Manufacturing & Supply Chain

Aspera Solutions Sees Growth Opportunities For ERP in the Food and Drink Sector

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Aspera Solutions Sees Growth Opportunities For ERP in the Food and Drink Sector

January 17
12:04 2014
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Aspera Solutions specialises in supplying, implementing and supporting ERP and business software solutions for the manufacturing and distribution sectors, with particular focus on the food and beverage industry in Ireland and the UK.

Established in 1987, the Irish privately owned company has been operating in the UK for the past five years. The UK office is in Birmingham with the company headquarters located in Dublin, with consultants based regionally to support local implementations. Aspera now has over 70 customers across Ireland and the UK, with the majority operating within the food and drink sector, supported from its customer services centre in Dublin.

About 30% of Aspera’s business is currently in the UK. However, a recently completed acquisition will significantly expand its British footprint and double its business in the UK, increasing total sales by 25%. Indeed, further investment in its UK business and other acquisition opportunities will result in the company doubling in scale within the next three years, according to Lonan Byrne, Managing Director of Aspera Solutions.

Aspera is the main partner in the UK and Ireland for two of the leading international ERP solutions – Epicor and Aptean Ross.

Professional Competence

Aspera’s success, particularly within the food and drink industry, is based on its professional competence and intimate understanding of each customer’s business and individual requirements. This, coupled with its comprehensive support services, has enabled the ERP specialist to develop long-term relationships with its customers.

Aspera’s consulting, implementation and support teams are all manufacturing industry professionals who understand the challenges facing each customer. They work closely with customers’ internal teams from the project champion to the shop floor to equip customers with a project methodology and processes that ensure the success of the implementation at every stage.

Full Cycle Services

Lonan Byrne, Managing Director of Aspera Solutions.

Aspera provides the full range of services required to support the life-cycle of an IT project from evaluation, through project management, training, consulting, development and support to ongoing customer care. Lonan Byrne believes that the scope of services and experience across a range of selected software products sets Aspera apart from many software vendors. Aspera tailors its service offering to suit each customer’s individual requirements.

With over 70 customers on support, and likely to increase with further acquisitions, the challenge is increasingly on delivering value to the customer over the long-term. This involves a customer service philosophy which assists ERP users to continually harvest more value for existing systems without costly upgrade services. Indeed Lonan Byrne notes that the average life cycle of its ERP systems has grown to 15 years. This contrasts with an average life cycle of 5 years in the 1990’s.

All Aspera’s customers are mid-tier companies, ranging in scale from £10 million to £500 million in turnover. “We typically implement between 10 to 100 seats of ERP. Many of our customers don’t have an internal IT department,” explains Lonan Byrne. “So once they choose a system from us, we effectively become their IT department.”

He adds: “We recognise that any company implementing an ERP system is undertaking a major project entailing significant investment and change. We help companies through the process of change. We also help customers to capitalise on that investment over the longer-term.”

Aspera’s development team is experienced in delivering sophisticated systems integration services, covering office systems, corporate ERP, plant systems and factory equipment, warehousing systems, transport and third party logistics, customers’ and suppliers’ systems. Training programmes are designed to maximise the value and return on investment as quickly as possible.

Aspera’s customers within the food and drinks sector include Wyke Farms, BV Dairy, and Troy Foods in the UK, Ballyrashane Creamery in Northern Ireland and Glenhaven Foods in Ireland.

Customer Care

The effectiveness of the services provided by Aspera is reflected in an extremely high level of customer retention.

“Everything we do is built around a long-term customer relationship. Many of our customers have been with us 17 or 18 years, many undertaking major upgrades with us,” he points out. “We will never do anything in this company that sacrifices long-term customer retention for short-term gain. The quality of our customer support is key.”

Aspera operates a Customer Support Desk, providing customers with access to the support team. The Aspera Help Line offers additional local support for each customer’s own system configuration.

New Departure

Aspera is well respected throughout Ireland and the UK for its expertise and experience in successfully implementing ERP systems within the food and drink industry. Indeed, it is this specialist knowledge that has prompted Epicor to involve Aspera in the enhancement of its software for specific application within the food and beverage sector. This marks a new departure for Aspera bringing it into product development for the first time.

For further information contact Philip Larragy in our Sales Department at Aspera Solutions, Head Office: 23 Kilcarbery Business Park, Dublin 22, Ireland. Tel +353 (1) 461 1700, Fax +353 (1) 413 8082, E-mail info@aspera.ie, Web www.aspera.ie.

UK Office: Central Boulevard, Blythe Valley Business Park, Solihull, B90 8AG, UK. Tel +44 (845) 862 0864, E-mail info@aspera.co.uk, Web:www.aspera.co.uk.

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