheel all the time,” explains VanRoss.

Enter Simfoni’s solution. With its modular design and focus on transparency, communication, and efficiency, VanRoss recognized its potential to transform Seaboard’s operations. However, the initial implementation came with its share of challenges, due to an outdated legacy system that users were hesitant to leave behind.

“We had a little bit of technical difficulty,” she acknowledges. But with determination and collaboration, the team overcame obstacles and simplified the process for better user adoption.

“The ease of adding the different modules [we need] is seamless. There are so many ways that I plan to use this. So, I’m very excited to move forward with that as soon as possible,” VanRoss highlights.

The results of the implementation were profound and far-reaching. Simfoni’s platform enabled Seaboard to centralize their supply chain activities, improving communication, collaboration, and vendor relationships. Enhanced visibility through data reporting and analysis empowered Brandi’s team with deeper insights for strategic decision-making.

“Of the things that I am so thankful for on a day-to-day basis with this eSourcing platform, is that the more information or projects we put in there, the more comprehensive information we can pull from it,” Brandi explains.

The adaptability of Simfoni’s solution was crucial for Seaboard’s growth and changing needs. VanRoss’s journey from the mailroom and manual, paper-based processes to leading a team and embracing technological advancements embodies the evolution of technology in the workplace.

VanRoss highlighted a challenge that many companies face when realizing they need to start letting go of legacy systems and adopt modern technologies.

“We do things in such a unique way because of how our business is structured. We don’t use the system like other companies do. But in working with Simfoni, we found the solution that works for us and aligned with all our objectives,” she reflects.

Seaboard’s digital transformation journey under VanRoss’s leadership, coupled with Simfoni’s innovative solution, exemplifies the power of embracing change. From manual, error-prone processes to streamlined, technology-driven operations, Seaboard has positioned itself for future growth and success in a dynamic industry.

“Simfoni’s eSourcing solution revolutionized our supply chain operations, addressed our unique challenges and aligned with our goals of transparency, communication, and efficiency,” sums up VanRoss. Through collaboration, determination, and the integration of cutting-edge technology, Seaboard’s story is a testament to the endless possibilities of modernization and transformation.

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