Wilcox Farms and TRAVERSE: You Can’t Make a Profit Without Tracking a Few Eggs
In the foothills of Mt. Rainier, an area civilized by loggers and gold seekers, another area treasure can be found. In the early 1900s, while the world rushed past them to mine the area’s natural resources, Judson and Elizabeth Wilcox purchased a farm 65 miles south of Seattle. What was originally an ideal site to raise a family eventually turned a profit as an egg-producing farm. 100 years later, Wilcox Farms continues to grow and branch out into new ventures.
Wilcox Farms Today
These days, family-owned and operated Wilcox Farms is a large regional employer, producing profits that are more than just chicken feed. “We average about 200 employees,” said Natalya Washburn, Controller at Wilcox Farms.” With a commitment to green, sustainable farming, Wilcox Farms focuses on producing organic, free-range eggs. They also produce specialized eggs rich in Omega 3 acids, and a line of vegetarian eggs derived from chickens that eat solely vegetable feed.
From this humble food source comes a plethora of marketing possibilities. Not only are the fresh eggs sold in supermarkets around the northwestern United States, but liquid eggs are sold to restaurants and snack-packaged hardboiled eggs are marketed to convenience stores. The chicken manure is a valuable fertilizer prized by organic farmers and orchard-keepers, and has opened a new channel of revenue for the forward-thinking Wilcox farms.
With all of these different sources of income and varied expenditures, how does a harried controller keep it all straight? “Success is in the workflow,” says Washburn of their financials and reporting system, anchored with TRAVERSE.
Reporting Done, Easy
As Washburn knows, financial reporting isn’t simply printing a list of numbers. “Decision-making is based on how you present the data.” Washburn takes advantage of TRAVERSE’s highly configurable views and reports. “With the adaptability of TRAVERSE, we do whatever we need to do with our reports.”
Wilcox uses reports that are tailored using TRAVERSE Design Studio to include information that managers and auditors need—including non-financial information. “It gives managers the flexibility to see how they’re doing on projects,” says Washburn.
Industry Software Integration
A business with specific industry needs often must use industry-standard production software. Fortunately, TRAVERSE easily ties into the workflow, allowing companies to use the industry software they must and still take advantage of TRAVERSE’s robust financial capabilities.
“We’re in an industry that requires very specific production software,” says Washburn of the system Wilcox uses to track hen breeds and egg types. “TRAVERSE ties into our industry-specific systems.”
Wilcox also takes advantage of TRAVERSE’s built-in transaction import capabilities. This saves time and improves the accuracy of financial processes. “I don’t want an operator wasting time keying in information,” says Washburn.
Support and Training
The Wilcox Farms team has also taken advantage of Open Systems support, as well as training opportunities provided.
“I’m a very picky customer!” declares Washburn when talking about her interactions with TRAVERSE support. “I’m absolutely pleased every time we pick up the phone and give them a call.”
Washburn has also taken members of her team to the Open Systems Customer Excellence Conference to meet the support staff and receive training. “Every time I come home from the conference, it seems like our productivity level increases because we’re learning little things about the applications that we haven’t been using. I’m very happy about that.”