Why do some small food producers grow to be giants and others cease to exist? And what does it have to do with information flow and documents?
Less than a decade ago Milzu! came out of nowhere with a line of organic cereal for kids. In recent years, the company has introduced many more products – from cereals to meat alternatives. Staying true to their core values and innovating all the way – not only with ingredients and formulas, but also supply chain – has helped them to make the most of opportunities and trends.
1. Vision supported by long term partnerships
Success of Milzu! is grounded in understanding the market and the consumer. According to Evija Štrausa, leading business development at Milzu!:
“We looked at gaps, niches in the market, also taking into account consumer values and global trends. We always choose very carefully where to invest, what tools to implement and which partners to establish cooperation with.”
In 2014, Milzu! started working with Telema, first using web-based services in combination with their first simple ERP, WinLats. Following rapid business development the company soon had to upgrade the accounting system to Visma Horizon. However, for paperless document flow they chose to stay with Telema EDI. Milzu! Operations Lead Indra Petrovska-Petrēviča tells about the partnership:
“Cooperation with our EDI operator Telema has always been smooth and it has supported us in establishing good, effective cooperation with the leading supermarket chains in Latvia. In the transition period between both ERP’s, the exchange of EDI documents with retailers was never interrupted.”
Interestingly, when the company key user changed, it took the new user less than a day to master the EDI process – that simple and intuitive it is!
From the very beginning, Milzu! was aware that their produce was good enough for selling beyond the local limits. In a compact business with a clear vision every employee has many responsibilities. It is important that everyone creates the greatest possible value.
“Telema let’s us save around 3 full working days every month on document processing. We are very careful that our team members do not waste time on processes where systems, software or devices can perform faster and more accurately,” says Mārtiņš Koks, Milzu! sales manager for Baltics and Poland.
One of the major challenges in the information flow used to be the different order formats – difficult for people to read and detect possible mistakes. Now that the orders arrive through the Telema system and are machine readable, everything is clear. The company saves both time and energy – according to Telema research, processing machine readable e-documents is up to six times faster than the ordinary files.
In 2020, the company’s turnover approached one million euros. Milzu! products are delivered to more than 20 countries around the world, the company now cooperates with agents, distribution companies, logistics centers, B2B and B2C customers.
At Milzu! there are hundreds of documents exchanged now weekly, but all are still handled by one person thanks to well designed processes, facilitated by modern technologies: e-signature, EDI and other remote service solutions.
As a next step, Milzu! is considering integrating the Telema 4DOC EDI module into the company’s software, ensuring that the entire transaction document flow (orders, despatch advices, receiving advices and invoices) takes place in one environment. They’ve already included receiving advices from Rimi in their document flow with much success.
Milzu! looks to the future with a long-term vision, export ambitions and the courage to ask and seek solutions. As Enno Ence, founder of the company, points out
“In the coming years Milzu! will focus on development of new products in collaboration with scientists. Also expanding production capacity and distribution network are tasks we’re looking forward to.”