Delectable dark chocolate-coated PlumSweet treats. Tasty Jumbo Red Raisins and Bite Size Prunes. These are just a few of the many nutritious and delicious products from Sunsweet Growers, the world's largest handler of dried tree fruits and one of America's best-known and best-loved brands.
Each day Sunsweet seals more than 40,000 cases for worldwide distribution, a feat that requires the top-notch business processes and technology systems behind the scenes. While Sunsweet's 400 grower-members lovingly tend to their orchards to cultivate the best possible fruit, Sunsweet's staff at its Yuba City, Calif. headquarters works equally hard to make sure the business runs smoothly. It relies on SAP systems boosted by Security Weaver software to do this important job.
Sunsweet successfully deployed SAP back in 2001 to streamline its financial systems and other key business processes. "SAP helped us tremendously in consolidating and analyzing costs," said Harold Upton, vice president, Strategic Business Processes.
But Upton also found that SAP had a hole. It lacked the security and segregation of duties functionality to allow Sunsweet to administer user access to systems. Sunsweet needed to control users' ability to create sales orders or modify the general ledger, for instance. With SAP, such access had to be managed ad hoc, by generating multiple reports and hand-consolidating them onto spreadsheets. It was a time-consuming and sometimes inaccurate process.
So Sunsweet worked with outside consultants to try to identify a fix. When Upton met with Security Weaver executives at a trade show he knew he'd found the answer. "We couldn't find any product other than Security Weaver that meets our specific needs," he said. "SW fit the bill perfectly."
"We couldn't find any product other than Security Weaver that meets our specific needs. Security Weaver fit the bill perfectly."
- Harold Upton, Vice President, Strategic Business Processes
Jump ahead to 2009. Security Weaver has been in place in Sunsweet for two years and the company has seen significant benefits. "Our security system used to be complex and labor intensive," Upton said. "Now it's fast and easy to manage."
For instance, Security Weaver only allows those people who are supposed to work with the general ledger to be able to access it. That has helped Sunsweet reduce errors in the balance sheet and has sped up audits. It performs audits quarterly now, in keeping with best practices for any business.
The company is also better able to track its delicious fruit products as the move through its 2 million square feet of warehouse space and out to customers. Only authorized people can make changes within the stock database. That means customer service representatives have accurate, timely product information to give to customers when they place orders. As well, year-end inventory used to take two weeks and require a corporate shut down. Now it takes just two days.
And the deployment of Security Weaver didn't disrupt Sunsweet business at all. Its growers and customers experienced the same great service as the company has always provided. Now, with Security Weaver in place its staff has more confidence that its business processes and financial compliance are as excellent as its fruit products.
Security Weaver allowed Sunsweet to greatly increase reporting speed and efficiency. Because it has automated documentation of user access, reports are ready whenever they are needed. Department compliance can be verified in minutes instead of days. Internal business processes are in line with best business practices, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which verifies financial transparency and accuracy. And because Security Weaver is invisible to users, it provides such excellent security and control without limiting worker productivity.
Upton says the old days when Sunsweet's reporting processes required excessive elbow grease are over. Instead of creating multiple reports for each different job or role within the company and then compiling the data, each person's access is accurately tracked all the time. That's true even when the person has multiple roles, which is often the case at small and midsize companies like Sunsweet. That functionality that was not possible with SAP alone.
SAP boosted by Security Weaver. It's a winning combination for Sunsweet. And just as its dedicated fruit growers and tasty products make a great pair, so do its world-class business processes and its state-of-the art IT systems.
Sunsweet Growers Inc. is the world's largest handler of dried tree fruits including cranberries, apricots and prunes. A grower-owned marketing cooperative with more than two-thirds of the prune market worldwide, Sunsweet processes more than 50,000 tons of prunes a year. Founded in 1917 it has grown to 400 members and has powerful, global brand recognition.
Even though we're privately held, Security Weaver lets us make sure our audit trail is now in line with the best of the best in business,
Security Weaver enables compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley and other regulations via simplified and standardized audit control processes.
Security Weaver requires no additional hardware and does not impact IT system performance.
Security Weaver is easy to install and configure. Support is provided 24/7 and consultants are rarely needed.
Security Weaver has intuitive user interfaces and easy navigation.
Security Weaver automates documentation for faster, lower-cost reporting.
Security Weaver protects security definitions and tracks changes to segregation of duties. It offers a precise and verifiable audit trail.