Olleco Set for a Sustainable Future with Infor
Leading renewables business unifies the business and continues to grow with the support of Infor CloudSuite Food & Beverage and Infor Mongoose
Established in 2006, Olleco provides the food and hospitality sectors with a range of services designed to help them to tackle the climate emergency by converting their waste resources into renewable energy. The renewables arm of ABP Food Group, Olleco has grown to become the UK’s leading supplier of premium cooking oils and fats as well as its largest collector of used cooking oil and food waste. Employing over 1000 people, at 19 sites strategically located throughout the UK and Ireland, it services over 50,000 catering establishments, converting the used oil into renewable fuels while the food waste is transformed into biomethane, electricity, heat and organic fertiliser. In addition to a comprehensive network of local depots, Olleco operates three used cooking oil bio-refineries, a biodiesel plant, a bulk liquid storage facility and three anaerobic digestion (AD) plants with support from a wider network of licensed AD facilities.
A new solution to fit a growing business
Olleco’s operations grew dramatically, in part due to numerous acquisitions and the bringing together of different companies, many of which had different management systems in place. The business had originally chosen one of these solutions to bring some commonality across its enterprise resource planning (ERP) capabilities but, as the business continued to grow, it soon became clear that the solution couldn’t keep pace with the rapid growth the firm was experiencing.
Richard Horrocks, CIO at Olleco explains: “We knew we needed a bigger, more robust ERP solution that could keep up with our business, one that came with 24/7 support. We specifically wanted a solution that would fit our particular processes, many of which are unique to Olleco. We didn’t want to have to compromise on our processes to meet the parameters of the software, which we know is often the case with some of the alternatives.”
After a thorough assessment of the market, Olleco decided to invest in a new on-premise ERP solution, Infor M3. Olleco’s specific business model required additional personalisation, which was achieved with Infor Mongoose, Infor’s development platform.
Richard continues: “The team at Infor introduced us to Mongoose, which gave us the ability to develop the additional personalisation that we required, allowing us to build applications and add-ons to meet our specific needs.”
A move to the cloud
The solution was close to go-live in 2020 but was paused because of lockdowns. Well-documented challenges in the hospitality industry that Olleco serves meant that they decided it wasn’t the right time to roll out the solution to the business and it was during these discussions that Olleco started to explore Infor’s cloud deployment options, namely Infor CloudSuite Food & Beverage.
Richard continues: “We were keen to take advantage of the risk reductions and cost benefits we saw in the cloud. We recognised that a move to the public cloud would help to remove the inherent risks that come with supporting on-premise hardware and there’s no need to implement complex solutions nor have an in-house team responsible 24/7. Considering all this, and the capabilities that CloudSuite Food & Beverage delivers, we took the decision to spend the next twelve months undertaking a new implementation in the cloud.”
Infor CloudSuite Food & Beverage provides the tools to accelerate food and beverage global supply chains, helping to implement efficiencies across the board. Within a reliable and secure infrastructure, the platform offers proven food and beverage ERP capabilities to businesses right across the sector, with industry best-practices included as standard.
Olleco went live with the multi-tenant cloud solution in Wales in 2021, gradually bringing all depots onto the centralised ERP platform, which now sits at the heart of the organisation.
Richard continues: “We’re no longer constrained by our ERP solution as our CloudSuite has the flexibility and scalability to grow alongside our business. It’s brought a new flexibility to our operations, particularly in terms of employee movement as all that’s needed for users to log on is a laptop and a WIFI connection.”
A platform for growth
The business has made further use of Infor Mongoose, which enables the team to quickly deliver add-on solutions and applications that are tailor-made for the business. The team at Olleco has developed a driver app as well as designing a customer app, both of which integrate, in real-time, with the Infor CloudSuite Food & Beverage solution.
Richard continues: “The integration capabilities through Infor’s cloud platform have allowed us to integrate specific routing and vehicle tracking solutions, helping us to achieve a truly joined-up, fully integrated way of working right across the business.”
As Richard explains: “We have replicated what we have in the UK across Europe within our joint venture (Olleco Bunge), albeit with a separate cloud tenant. With relatively little extra work required, we can enable a second business to operate as we do, supporting our expansion into other geographical areas.”
Ultimately, Olleco has achieved its goal of implementing a solution that not only means the organisation doesn’t have to compromise on its processes, but one which provides a scalable platform to support business growth and development.
As Richard concludes: “Our journey with Infor has taken us to the cloud, something we weren’t considering when we first started looking for a new ERP solution. This move to the cloud, in combination with the flexibility and adaptability that Infor Mongoose delivers, gives us continued confidence in our own systems, enabling us to focus on growing the business, safe in the knowledge that our enterprise IT infrastructure is there to support us at every step of the way.”