Success Story: The Produce Company

Delivering confidence in business solutions

Find out how Qual IT provided the independent business assurance The Produce Company required on their business change journey...


Need: Ensure the scalability and sustainability of The Produce Company’s systems and processes to future proof the organisation for growth.

Solution: Provide objective assessment and independent business assurance regarding The Produce Company’s operations, functions, processes, and systems.

Outcome: The Produce Company are beginning the journey of business change through transformation, starting with the controlled implementation of an ERP solution to enhance confidence in a quality outcome in and out of the business.


The Produce Company Limited was established in 2001 with just a few employees and a couple of delivery trucks. Since then The Produce Company has grown to be a major supplier of up to 100 of the best bars, restaurants, caterers and event organisers in the Auckland and Waiheke region. On top of this, The Produce Company also supplies many of the superyachts that call into the various marinas around Auckland and are also now in the process of expanding to Hamilton and Tauranga.

Due to the exacting standards of their customers, The Produce Company is committed to delivering the best possible service and quality to all their customers, with a growing product line of over 3,000 items, spanning fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy, meat, fish, dry goods and many more. Due to this exciting growth, The Produce Company needed a deeper realisation of their future business to enable a scalable and sustainable pathway. For this realisation to occur The Produce Company needed to understand their business journey internally and externally.

Clearer business understanding for The Produce Company
The Produce Company’s business model has ensured growth with their ever-increasing workload over the years, however, the existing ERP/ Financial management system they use has reached its capacity to deliver critical functions to the growing business. Similar to other organisations during times of growth, The Produce Company went out to market looking for a business systems solution that could manage their expectations from a technical requirement. What they got was “led down the garden path” to a technology solution that did not fully align to their business needs along with a journey that included an overseas visit to an organisation that was ten times larger and had implemented an ERP system 7 years previously – irrelevant comparisons which didn’t align to The Produce Company’s vision and journey.

Being across several similar situations where businesses have engaged in implementing systems with no feasible outcomes, Qual IT brought their expertise and relevant experience to The Produce Company enabling the organisation to be part of the analysis. With focus and collaboration, The Produce Company was able to gain a deeper understanding of their overall business so they had certainty that the potential Business Solutions IT system to be provided would be fit for purpose, efficient and adaptable to meet their business processes in order to grow their business units.

Insights to Drive Decisions
By engaging Qual IT for Business Assurance Analysis, The Produce Company was looking to refine their understanding and cross -dependencies within their business. The key for this was to gain business alignment to achieve overall organisation objectives and outcomes. This was fundamental as there were varying understandings and needs across the business that prevented a clear path forward.
Qual IT engaged with the business to drive focus on the current processes identified as being important to the organisation. This then evolved into a wider Business Assurance Analysis by encompassing the journey into the future state requirements.
By taking a structured approach of ‘Discovery, Assessment and Consolidation’, tailored to the specific needs of The Produce Company, Qual IT were able to reveal several gaps within the business that needed emphasis to ensure:

  • Deeper collaboration to understand the entire business aligned to The Produce Company culture
  • Focus on the “true” need for ICT solutions
  • Plan for organisational strategy for demand and growth
  • Stabilise and refine business processes facilitating future scalability
  • Retain agility, flexibility and responsiveness

The journey set by the Business Assurance Analysis ensured The Produce Company’s business processes gained fuller visibility and the business systems solution was implemented through several initiatives including the realisation of business change through a fit-for-purpose transformation.

Business Assurance Critical Enabler of Business Change
By embarking on the Business Assurance Analysis, The Produce Company were able to critically analyse their needs and ensure they understand the journey they are embarking on. Through this they will be able to stay ahead of the market and ultimately have greater certainty and confidence that their business is transforming to not only deliver a quality outcome to their customers but also to the organisation.
Change is never easy for any organisation, and it needs to be properly managed at every stage of your business journey.

Qual IT understands the criticality of business assurance in times of change and continues to prove itself as a successful partner to The Produce Company as their transformation evolves.

Here’s what Rob McPhee, Managing Director of The Produce Company had to say regarding the project:

“In early 2017 The Produce Company decided we needed a new ERP system to keep up with our fast-changing organisational needs. So, initially we got Qual IT in just to review our current ERP’s provision and support, but as they started their initial analysis of our current state they quickly found a lot of underlying areas of our business that needed attention before engaging with the market for a solution.

During the process, they gathered inputs from across our business’s roles and functions, from our field staff to our Managing Director, applying people, process, and technology frames of reference to each. The user desires Qual IT captured from our team linked detailed stakeholder requirements through to high-level wishes, and ranged from minor adjustments through to new functionality that would need to be planned over several years. They then turned those inputs into working options for us and led a mind-mapping exercise with our leadership team to draw out our high-level delivery requirements and desired outcomes. This process was key to informing our decision-making as it centred largely on streamlining our processes, understanding our key challenges, improving collaboration, integrating our systems and information sources, and providing crucial information about progress and performance.

I’d recommend Qual IT to any of our business partners and customers, as their input was key to creating The Produce Company’s specific view of its requirements and in navigating our way forward. We’ve now taken QualIT’s rationalised, adjusted, and prioritised the analysis of our business and used it to enable discussions with the market to progress the next stages of change for us, now and in the future.”


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